Ken Birkemeier, Prolific Alameda Builder

A collection of images relating to Ken Birkemeier. Top left, Ken and his wife of 50 years Marge. Photos and drawings courtesy of Dan Birkemeier.

A collection of images relating to Ken Birkemeier. Top left, Ken and his wife of 50 years Marge. Below, homes he built in the neighborhood. More pictures in The Builders section. Photos and drawings courtesy of Dan Birkemeier.

After a very interesting few weeks of research, correspondence with the Birkemeier family, and lots of walking around the neighborhood looking at dozens of houses he built, I’ve posted some background on local architect and builder Kenneth L. Birkemeier. You’ll find the details (and some more photos) over in the new section called The Builders (click here). It was great to hear memories from various family members, particularly the story from his grandson Dan, who is today an architect in Seattle.

You’ll note that I’m inviting your stories or photos of Birkemeier homes, so let me hear from you and I’ll share them here on the blog.

The new section is up to four major builders now, with dozens more to go. One thought that occurred as I walked around the neighborhood this week is that Irwin, Read and Berkemeier must have known each other. Between the three of them, they designed and built dozens of houses here in the neighborhood…they must have been bumping into each other along the way.

Next on my list is Harry Phillips, who designed and built many of the homes along Ridgewood and Gile Terrace in the late 1920s. I also want to delve into the history behind the reference to the “Town of Wayne,” which is a small plat south of Fremont and between 32nd and 29th.

Inquiring minds want to know: Who was Wayne?

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