LOCATION: Walnut Creek, California
CLIENT: SOS Stanley Dollar Clubhouse
DATE COMPLETED: March 2013
The Robert Stanley Dollar Sr. Residence is a 1930 ranch house in the Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek. It was built for Robert Stanley Dollar Sr., an important shipping magnate, on what was then the family's weekend ranch in then-rural central Contra Costa County. The house is designed in the California Ranch style, popularized in California by figures like Cliff May during the 1930s and 1940s. It is surrounded by a lushly landscaped setting on the banks of Tice Creek, with mature native oaks, fruit trees, and ornamentals planted by the Dollar family between 1930 and 1960. In the early 1960s the property was purchased by Ross Cortese, developer of Rossmoor and other retirement communities throughout California. The Dollar House was converted into a clubhouse for Rossmoor in 1963 and it remains in use for this purpose today.
In the summer of 2012, a concerned group of residents calling itself SOS Stanley Dollar Clubhouse contacted VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consulting to assist them in nominating the R. Stanley Dollar Sr. Residence to the National Register of Historic Places. The members of the group was concerned over recent development activity in the vicinity of the building and wanted to make sure that their beloved clubhouse would remain as part of Rossmoor for years to come.
VerPlanck worked with SOS Stanley Dollar Clubhouse to research the property, relying on members of the group to complete several tasks, including visiting city and county offices to obtain building and ownership records, as well as taking photographs and gathering other information. We synthesized this information with our own research into the history of the Dollar Family, the Dollar Ranch, and the development and the evolution of the California Ranch style.
We completed the nomination in late 2012 and attended the State Historical Resources Commission hearing in Sacramento, in February 2013, where the Dollar House was determined eligible for listing under Criterion C (Design Construction). The nomination was forwarded to Washington, D.C., where the Keeper of the National Register will list the property in the National Register of Historic Places, only the third property in Walnut Creek to receive this honor.