John E. Fennacy (1904-1979)
John Eversole Fennacy was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 1, 1904. He completed his early schooling in Modesto and Oakland, then studied at the California School of Fine Arts while working for Bakewell & Brown in San Francisco. In 1926 Fennacy held a position in the Galveston, Texas, office of Raymond R. Rapp, as he worked his way east to complete his apprenticeship training.
By 1927 Fennacy was living in Greenwich Village and working for York and Sawyer. He took his architectural examinations in California in 1933. For a time he was associated with the firm of Miller & Warneke, for whom he worked on a number of Bay Area residences. Fennacy established his own practice in the Bay Area during the mid-1930s and worked at various times in Oakland, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and San Carlos. During this period he completed a home in Fresno's Fig Garden for Harry J. Finkenstein. From 1943 to 1945 he worked in Nevada as a civilian architect for the government. In 1945 Fennacy moved to Fresno and formed a partnership with Finkenstein to build housing tracts.
Fennacy's flair for the California Ranch Style brought him national recognition in 1939 when he designed a case study house for the Homes and Gardens Section of the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition. The house, called Flood Acres and located in Atherton, was illustrated in a Pencil Points review of twenty-six Exposition Model Homes that were built in the Bay Area by such renowned regional architects as Gardner Dailey, William Wurster, and Clarence Tantau. Fennacy's most enduring design in Fresno was his rustic version of the California Ranch Style for Fig Garden Village, completed during the 1950s. John E. Fennacy died in Fresno on July 30, 1979.
©2001 John Edward Powell