11. HAWKE CASTLE 115 Magnolia Avenue (1929)
Landmark Preservation Commission Resolution: March 16, 1990 Designated by City Council: April 23, 1991 Description: The main body of this brick house has two stories flanked by a pair of towers. Single story wings radiate out to either side. The larger tower contains a circular stairway visible through a series of leaded, diamond-paned Gothic-type windows. Conical slate roofs cap the towers. The hipped main roof is made of slate and is very steep. A bronze peacock perches at the peak of the garage roof. The recessed entry is a small, stone lined archway leading to a round-headed paneled door. Historic Significance: This imposing replica of a Norman Castle is unique among Modesto's residential architecture. It was built in 1929 at a cost of $200,000 by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin R. Hawke. Hawke was the manager of the J.C. Penney store in Modesto and also owned the Hawke Crop Ousting Service. He founded the E.R. Hawke Department Store in 1934. Following Mr. Hawke's sudden death in 1941, Mrs. Hawke sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Al Goldschmidt. Mr. Goldschmidt died in 1962, and his wife continued to live in the home until 1965. Records indicate that Goldschmidt was an engineer and his wife, Dorothea, was a teacher at Modesto High School and Downey High School. The house was vacant for several years until it was purchased by a physician, E. Burnett Tonge, in 1970. Dr. Tonge died suddenly in 1972 but his wife and daughter continued to live in the house until 1977. Dr. William R. Smith acquired the property in 1978.