An Orville Tracy cottage with ‘cat slide’ roof

Cat slide roof cottage

This distinctive storybook cottage is located in Chico, California. The defining feature is the ridiculously slanted roof which is known as a “cat slide roof” – because even a cat would slide down it!

Built in 1926, this charming home is currently listed for sale at $469,000.

Have a look inside while I fill you in on the back story…

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

This home was one of a series built by a man named Orville Tracy in Chico, California.

Orville Tracy was born in 1889 and being the oldest of 11 siblings, he migrated west to find work in order to support his family. Internet reports have stated that Tracy served in WWI in Britain, thus gleaning his building ideas from the cottages of the English countryside. Those reports, however, are false.

Orville Tracy’s son contacted me with the correct story:

He [Orville Tracy] was never in the service, and he picked up the ideas for the homes when he was back East – largely Omaha.  He was a very successful Broker, but his true love was building homes.  He was 60 when I was born (I have 5 older sisters), and he spent the remainder of his life teaching me to build.  He started the Chico Board of Realtors in 1917 when licensing came out, and was the first President of that Board.  He was President several times, including in 1948 when I was born.  Coincidentally I was President in 1975 when my son was born.

– Orville (Bud) E. Tracy, Jr.

Today, Orville Tracy’s collection of storybook homes in Chico is known as “Eastwood Park”.

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

This particular one measures in at 1,830 square feet with 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms.

image from: www.historichomes.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

The kitchen has some new Viking appliances but the cabinets are actually original to the house (the giveaway is that they go all the way to the ceiling).

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

Much of the house is the original lathe & plaster construction from 1926.  The Ribbon Oak hardwood floors are also original and have been refinished in recent years.

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

The bathroom (below) has seen some changes over the years, but still retains the old hexagon-tiled floors which you can see if you look really closely:

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

I find this main floor bedroom particularly charming…

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

Below is a picture of the back door opening out onto the “secret garden” backyard.

image from: www.oldhouses.com

image from: www.oldhouses.com

Looks like a new roof is in order, although I hear that extremely slanted roofs (like the cat slide roof) cost twice as much as a “normal” roof because of the risk factor for the unfortunate roofers who have to navigate the steep slope.

Nonetheless, it is still a great piece of California folk-architect history and it can be yours for $469,000.

See this link for more details!

 

 

 

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