view all images ( of 2 shown)

Male, born 1891-01-25, died 1971-03-27

Associated with the firms network

Miller and Warnecke, Architects; Warnecke and Warnecke, Architects

Professional History


Office Boy, Loring P. Rixford, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1908-1911; (Rixford [1870-1946] had become San Francisco's City Architect in late 05/1909, following the death of his popular predecessor, Newton J. Tharp [1867-1909] earlier that month.)

The death of Carl I. Warnecke's father in 1910 no doubt made it urgent that he work to help support his mother and siblings. He continued to live at home with his family until 1917, at 817 45th Street in Oakland. (See Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1916, p. 868.)

Draftsman, San Francisco Board of Architects Exposition Company, 1911-1912.

Draftsman, Bakewell and Brown, Architects, San Francisco, CA, c. 1913; at this time, the Bakewell and Brown firm was formulating competition drawings for the San Francisco City Hall, which they won, and Warnecke worked on this project.

Draftsman, Chester H. Miller, Company, Oakland, CA. 1916. (See Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1916, p. 868.)

Draftsman, John J. Donovan, Architect, Oakland, CA, c. 1917. The Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1917(p. 1350), indicated that Carl I. Warnecke worked for architect John J. Donovan (1876-1949).

Draftsman, [Charles W.] Dickey and Donovan, Architects, Oakland, CA, 06/1917. On 06/05/1917, Carl Warnecke's Workd War I draft registration card indicated that he worked in the Dickey and Donovan office located at 414 13th Street in Oakland, CA. (See, Source Citation Registration State: California; Registration County: Alameda; Roll: 1531212; Draft Board: 4, accessed 10/19/2018.)

Partner, Miller and Warnecke, Architects, Oakland, CA, 1917-1951. In 1949, Miller and Warnecke had an office in the Financial Building in Oakland. (See Oakland, California, Telephone Directory, 1949, p. 555.)

Partner, Warnecke and Warnecke, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1952- .



Warnecke did not attend college; he attended night school to learn mechanical drawing c. 1908; Warnecke worked in Arthur Brown, Jr.'s Atelierin 1912, earning the rank of massier (or student leader) in that year.

Coursework, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, c. 1914; the outbreak of World War I between 06/28/1914 and 08/04/1914 closed the École, forcing Warnecke to leave France and resume work in the Bay Area.

College Awards

Despite not having attended college, Warnecke took the second $1,000 prize in a contest sponsored by the San Francisco Architects Club. This prize enabled winners to attend the world's most prestigious architectural academy of the time, the Parisian École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Using his savings, Warnecke left for France and succeeded in highly competitive examinations to gain entry into the school, one of a quota of 14 foreign students to do so. (That year's Beaux Arts entry competition subject was the design of a Supreme Court Building.)



Born in Montreal, QC, Carl Ingomar Warnecke moved to the US in 1900. As a 9-year-old boy, he lived with his family in Cambridge, MA, at 10 Traymore Street. Also residing with Carl's family was his aunt, Mary MacKenzie (born c. 02/1867 in Canada) and her husband James MacKenzie (born c. 05/1840 in Scotland). (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Cambridge Ward 5, Middlesex, Massachusetts; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0724; FHL microfilm: 1240657, accessed 10/19/2018.)

Warnecke arrived in CA a year later, 1901.

The Warnecke Family lived at 817 45th Street in Oakland's Longfellow neighborhood during the 1910s. (See Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1912, p. 909 and Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1916, p. 868.)

He traveled to study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Artsin early 1914, but, according to his 1957 UW naturalization paperwork, he returned to New York, NY, on 08/23/1914 aboard the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT) Line's S.S. Chicago. The outbreak of World War in 08/1914 cut short his Parisian education.

In 1917, Carl Warnecke moved out of his family's 45th Street house and got a place for his wife and himself at 571 Mira Vista Avenue in Oakland, CA. (See Polk-Husted Company's Oakland, California, City Directory, 1917, p. 1350.) By this time, if not before, Warnecke indicated that he had become a naturalized US citizen. (See, Source Citation Registration State: California; Registration County: Alameda; Roll: 1531212; Draft Board: 4, accessed 10/19/2018.)

In 1920, he and his wife and infant son resided at 970 Rose Avenue in Piedmont, CA. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Piedmont, Alameda, California; Roll: T625_92; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 204, accessed 10/19/2018.)

The 1930 US Census listed Carl I. Warnecke as living at 1224 Holman Road in Oakland, CA with his wife and two children. The residence had an estimated value of $12,000 at the time, comparable to other residences in the immediate neightborhood. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0202; FHL microfilm: 2339843, accessed 10/24/2018.) He continued to live at this address until at least 1953. (See Oakland, California, Telephone Directory, 1953, p. 568.)

Carl and Margaret Warnecke moved to 132 Indian Road in Piedmont by 1954 or 1955. (See Oakland, California, Telephone Directory, 1955, p. 553.)

The architect petitioned to be naturalized a US citizen on 06/04/1957 in the District Court, Northern District, California, in San Francisco, CA. At this time, he remained at 132 Indian Road, Piedmont, CA. (See, Source Citation National Archives at San Francisco; San Bruno, California; NAI Number: 605504; Record Group Title: RG 21; Record Group Number: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009, accessed 10/24/2018.)

He died in San Francisco, CA, at the age of 80. His last residence was in the 94610 zip code of Oakland, CA. He was buried in plot #29 of Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland.


Carl I. Warnecke was one of four children of Carl (born c. 12/1864-d. 06/16/1910 in Alameda County, CA) and Martha McGowan Warnecke (born 10/28/1864-d. 02/03/1919 in Oakland, CA), both of whom came from English-speaking portions of Canada.They wed on 03/15/1887 in Montreal. (See, Source Citation Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; District: Montréal; Title: Bayne, O'Hara (1875-1914), accessed 10/19/2018.)

It appears that he pursued many professions during his lifetime. In 1900, Carl's father, worked as a real estate clerk when the family alighted briefly in Cambridge, MA.

The Pacific Architect and Builder indicated that Carl Ingomar's father worked for a building materials company in the Bay Area: "His father was sales manager for a building materials specialty firm and frequently entertained architects and contractors in his home, a factor that no doubt influenced [Carl I.] Warnecke when he chose his profession." (See "PA & B Profile: John Carl Warnecke, San Francisco, California," Pacific Architect and Builder, vol. 65, no. 7, 07/1959, p.16.) By the time Carl I. was 19, however, the 1910 U.S. Census noted that his father, at age 46, worked as a librarian. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Oakland Ward 1, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_69; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0086; FHL microfilm: 1374082, accessed 10/19/2018.) While the U.S. Census often contained some inaccurate information, it is possible that Warnecke's father did work in the library; these possible connections may have enabled his son to design some new buildings for the Oakland Public Library.

All four children in the family, Gertrude Warnecke Hutton (born c. 02/1889-d. 1983 in CA), Carl I. Warnecke, Marguerite Warnecke Berwick (born 11/01/1897-d. 07/1976 in San Francisco, CA) and James William Warnecke 01/23/1900-d. 12/31/1957 in CA) had also been born in Canada.


He married Margaret Kathryn Esterling, (born 04/11/1894 in Denver, CO-d. 08/1982 in Los Alamos, NM) They wed in Guerneville, CA, on 10/29/1916.


Carl and Margaret had two children, John Carl Warnecke (1919-2010) and Margaret Melanie Warnecke Putnam (born 05/27/1922 in Oakland, CA-d. 2011). In 1957, Margaret lived in Los Alamos, NM.

John Carl Warnecke became a very successful architect. Early in his career, John Carl worked with his father in the firm of Warnecke and Warnecke from 1952-until his father's retirement.

Biographical Notes

Carl I. Warnecke worked for John J. Donovan, who became very well-known for his secondary school designs in the Bay Area; Warnecke gained expertise in this area, and, in turn, passed it on to his son, John Carl, who also became very well known for school design after World War II.

At 66 years of age, Warnecke stood 6-feet, 1-and-a-half-inches tall, and had gray hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.

SSN: 560-20-6818.

Associated Locations

PCAD id: 3366