Posts Tagged: ‘Bisceglia’

Paul and Mary Cribari House to be demolished

January 28, 2014 Posted by Yard Guy

Been watching the progress on a large housing project on the 900 block of South First Street. There are a bunch of houses to be demolished as well as an old two-story butcher shop. One building is to be relocated around the corner onto Edwards Avenue. The photo below is the house at 987 South First St. As of late January 2014, it had been sacrificed for a fire training exercise, and appears ready for demolition. Don’t know if it was advertised for relocation to the general public.

Cribari House

The house was a quite handsome Neoclassical Bungalow designed by local architect George W. Page and built by developers Joseph and Regina Basile in 1908. Of interest is that the long-time owners were Paul and Mary Cribari, who lived in this house for about 45 years. ¬†Paul was of the famous California wine-making family, sometimes called the House of Cribari. He immigrated from Cosenza, Italy as a teenager with his parents. His uncles on his mother’s side would eventually establish the Bisceglia Brothers Cannery on South First Street near Alma and then go on to start a large winery operation in Fresno. His Cribari uncles established what was at one time the largest winery in the world. ¬†They took over Evergreen’s Wehner Winery before also moving to Fresno. While Paul Cribari was not known to be directly involved in these two enterprises, he ultimately took over his uncle’s wood and fuel business in San Jose. Paul’s sister Clara founded Casa de Fruta, which still attracts visitors traveling over Pacheco Pass.

Cribari House detail