5380 Shafter, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Carla Buffington, Compass

This picturesque late Victorian was one of the very first homes built in the Shafter neighborhood when it was just farmland on the northernmost edge of Oakland. It was still two decades before the passenger train service would start rolling down Shafter Avenue and bringing with it the families to fill up all of the new bungalows being built there. Today, the home remains full of period detail. It is a nice reminder of a time when much of North Oakland was still fairly rural and quite different from what it is today.

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1272 Caroline, Alameda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of David Gunderman, Alain Pinel

George Whittell Sr. made the bulk of his fortune by investing in the Comstock Lode in Nevada and with it he hired Ernest Coxhead to design him one of the most extravagantly ornamented homes in Alameda. The style of the exterior has been muddied a bit by the addition of stucco in the intervening years, but inside all of the over the top detailing is still readily apparent and frankly jaw dropping. Coxhead was one of the first superstars of the Bay Area architecture scene and his influence cannot be overstated. His work along with that of Willis Polk formed the foundation on which the Bay Region Style was built and references to his designs would be seen in the work of those that followed him for years to come.

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150 Bret Harte, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Neal Ward, Compass

This impressive Berkeley Hills home was built in 1980, but it has all of the hallmarks of an earlier era. The home was conceived of by Donald Hoppen who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and friend of the first owner. It was to be built on a radial plan with a Wrightian aesthetic complete with plenty of wood and glass. Hoppen brought another of Wrights former students in to fully realize the plan. Daniel Liebermann was a local architect who had made a name for himself designing radial homes in the 60s and 70s and was therefore the perfect choice to flesh out the design.

Together Hoppen and Liebermann created a home that is very much in keeping with the ideas explored in Liebermann’s earlier homes. It relies heavily on recycled lumber, interesting angles, and wide open spaces to create a truly unique residential experience. It feels very much rooted in the ideals of mid-century Bay Region design despite having been built in the early 80s.

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157 Fairlawn, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Taylor Sublett, Keller Williams

This impressive Berkeley Hills mid-century is the first home that Gerald McCue designed for himself in the East Bay. He was only 27 when the home was built, but he was already an established architectural presence in the Bay Area with his own firm in San Francisco. He had also just begun his tenure as a lecturer at UC Berkeley the year prior, returning to teach at his alma mater only two years after finishing his master’s degree there.

The home displays a number of features that would become trademarks of McCue’s residential work including glazed gables and substantial wooden soffits. It appears to have survived largely intact and is a great testament to the precocious talent of a local architect whose outsized influence would ultimately serve to spread the ideas of Bay Region design to the East Coast and beyond.

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176 Mountain Canyon, Alamo

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Melissa Fulop, Paragon

This unusual storybook home is likely the work of local design-builder Doug Allinger. Allinger was the longtime protege of innovative craftsman Carr Jones whose mature style was characterized by a flamboyant and idiosyncratic use of masonry to create undulating organic forms. When Jones passed away in 1965, Allinger carried on building in the same tradition, creating striking homes such as this one that appear to have come from a much earlier era.

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610 Oakland, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of David Nelson, Marcus & Millichap

It’s a bit hard to tell from the photos, but this charming First Bay Region residence is reportedly an early work by Oakland native Charles McCall. It’s complex roofline and unusual interior detailing would seem to bear that out. McCall would eventually become known for his lavish period revival homes, but his earliest designs were in fact some of his most creative endeavors.

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1439 Hawthorne, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Bebe McRae, Grubb

The C H McNeil house is a distinguished Berkeley Norman revival designed by Henry Gutterson. Gutterson practiced in a variety of styles, but the one constant through all of his work is his highly refined aesthetic and spare detailing. His homes stand out for their purity of vision and simplicity of design. This home is no different. Its thoughtfully arranged spaces and minimal embellishment make for a surprisingly modern take on period revival.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Henry Gutterson, Norman Revival, Period Revival, Tudor Revival | Leave a comment