2160 Mastlands, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Denis Neema, Compass

Benjamin Fishstein is not an architect with whom we are otherwise familiar, but this home that he built for himself in Piedmont Pines is certainly worthy of note. It appears to have been laid out on a grid of equilateral triangles which makes for some truly interesting interior spaces and highly angular cantilevers. It is clearly the work of a very talented if not well known local designer.

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2608 Wallace, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Brian Cheek, Keller Williams

Today we feature a handsome shingle style bungalow in the Highland Terrace neighborhood of Oakland. The home is awash in original unpainted woodwork and period light fixtures. The blocky bracketing in the dining room, both at the plate rail and at the door headers is a particularly nice touch as well. The home was reportedly designed by Sidney and Noble Newsom who are best known for their lavish period revival homes, but it was built when Noble was only 20 years old and when both brothers still worked for their father Samuel so it is possible the attribution needs a bit more refinement. In fact, for comparison, it was built only a year after Samuel Newsom’s own house in Piedmont that we featured here a couple of weeks ago.

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1240 Westview, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Kevin Tannahill, Marvin Gardens

Our featured home today was designed by John Grim who is perhaps best known as part of the Malone & Hooper team that was responsible for the showy structures at the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960. This particular home was built several decades later on a lot that was cleared by the Oakland Hills Fire, but given the style of the structure, it seems possible that it may have been rebuilt after the fire from an earlier set of plans. At the very least it is a home designed much more to mid-century tastes than to those prevailing in the early 90s when it was new.

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5380 Shafter, Oakland

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

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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13015 Skyline, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Martha Hill, Pacific Union

Today we feature a beautifully detailed Bay Region modernist residence designed by John Ostwald. The home is made up of two wings oriented around a towering central living space which itself is built around a skylight-surrounded hearth from which the entire structure seems to radiate. It is an exceptional room even by Ostwald’s high standards. Here he has created a home where the centrality of the hearth is not just a vague ideal, it is built into the very fabric of the structure.

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41 Lake, Piedmont

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Carla Higgins, Grubb

Joseph and Samuel Newsom were best known for the extravagantly detailed Queen Anne homes that they published in their plan books and built around the Bay Area, but the home that Samuel designed for his own family in Piedmont is decidedly craftsman in nature. It is a highly inventive take on the one and one half story shingled bungalow that is so common across the East Bay. Here, Newsom trades the traditional hip roof with glazed dormers for a gable roof with the eaves cut away at the windows. It is an unusually elegant solution that makes for a strikingly original exterior.

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92 El Gavilan, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Peter Liu, RE/MAX Accord

This charming Orinda mid-century is made up of two skewed gables that combine to form a variety of interesting and angular spaces within. The rooms are beautifully proportioned and full of warm wood and towering volumes. El Gavilan is the street on which architect Robert Klemmedson lived for many years and built a number of impressive homes so the neighborhood has its share of good Bay Region modernism.

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