910 Indian Rock, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Susie Schevill, Grubb

The Marrenner house is a distinguished First Bay Region shingle style designed by Walter Ratcliff. Its long façade is another of his deft amalgamations of seemingly disparate elements. Symmetrical end gables are tied together by a perpendicular plane containing an inset door, a bay window, and an unusual clipped gable dormer. Inside, the home is lavishly detailed with unexpected flourishes in every room.

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2515 Buena Vista, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Annie Walrand, Grubb

This lovely Spanish colonial revival is attributed to Edwin Snyder who was one of the first architects in the Bay Area to practice in this now ubiquitous style. It is a charming home full of great period embellishment and Snyder’s trademark understated detailing.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Edwin Lewis Snyder, Period Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival | Leave a comment

1725 Estudillo, San Leandro

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Robert Jones, Robert Jones & Associates

Our featured home today is an intriguing postmodern residence tucked away in the San Leandro hills. Its unusual asymmetrical brick façade cuts an exceptionally striking figure from the street. Brick was not a particularly common material choice for postmodern residences in the Bay Area but a number of highly regarded commercial architects such as Mario Botta (who designed SFMOMA) favored brick for their work. Here too we can see the surprising pliability of unit masonry aptly demonstrated on a smaller scale as walls curve and jut at will. It is a surprisingly inventive form in an unexpected locale.

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217 Hillside, Piedmont

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Rebecca Erdiakoff, Grubb

This stately Piedmont colonial revival was designed by Louis Upton for early PG&E manager Edwin Leach. Upton is perhaps best known for the massive homes he designed in Pacific Heights on the other side of the bay (one sold earlier this month for $27 Million), but he made his own home in Berkeley so we are fortunate to have a few of his showy residences here in the East Bay as well. This one is a beautifully balanced composition with loads of creative detailing. It has been in the Leach family since it was built so it remains exceptionally original – ready for restoration by its second owner.

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2967 Avalon, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Nelson, Alain Pinel

Today we feature a sizable and highly symmetrical colonial revival residence. This one was reportedly designed by Edward Seely for well-to-do Berkeley builder J A Marshall. Seely favored the gable roof and here he has blessed the home with two front facing gables as well as a shed dormer over the front door. Inside the home is lavishly appointed with ornate wood embellishments and grand public spaces.

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3111 Claremont, Berkeley

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

Having grown up in a home designed by Ernest Coxhead with a studio by Bernard Maybeck in the back yard, one might say that Loy Chamberlain’s education in Bay Region design began at a very young age. It would continue at Berkeley where he would graduate from the architecture school between the World Wars and go on to build a successful partnership with Malcolm Reynolds that would last many years. Chamberlain was an early adopter of modernism, but like many of his contemporaries, his designs were very reserved with great presence but little ornament or pretense. This late example is no different despite having been built in 1970 – a charming reminiscence by a lesser known local architect.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Loy Chamberlain, Mid-Century | Leave a comment

1772 Le Roy, Berkeley

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

Today we feature an exceptional First Bay Region structure designed by Bernard Maybeck. The Oscar Maurer studio was built for a highly respected photographer who relocated to the East Bay after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is a beautifully compact representation of Maybeck’s highly creative and idiosyncratic take on design. The studio was converted into a residence in the 1980s but even so it still retains all of its original impact and charm.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Bernard Maybeck, First Bay Region Style | Leave a comment