107 Panoramic, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Judith Ratcliffe, Grubb

Our featured home today is an unusually creative Mediterranean revival at the base of Panoramic Hill. It is attributed to Miller and Warnecke who were extremely prolific and successful designers in a variety of period revival styles. Their homes are uniformly beautiful but they are not generally known for being especially inventive which is why this particular example is so interesting. Here the living spaces are spread across a multitude of levels that seem to tumble down the hill making for a decidedly unconventional interior experience.

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550 Highland, Danville

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Elahi, Golden Gate Sotheby's

This intriguing Danville residence was designed by Roger Lee for Paul and Eleanor Shipley. Lee had a reputation for paying special attention to the custom hearths he created for his clients and this particular home includes three distinctive fireplaces, each one a unique interpretation especially suited to its location.

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97 Franciscan, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anne Politeo, Red Oak

This modest mid-century glass box is one of four homes that were built on a single lot by local East Bay design-builder Donald Ross. Ross was a well known photographer who built these homes as a source of rental income to support his art. The cluster was originally organized a bit like a modernist bungalow court, but the lot was subdivided sometime in the last couple decades and now the homes can be sold individually.

The structure is notable for its simplicity and purity of design. It is an early example of Ross’s work yet its lack of unnecessary ornament and clarity of vision demonstrates a great deal of maturity packed into a compact space.

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2967 Avalon, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Jenny Wang, Golden Gate Sotheby’s

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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50854 Partington Ridge, Big Sur

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ben Heinrich, Coldwell Banker

Today we travel a bit further afield to feature an extraordinary residential compound in Big Sur. The homes in question were designed by local legend Mickey Muennig for his own family and they epitomize the highly innovative approach Muennig takes to architecture. His organic forms have come to represent the spirit of Big Sur perhaps more than the work of any other architect and it is easy to see why given the immense creativity on display here.

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1 Van Sicklen, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Shannon Prokup, Red Oak

This intriguing storybook home is attributed to William Raymond Yelland who made a name for himself designing some of the most flamboyant period revival residences in all of the Bay Area. Perhaps best known among them is Berkeley’s Normandy Village which rivals any of the more theatrical homes built in Southern California between the wars. The home we feature today is unusually organic with rounded free-form rooms that create the distinct impression of handicraft – definitely an artifice worthy of Yelland.

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41 Oakvale, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Faye Keogh, Grubb

Our featured home today is an early and exceptional shingle style residence designed by John Hudson Thomas. The Leo and Ella Dungan house is one of Thomas’ most endearing and creative early designs. Its conglomeration of highly peaked roofs straddle a burbling brook creating an almost surreally picturesque setting. The exterior of the home was originally all shingle which likely would have only served to accentuate its riparian charm, but at some point plaster was added lending it a bit more Tudor flavor.

The home owes a clear debt of gratitude to the early work of Bernard Maybeck, but in the heavily wooded interiors, Thomas’ trademark oversized details and tendency toward simplifying geometric abstractions is readily apparent. It is a truly inspired piece of First Bay Region architecture by one of the East Bay’s best.

Posted in Architect-Designed, First Bay Region Style, John Hudson Thomas, Shingle, Tudor Revival | 1 Comment

2330 Vine, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Nancy Lehrkind, Grubb

Ted Spencer is probably best known for the numerous buildings he designed around the Stanford campus, but he attended architecture school at Berkeley and there are several of his designs on this side of the Bay as well. Most notable among them is arguably the Marston Studio which is an utterly charming little structure designed primarily as a performance space with living quarters attached. In recent years it has been used as a residence but the grand interior volume doubtless continues to add a bit of drama to the lives of all the “players” within.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Eldridge "Ted" Spencer, Period Revival, Tudor Revival | Leave a comment

7111 Pinehaven, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anthony Cassel, Golden Gate Sotheby’s

Today we feature an interesting Third Bay Region residence in the Oakland hills. The home is very thoughtfully conceived with large glazed openings and plenty of wood (much of it oriented on the diagonal which was a favored conceit in the 70s). No architect is mentioned in the listing but the home is clearly the work of a talented designer well-versed in the vernacular of the period.

Posted in Mid-Century, Third Bay Region Style | Leave a comment

5 Arcade, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Joan Brunswick, Coldwell Banker

This exquisite Bay Region mid-century is a particularly inventive design by local architect David Kerr Burton. Here, Burton made the most of a relatively modest triangular lot by designing a triangular home with a central stair topped by a pyramid skylight. The home is full of unconventional details including prominent corner windows and numerous small skylights in the roof. David Kerr Burton was not a particularly prolific designer but his homes are immensely creative and this one is no exception.

Posted in Architect-Designed, David Kerr Burton, Mid-Century | 1 Comment