2321 Valley, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Chimene Pollard, Red Oak

Our featured home today is a charming storybook residence designed and built by the Fox Brothers who are perhaps best known for a pair of eccentric period revival bungalow courts that they built along University Avenue in Berkeley. Carl Fox was not an architect by training but the homes he designed were exceptionally creative and his grasp of revival style detailing was equal to anyone else practicing in the area.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Carl Fox, Period Revival, Storybook | Leave a comment

1615 La Vereda, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Matthew Vance, eXp Realty

The Taylor house is an extremely early modernist residence designed by respected Berkeley architecture professor Michael Goodman when he was only 30. Goodman was a contemporary of William Wurster and both men are credited with creating the local movement now known as the Second Bay Region Style. For nearly the last twenty years, the home has been owned by another local architect, Jerzy Wollak who has made his own mark on the house as well, resulting in an interesting structure that incorporates an unusual combination of distinctive voices new and old.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Michael Goodman, Mid-Century, Second Bay Region Style | Leave a comment

2916 Shasta, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Paulsen, Compass

The McPherson house is an early modernist residence designed by Francis Joseph McCarthy just before he became a registered architect. He had worked in William Wurster’s office for a number of years prior but his solo practice received widespread acclaim almost immediately because of his innovative residential designs. The McPherson house was one of the most widely published of these early designs and it remains a compelling piece of architecture today. McCarthy did an addition to the home in the 1960s as well but today it needs a bit of work to make it worthy of its storied pedigree – a great opportunity for an enterprising buyer.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Francis Joseph McCarthy, Mid-Century, Second Bay Region Style | Leave a comment

862 Euclid, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Kevin McCaffrey, Caldecott

Today we feature an early and exceptional design by John Hans Ostwald. The home was created for Ostwald’s mother and it was the first of his many residential commissions as a solo practitioner. He was still working for Anshen + Allen at the time but already his immense talent and distinctive voice is apparent. It was to be the first of many compelling contributions that he would make to our East Bay built environment.

Posted in Architect-Designed, John Hans Ostwald, Mid-Century | Leave a comment

50 Arden, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Laura Arechiga, Grubb

This charming Second Bay Region residence is an extremely early piece of modernist design by Winfield Scott Wellington whose trademark spare interiors of redwood and simple exteriors never fail to impress. Wellington was an early proponent of modernism and he remained a dedicated practitioner through the 40s and beyond. It is a great testament to the prescience and staying power of his designs that they remained consistent and relevant over such an extended period.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Second Bay Region Style, Winfield Scott Wellington | 1 Comment

272 Purdue, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Sheril Madden, Red Oak

Our featured home today is an unusual period revival residence built by Danish bricklayer Peter Clausen. Clausen’s homes were a showcase for his skill as a mason and carpenter and as such are full of unexpected flourishes. This one is no exception. It does not fit neatly into one of the standard period revival tropes that became commonplace between the Wars but rather takes cues from a number of styles to create an amalgam that belongs to Clausen alone.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Period Revival, Peter Clausen | Leave a comment

245 Los Altos, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Janet Kaplan, Red Oak

Today we feature a rambling hilltop ranch perched at the edge of Tilden Park. The home was designed by lesser known local architect Alvin Fingado. Fingado graduated from Berkeley before WWII and like Donald Olsen and many other Bay Area designers at the time, he worked for Kaiser during the war. Afterward he opened his own practice designing understated modernist homes such as this one. Though he never achieved the notoriety that Olsen did, his thoughtful designs appealed to many clients looking for a more approachable modernist residence.

Posted in Alvin Fingado, Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Ranch | Leave a comment

157 Fairlawn, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Jose Fernandez, Red Oak

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.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Gerald McCue, Mid-Century | 1 Comment

3020 Buena Vista, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Julia Temple, Compass

The Holstein house is an exceptional Berkeley Hills residence designed by John Hans Ostwald. It is sited to take full advantage of its peninsular lot at a sharp turn on Buena Vista. Ostwald did not use the butterfly roof frequently, but here he incorporates it with great aplomb to open the living room to grand Westerly views. It is yet another example of Ostwald’s immense creativity and willingness to experiment with a variety of forms.

Posted in Architect-Designed, John Hans Ostwald, Mid-Century | 1 Comment

205 Lake, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing

Our featured home today is the long time residence of Hal Thiederman and his wife Elivia. Hal was an integral part of Clarence Mayhew’s firm for many years, eventually becoming a partner. He was responsible for a good deal of Mayhew’s later modernist output including some truly inventive Kaiser hospitals. When it came time to remodel his own home his designs were no less creative, adding a large central lantern in the living room and later a rooftop observatory. The home is a lasting testament to the immense talent of a designer who for many years worked behind the scenes and so is not so well known today as some of his contemporaries.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Hal Thiederman, Mid-Century | 1 Comment