841 San Luis, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anne Culbertson, Compass

This modest mid-century jewel box was designed by prolific local architect Henry Hill fairly early in his long and productive career. It has seen a bit of modification over the years so that the colorful flash that Hill liked to incorporate into every home is not readily apparent today. Even so, Hill’s thoughtful organization of space and careful placement of glazing shines with each room oriented to best capture the views outside. It is a lovely example by one of the Bay Area’s most talented and versatile modernist designers.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Henry Hill, Mid-Century | 2 Comments

440 Camino Sobrante, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of THomas Westfall, Compass

This exquisite Orinda mid-century is a beautifully preserved design by local East Bay architect Roger Lee. The home has only been on the market once before and it looks as though it has remained essentially unchanged since it was new. Lee was known for his modest modernist homes and this one is a perfect example of his striking ability create stunning environments in relatively compact spaces. For a bit of context about how amazingly little the home has changed over the years, we have included a few photos that were taken when the home was originally published in 1956.

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Posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Roger Lee | 1 Comment

14100 Skyline, Oakland

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

This impressive Bay Region mid-century is another thoughtful design by the partnership of Lyman Jee and Jack Anderson. It was designed during the brief period when fellow Berkeley grad Wit Willer was part of the firm before he became principal architect for the UC Office of the President. The home is in need of a bit of love but it is full of great period fabric and could be quite exceptional with a little work. Most of Jee and Anderson’s homes are in and around El Cerrito where their first office was located so it is a treat to see one a bit farther afield in Oakland.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Lyman Jee and Jack Anderson, Mid-Century, Wit Willer | Leave a comment

1 Los Arboles, Richmond

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Dan Thomas, Day and Night

It’s a bit difficult to tell from the photos, but this massive mid-century estate in the hills above El Sobrante is clearly the work of a talented designer. No architect is credited in the listing, but the home was built for Richmond native and local serial entrepreneur Ralph Johnson and his wife Marie. It boasts generous public spaces surrounded by walls of glass and topped by a butterfly roof with an unusual high gable window. Set in the middle of almost 60 acres, the sizable residence feels exceptionally private while remaining only a short drive from the Bay Area urban centers.

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

741 Santa Barbara, Berkeley

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

Our featured home today is an intriguing shingled Tudor revival attributed to Roland Stringham. The home is very much in keeping with Stringham’s spare detailing and refined use of embellishment. The wood ceilings in the public spaces are a particularly nice touch that we don’t see in many Stringham homes.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Period Revival, Roland Stringham, Tudor Revival | Leave a comment

52 Glen Alpine, Piedmont

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anian Tunney, Grubb

The Jean Witter house is a palatial Tudor revival designed by Oakland architects Williams and Wastell for one of the original partners in the San Francisco stock brokerage Dean Witter. No expense was spared to replicate the lavish European residences that were the inspiration for this sizable home. There has been some updating over the years but thankfully much of the original grandeur remains.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Period Revival, Tudor Revival, Williams and Wastell | Leave a comment

900 Regal, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Joshua Dickinson, Zip Code East Bay

The Warner Brown House is a fairly early William Wurster design executed the same year as the famed Gregory Farmhouse and only 4 years after he had returned to the Bay Area to open his own office. Though the level of finish in the Brown House is quite different than that in the Gregory commission, the same reductive inclination is very apparent in both these early works and already Wurster’s spare detailing and innate ability to create beauty out of simplicity is clearly present.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Second Bay Region Style, William Wurster | 2 Comments

6 Rosemont, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Brett Weinstein, Realty Advocates

Norris Gaddis is perhaps best known today as the original designer of the Oakland Zoo, but he was also responsible for a number of truly inventive residences around the East Bay. Gaddis was educated at Iowa State and then taught for a number of years in Oregon before coming to the Bay Area, so his influences were a bit different than many of his local contemporaries, but he arrived here at a time of great community creativity and his contributions were notable. This particular home has not changed hands since it was built allowing it to remain virtually untouched and making it a great window into the architect’s original intent.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Norris Gaddis | 1 Comment

341 Camino Sobrante, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Laura Abrams, Coldwell Banker

Perhaps Jim Lucas’ most familiar building today is the Berkeley Yacht Club at the end of the Berkeley Marina, but his personal residence in Orinda is definitely noteworthy as well. Lucas designed this home in 1960 and lived in it for the next 42 years – a fact that probably largely accounts for its excellent state of preservation today. All of the redwood paneling is intact inside and out and the huge expanses of glass open up dramatic views from almost every room. The master bedroom is a particularly nice space with the large skylight in the center of the room bisected by an exposed joist.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Jim Lucas, Mid-Century | 1 Comment

8513 Buckingham, El Cerrito

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Stuart Marson, Millstein

Seiichi Kami’s love of Japanese architecture grew out of an honest nostalgia for the place where his parents were born and for this reason his Japanese-inspired modernism feels in some ways more authentic than that of most of his contemporaries. This authenticity is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the home that he designed for his own family in El Cerrito. It is an inspired composition of curved glue laminated beams supported by a forest of tree-like columns in the manner of traditional Japanese vernacular architecture. It is Kami at his creative best.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Seiichi Kami | 2 Comments