2160 Mastlands, Oakland

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

Perhaps not surprisingly, selling homes is a bit of a challenge when there is a “shelter in place” order. Even so, there are a number of interesting homes trickling out on the market, though not at the pace we would normally expect at this time of year.

Today we feature a delightful modernist residence designed by Benjamin Fishstein for himself in Piedmont Pines. 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. Fishstein’s work is not particularly well-known today but this home is clear indication of his immense and underappreciated talent.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Benjamin Fishstein, Mid-Century | Leave a comment

3955 Canyon, Lafayette

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Tina Frechman, Dudum

Our featured home today is a beautiful mid-century residence designed by Murray Slama for himself in the hills of Lafayette. Slama was one of the first architects hired by Robert Ratcliff when he took the helm of his father’s famous Bay Area firm in the early 50s, and by the early 60s he was made partner in the firm Ratcliff, Slama & Cadwalader.

The Slama home is a wonderful piece of Bay Region modernist architecture with glazing all around and thoughtful detailing throughout. The woodsy interiors have unfortunately been painted, but the overall integrity of the spaces is still intact, and the home is a true pleasure to visit.

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

771 San Diego, Berkeley

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

It has been almost five years since Donald Olsen passed away, but the impact that he had on the architecture of the Bay Area is still palpable. Olsen cut his own path at a time when modernism in Northern California was decidedly woodsy and rustic. His homes were pure and unadorned formal expressions that stood out even in the very crowded field of talented local architects in which he found himself.

The home we feature today is one of a cluster of Olsen-designed structures on San Diego Road. It is a particularly special example because it is the home that Donald shared with his wife Helen for over sixty years, raising their family, and entertaining clients and students alike. It is a fitting monument to the great quality and indeed rigor of Bay Area architecture during the 1950s.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Donald Olsen, International Style, Mid-Century | 1 Comment

176 Mountain Canyon, Alamo

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Melissa Fulop, Compass

This unusual storybook home is likely the work of local design-builder Doug Allinger. Allinger was the longtime protege of innovative craftsman Carr Jones whose mature style was characterized by a flamboyant and idiosyncratic use of masonry to create undulating organic forms. When Jones passed away in 1965, Allinger carried on building in the same tradition, creating striking homes such as this one that appear to have come from a much earlier era.

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

18 Veteran, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of David Gunderman, Keller Williams

Veteran Way in Glenview is perhaps our favorite tract of period revival homes in Oakland. Each one is impressively detailed and overflowing with exposed wood. They feel more like individual custom residences than part of a tract. The Norman revival at 18 Veteran is no exception. It, like its neighbors, represents a particularly lively and imaginative take on period revival architecture that is reminiscent of some of the more flamboyant work of William Raymond Yelland or Dixon & Hillen.

Posted in Norman Revival, Period Revival | Leave a comment

10033 Broadway Terrace, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Starr, Grubb

William Dutcher’s work in the 90s was exceptionally restrained and understated during a time when many of his contemporaries were making homes as loud and audacious as possible. That reserve has ended up serving him well as his homes from that period have aged more gracefully than some of the more ostentatious examples. The home we feature today is case and point. The massing is typically thoughtful, the spaces are generous, and the detailing is creative. Dutcher demonstrates again that his clarity of vision and refined personal aesthetic is able to stand the test of time with great aplomb.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Postmodern, William Dutcher | Leave a comment

1194 Cragmont, Berkeley

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

This intriguing shingle style residence is an unusual combination of First and Second Bay Region design. The living room is clearly in the manner of Bernard Maybeck with its exposed timbering and massive concrete hearth while the kitchen and other parts of the home were obviously finished some 30 years later. Taken as a whole, the home is surprisingly cohesive, with the points of view of two separate generations of local designers merged into a single harmonious statement.

Posted in First Bay Region Style, Mid-Century, Second Bay Region Style, Shingle | Leave a comment