6 Nogales, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ravi Malhotra, Zephyr

Today we feature a lovely shingle style bungalow designed by Walter Ratcliff. The bungalow was not a form that Ratcliff favored, preferring instead creative amalgamations of period revival styles, so this home is a bit unique. It is a rare exception in Ratcliff’s substantial catalog of work and is clear indication of his great flexibility and unusual facility with a wide variety of architectural styles. Not surprisingly perhaps, the home has been enlarged somewhat in recent years from its original two bedroom form, but some attempts have been made to match the new to the old which is a challenging and undeniably admirable undertaking.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Bungalow, Shingle, Walter Ratcliff | 1 Comment

6351 Longcroft, Oakland

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

Today we feature an unusual modified steel A-Frame designed by N Kent Linn. Linn’s homes were often angular and experimental and this one is no exception. At its core it is an A-Frame but the large dormers on the sides open the interiors so much that it is barely recognizable as such. It is an exceptionally creative take on a form that has become a ubiquitous symbol of mid-century design.

Posted in A-Frame, Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, N Kent Linn | 2 Comments

5661 Estates, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Sara Garabedian, Insight

This handsome mid-century is a study in economy with a series of surprisingly generous spaces packed within a fairly modest footprint. The interiors are beautifully preserved with lots of wood and glass as well as a number of charming built-ins. It is a fairly early piece of Bay Region modernist design clearly by an accomplished hand

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38 Northampton, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Diana Yonkouski, Bay Area Properties

Our featured home today is a particularly showy Tudor revival residence on one of Berkeley’s many charming hillside streets. This particular example is quite spare in keeping with the prevailing tastes in the late 20s but even so, it still manages to include a great number of artistic embellishments including peaked doors and windows, leaded glass, a picturesque interior balcony, inglenook, and intriguingly complex roof lines. And on top of all that, a deck designed by Robert Ratcliff, mid-century heir to the Ratcliff architecture dynasty.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Period Revival, Robert Ratcliff, Tudor Revival | Leave a comment

861 Regal, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Colette Ford, Grubb

Today we feature a spare and beautiful mid-century residence designed by Donald Olsen. Olsen studied under Walter Gropius on the East Coast and was one of only a few local architects to embrace international style design rather than the home-grown Bay Region modernism that proliferated here in the 50s and 60s. This particular home is a fairly late example characterized by more complex massing and a move away from the simple glass box forms of his earliest residences, but Olsen’s trademark restraint and mastery of understatement is still evident.

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2237 Carleton, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing

Charles W Woodworth was the founder of the entomology department at UC Berkeley and is also credited as one of the developers of the outpost that would later become UC Davis. But Woodworth was not a man whose interests were limited to insects. He seems to have had a number of talents including apparently, home design.

The home that Woodworth designed for his family on Carleton Street is enormous and it is simply overflowing with high board and batten paneling, leaded glass, and numerous built-ins. It also has a great clinker brick chimney and a nice variety of period light fixtures. All in all, it may be the nicest entomologist-designed home we have ever seen.

Posted in Craftsman, First Bay Region Style | Leave a comment

1427 Grizzly Peak, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Melody Hultgren, Climb

This charming Berkeley Hills mid-century is simple in conception but nicely executed with plenty of compelling spaces and thoughtful details. No architect is given credit in the listing, but the home bears some striking similarities to known examples of Richard Fiedler’s work. If it is a Fiedler, it is an early one designed before he started working in Gerald McCue’s office which makes it particularly interesting and unusual.

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