170 Tamalpais, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Julie Nachtwey, Compass

Louise Rigg was an interior designer by trade but she was also responsible for designing and building at least 13 homes in collaboration with local architects. Her trademark was a suspended stairway which was usually hung from the ceiling by cables but sometimes was only attached to a wall on one side with no other means of support. Her innate ability to create memorable spaces is apparent in all of her homes but this particular example is especially well preserved allowing a rare peek at her work as it was originally intended.

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3541 Dwight, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Mary Canavan, Grubb

Our featured home today is a lovely Bay Region mid-century designed by Robert Ratcliff. Robert was the eldest of Walter Ratcliff’s children and would eventually be heir to the Ratcliff architecture dynasty, but in the early 50s he was mostly tasked with designing houses while his father and longtime partner Scott Haymond took on the larger commissions. This was a great boon to local fans of domestic architecture as his immense talents were dedicated to many impressive homes throughout the hills of Berkeley and Oakland.

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4036 Happy Valley, Lafayette

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ashley Battersby, Village Associates

This sizable late mid-century residence is made up of a series of asymmetrically gabled pavilions connected by flat roofed corridors. The home is one of a number of thoughtful Lamorinda homes designed by local architect Ian Mackinlay. Mackinlay’s productive relationship with several local custom builders in the area during the 60s and 70s allowed him a great deal of freedom to experiment with novel forms and challenging sites. The results remain impressive today.

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1 Dead Horse Canyon

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Suzanne Geoffrion, Coldwell Banker

Today we feature an intriguing Third Bay Region residence that is reportedly the result of a collaboration between architect John Nicely and respected design-builder Tom Lowe. The home is made up of a number of levels that move down the slope of the hill in a way that will be loosely familiar to those that know Tom Lowe’s work; but the angularity and unusually interesting spaces are John Nicely. It is a lasting testament to the partnership of two talented East Bay locals.

Posted in Architect-Designed, John Nicely, Mid-Century, Third Bay Region Style, Tom Lowe | Leave a comment

2357 Le Conte, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Patrick Leaper, Red Oak

The McMurray house is one of Maybeck’s later homes, built after the great Berkeley fire of 1923 which had destroyed so much of the city. In the stucco walls and clay tile roof, one can see his renewed focus on the creation of a “fireproof” exterior for the house. Inside, however, the finishes are more reminiscent of his earlier work with large glazed openings, a massive hearth, and loads of exposed wood. This is the third Maybeck that has come on the market this summer, and it is by far the latest of the three, providing a good opportunity to see the progression of his of his work over time.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Bernard Maybeck, First Bay Region Style, Period Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival | Leave a comment

100 Oak View Terrace, Danville

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Clark Johnson, Compass

Danville has a rather unfortunate reputation for allowing the demolition of some its most notable modernist residences so it is heartening to see that this interesting Third Bay Region mid-century located just around the corner from Eugene O’Neill’s famous Tao House remains largely intact. The home is lavished with clear wood from floor to ceiling in the public rooms and two story walls of glass. Add to that the beautiful wooded setting and inviting pool and this home makes quite a tempting spot to shelter in place.

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100 Parnassus, Berkeley

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

Our featured home today is a photogenic post and beam mid-century designed by Roger Lee for Jean and Kenneth Hargrove. The Hargroves had five children, but most were adults by the time they commissioned Lee to design the compact residence that would prove the perfect vehicle to carry them through their empty nest years. The sizable performance space downstairs would be venue for many parties and impromptu concerts by Jean and other Bay Area musicians over the years and the home remains an impressive legacy to a family that contributed much to the performing arts in the East Bay.

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1401 Le Roy, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Norah Brower, Compass

This imposing and unusual shingle style residence was designed by John Galen Howard with assists from Stafford Jory and Julia Morgan. Howard never owned the house himself, but he did live in it for eight years after it was completed. Though he is probably best known for the enormous impact he had on the shape of the UC Berkeley campus, Howard was also responsible for a number immensely creative homes around the East Bay. This one is no doubt one of the most interesting because of its personal connection to Howard and because of the many important local designers that had a hand in it.

Posted in Architect-Designed, First Bay Region Style, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan, Shingle, Stafford Jory | Leave a comment

1325 Arch, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Helene Barkin, Grubb

Today we feature an exceptional Bernard Maybeck Swiss chalet that sits prominently on a hillside site on Arch Street. The home was built for Albert Schneider who was a Classics professor at Berkeley and it is perhaps the largest of Maybeck’s chalet style residences. Maybeck’s love of redwood and immensely creative use of traditional design motifs is readily apparent here. A number of modifications have been made to the home over the years, but overall, Maybeck’s original intent is still evident and intact.

The home is surrounded by gardens originally designed by John McLaren who was the highly esteemed superintendent of Golden Gate Park for over fifty years and is responsible for many of the most familiar features of the park including its windmills. They are a welcome companion and impressive compliment to this imposing home.

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8160 Phaeton, Oakland

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

Today we feature a beautiful atrium model Eichler home designed by Claude Oakland. It has somehow managed to retain almost all of its original unpainted surfaces of wood and brick allowing one to truly experience the texture and color of the home as it was originally intended – a rare treat indeed.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Claude Oakland, Eichler, Mid-Century | Leave a comment