5427 Hillside, El Cerrito

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of William Fletcher, Red Oak

Today we feature a charming El Cerrito Norman revival. Instead of the traditional turret at the front door this particular example features just a small gable to indicate the point of entrance. Inside, it is fairly understated as well with just a smattering of woodwork but an unusually ornate crown molding.

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955 Grosvenor, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Sandra Vogl, Grubb

This lovely Crocker Highlands Spanish colonial revival has a rather unconventional exterior paint scheme, but inside the embellishment is much more traditional with plenty of wrought iron and tile and even some beautiful stenciled trusses in the living room. It’s a nice example of the type of period revival homes for which Crocker Highlands is best known.

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25 Zander, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Norla Torres-Turney, Coldwell Banker

Our featured home today is a carefully composed mid-century attributed to Harold Smith. Smith was a prolific builder known mostly for the many ranch houses he built across Moraga, but this modernist home just across the border in Orinda is a bit different. It appears to be a custom design with a pronounced creativity not found in Smith’s other homes. It is an unusually thoughtful contribution by one of the areas busiest builders at the time.

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6255 Castle, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Rick Richetta, Alain Pinel

This handsome Piedmont Pines mid-century occupies an interesting stylistic inflection point between the horizontal post and beam structures of the 1960s and the more rustic vertical homes of the 1970s. Its low slope glazed gable and interesting division of spaces using a combination of full and partial height partitions are particularly memorable; as are the carefully framed views of the distant vistas beyond.

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188 & 192 Crestview, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listings courtesy of Abby Tanem & Andi Brown, Coldwell Banker

Today we have a pair of neighboring Orinda mid-century homes to share. Both are compelling structures in their own right, but together they are a beautiful representation of the type of creative custom homebuilding that Orinda became known for in the middle of the last century. Architects from all over the Bay Area were drawn to the area to take advantage of the many possibilities afforded by the large wooded lots in close proximity to the urban centers. Richard Neutra and Charles Moore are represented; even Frank Lloyd Wright made his mark there, where the only home he designed for an East Bay site is still located today.

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1450 Hawthorne, Berkeley

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

Our featured home today is one of a pair of sprawling Tudor revivals designed by Henry Gutterson for the Sperry family on Hawthorne Terrace. They are a bit of a departure from Gutterson’s typical residences which tend to be very staid and symmetrical. These homes ramble a bit in true period revival fashion, but even so their composition still shows a good deal of Gutterson’s trademark balance. Interestingly, the home was reportedly partially remodeled in 1963 by respected mid-century architect Henry Hill, but clearly he used a fairly light touch as the home still appears far more period revival than modern.

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2631 San Jose, Alameda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listings courtesy of Karen Miller, Alain Pinel

This statuesque Queen Anne residence was designed and built by Joseph Leonard who was responsible for some of Alameda’s most impressive Victorian homes. Leonard built so many homes in the neighborhood that surrounded the train station at Chestnut and Encinal that the area became known as Leonardville. This home is a bit further East but it is in a remarkable state of preservation with loads of original detail both inside and out. It is a nice testament to Leonard’s immense talent, the impact of which is still felt today on both sides of the bay.

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