739 Bay Tree, El Cerrito

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anne Politeo, Marvin Gardens

This beautiful post and beam mid-century is tucked away on a short street in the El Cerrito Hills. The home is clearly the work of a talented designer with carefully choreographed spaces and a variety of interesting textures – yet another of the many impressive modernist residences for which El Cerrito is best known.

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8648 Thors Bay, El Cerrito

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Moss, Marvin Gardens

Today we feature a fairly understated late Bay Region mid-century perched atop the El Cerrito Hills. The home boasts beautifully wooded interiors carefully arranged to capture long views across the bay. The living room is a particularly compelling space with an inviting hearth flanked by towering windows on two sides.

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175 Pershing, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Cathy Truelove, Alain Pinel

Our featured home today is a handsome Spanish colonial revival attributed to prolific local designers Miller & Warnecke. It is a rambling structure, lavishly appointed with hand-adzed beams, wrought iron, and plenty of colorful tile – everything one might hope for in a carefully composed period revival designed by one of the East Bay’s best.

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5380 Shafter, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Carla Buffington, Compass

This picturesque late Victorian was one of the very first homes built in the Shafter neighborhood when it was just farmland on the northernmost edge of Oakland. It was still two decades before the passenger train service would start rolling down Shafter Avenue and bringing with it the families to fill up all of the new bungalows being built there. Today, the home remains full of period detail. It is a nice reminder of a time when much of North Oakland was still fairly rural and quite different from what it is today.

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1272 Caroline, Alameda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of David Gunderman, Alain Pinel

George Whittell Sr. made the bulk of his fortune by investing in the Comstock Lode in Nevada and with it he hired Ernest Coxhead to design him one of the most extravagantly ornamented homes in Alameda. The style of the exterior has been muddied a bit by the addition of stucco in the intervening years, but inside all of the over the top detailing is still readily apparent and frankly jaw dropping. Coxhead was one of the first superstars of the Bay Area architecture scene and his influence cannot be overstated. His work along with that of Willis Polk formed the foundation on which the Bay Region Style was built and references to his designs would be seen in the work of those that followed him for years to come.

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150 Bret Harte, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Neal Ward, Compass

This impressive Berkeley Hills home was built in 1980, but it has all of the hallmarks of an earlier era. The home was conceived of by Donald Hoppen who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and friend of the first owner. It was to be built on a radial plan with a Wrightian aesthetic complete with plenty of wood and glass. Hoppen brought another of Wrights former students in to fully realize the plan. Daniel Liebermann was a local architect who had made a name for himself designing radial homes in the 60s and 70s and was therefore the perfect choice to flesh out the design.

Together Hoppen and Liebermann created a home that is very much in keeping with the ideas explored in Liebermann’s earlier homes. It relies heavily on recycled lumber, interesting angles, and wide open spaces to create a truly unique residential experience. It feels very much rooted in the ideals of mid-century Bay Region design despite having been built in the early 80s.

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157 Fairlawn, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Taylor Sublett, Keller Williams

This impressive Berkeley Hills mid-century is the first home that Gerald McCue designed for himself in the East Bay. He was only 27 when the home was built, but he was already an established architectural presence in the Bay Area with his own firm in San Francisco. He had also just begun his tenure as a lecturer at UC Berkeley the year prior, returning to teach at his alma mater only two years after finishing his master’s degree there.

The home displays a number of features that would become trademarks of McCue’s residential work including glazed gables and substantial wooden soffits. It appears to have survived largely intact and is a great testament to the precocious talent of a local architect whose outsized influence would ultimately serve to spread the ideas of Bay Region design to the East Coast and beyond.

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