Aside from its Eichler tract in the hills, Castro Valley is not rife with good mid-century modern residences. It is full of a nice variety of period ranch homes, but modernist homes are relatively uncommon. That is why it is a pleasant surprise to stumble on the two pairs of very modern looking homes on California Street. The homes all have essentially the same floor plan, but the facades are varied slightly by use of a full gable roof or half gable half flat roof. The home that is on the market right now is of the latter variety and the asymmetrical half gable presents a very modern visage indeed to the street. These homes may have just been the “modern” models built by the developer of this housing tract, but even today they stand out from the rest of the block and much of Castro Valley as an interesting alternative.
The current listing, though relatively modest, is quite nicely designed. The exterior is a combination of lap siding and stucco, with the lap siding from the street elevation progressing out past the corner to form a front fence that appears to be a continuation of the house. Inside, the public rooms feel quite expansive. The wall opposite the front door is all glass and opens onto the side yard. The exposed ceiling structure is open throughout the whole space with divisions between rooms provided by partial-height walls. The living room is balanced by a large brick fireplace on one side, and a wall of walnut paneling on the other – all in all a nice modern tract home.