2573 Buena Vista, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Lisa Shaffer, Better Homes & Gardens

Our featured home today is a picturesque storybook residence designed by William Garren for his own family. It is one of only two structures in Berkeley that Garren designed on his own, having spent most of his career in a highly productive partnership with Irving Morrow, and as such it provides a rare glimpse of his decidedly individual style. Garren had a flair for the theatrical and a love of the cinema that informed much of his work. Not only did he design a number of Bay Area movie theaters over the years, but through a twist of fate, he became the long time proprietor of the Albany Theater himself. His home is a tribute to this passion with both grand spaces and intimate corners to explore – each space a carefully crafted cinematic vista.

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3960 Cowan, Lafayette

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Lee Ann O’Brien, J Rockcliff

This showy Lafayette mid-century is packed full of original detail. There is no indication of who designed it in the listing, but it looks a bit like the work of Frederick Dyer-Bennett who was fond of the varied roof slopes and large cantilevers that characterize this home. Inside, it boasts generous spaces full of wood paneling and plenty of great period flavor.

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31 La Salle, Piedmont

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anian Tunney, Grubb

Today we have an impressive Piedmont Mediterranean revival to share. The home has an imposing presence on the street with its loose symmetry and variety of highly ornate exterior embellishments. Inside, the spaces are substantial and filled with arches and wrought iron. No attribution is provided, but the home is obviously the work of a very capable designer. One who was not only familiar with the basic vernacular of the period revival, but who was also able to push those details in novel ways to create a home that is that rare successful combination of reminiscence and individual expression.

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132 Camino Sobrante, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Laura Abrams, Coldwell Banker

Our featured home today is a handsome mid-century designed by local Orinda architect Robert Klemmedson. Klemmedson was a fairly flexible designer who moderated his modernist sensibilities to suit the needs of his clients. This substantial example is nicely appointed and boasts grand spaces but with a fairly reserved aesthetic. Nonetheless, Klemmedson’s creative detailing shines through in showy elements like the suspended stairway and lit soffits.

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1309 Arch, Berkeley

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

Today we feature an intriguing First Bay Region home designed by Paul Needham. It boasts an unusual combination of plaster with half timbering and shingles at the exterior and even more surprises inside. Needham is not particularly well known today, but he was a member of the influential Hillside Club in Berkeley along with Maybeck and Keeler and the others. He was nearly kicked out of the group at one point because he was erecting temporary houses in the hills to allow poor people to live in nicer environs. It was a fairly progressive idea at the time that was not appreciated by the other members.

Needham’s homes were never typical craftsman affairs and this one is no exception. The detailing inside is highly creative with a combination of box beams and board and batten on the ceilings. It is a great example from one of our lesser known Bay Region designers.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Craftsman, First Bay Region Style, Paul Needham, Swiss Chalet | Leave a comment

365 San Carlos, Piedmont

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anian Tunney, Grubb

This Piedmont period revival is a bit difficult to place in any one category due to its hybrid detailing, but it is probably best characterized as Mediterranean with a hint of Tudor. The roof feels rather Tudor, but the Palladian windows and arched openings are quite Mediterranean. Inside, the woodwork is spare but well executed and the rooms are both generous and nicely arranged.

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2758 Piedmont, Berkeley

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

Last month we featured a lovely Leola Hall shingle style at the corner of Piedmont and Stuart in Berkeley. That home has since sold, but rather surprisingly another Leola Hall house right across the street is on the market today. This one was in pretty rough shape a few years ago, but it appears to be all fixed up now and ready for a new owner. So if you missed your opportunity before, the new year brings with it a rare second chance.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Craftsman, Leola Hall, Shingle | Leave a comment