2021 10th, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Cynthia Elliott, Bay Sotheby’s

This intriguing mission revival bungalow features an asymmetrical façade with an unusually angular parapet flanked by a pair of squat columns supporting the porch roof. Inside, the home is far more traditionally embellished with a nice assortment of built-ins, paneling, and leaded glass. There is even a fairly original period kitchen to boot.

Posted in Bungalow, Mission Revival | 1 Comment

1069 Sterling, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Carol Parkinson, Thornwall

Our featured home today is an early and rather understated Berkeley Hills mid-century which was the long-time home of respected SFSU ornithologist Robert Bowman and his family. Bowman was originally from Canada, but he spent his entire adult life in the Bay Area pursuing his love of birds. He was particularly admired for his dedication to the preservation of the Galapagos Islands, a project for which he received the Medal of Honor from Ecuador in 1964.

The Bowman home is fairly modest in scale, but the spaces are carefully arranged to take best advantage of the light and long views across the bay. It is a thoughtfully designed structure which is clearly the work of a talented designer whose early embrace of modernism would prove prescient a few years later.

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4420 Bridgeview, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Theresa Hope Broderick, Grubb

This showy Spanish colonial revival was designed by Guy Brown for Oakland lawyer and mountaineer Bestor Robinson. It was one of the very first homes built in the Oakmore neighborhood when it was first opened for development, making it a bit of a trailblazer in what would have otherwise been fairly empty rolling hills.

Robinson himself was a pioneering mountain climber as well, being among the first group of men to summit a number of peaks in California. He was a long time director of the Sierra club and served as president briefly after WWII. His home is a tribute to his love of the outdoors with a number of truly unexpected spaces that appear as though they were very personal expressions of his individual taste.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Guy Brown, Period Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival | Leave a comment

73 Tara, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Lum, Coldwell Banker

Today we feature another exceptionally well-preserved Orinda mid-century. This one was designed by the always impressive Roger Lee and is being sold by the original owner who had it built in 1958. It features a carefully considered assortment of interior and exterior spaces with enormous quantities of glass even by Lee standards. There have been a few modifications over the years, but so much original fabric remains that this home is definitely worth a visit while it is on the market for a glimpse at Lee’s immense talent.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Roger Lee | 1 Comment

139 Hillcrest, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Timothy Cannon, Marvin Gardens

Our featured home today is a fairly squat shingle style four square attributed to George Plowman. The home has had a number of modifications over the years but fortunately much of the original interior detailing is intact including plenty of period woodwork. Even the newer portions of the home are undertaken in a wooded Bay Region style, helping to tie the various disparate spaces together.

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1 Kittiwake, Orinda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Clark Thompson, Village Associates

This beautiful mid-century jewel box was designed by a Palo Alto architect named Donald Grier Hannum who is virtually unknown today. Hannum built a successful practice for himself after returning home from World War II, eventually opening an office with his high school classmate William Arthur Whifler. However Hannum passed away unexpectedly at the age of 33 the same year that this home was completed. Whifler would go on to a career of some renown, collaborating on the Burlingame City Hall and helping to found the architecture school at College of San Mateo.

It is difficult to predict what impact Hannum could have had if he had been given the opportunity to fulfill his promise over the course of a full career, but if this Orinda home is any indication, his early passing was quite a loss to the architectural community in the Bay Area.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Donald Grier Hannum, Mid-Century | 2 Comments

6069 Buena Vista, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Heidi Marchesotti, BHG Highland Partners

Today we feature a picturesque Spanish colonial revival that is part of a small pocket of homes that managed to survive the Oakland Hills fire in 1991. A great many homes burned along Buena Vista Avenue during that time, both up and down the street from this one, but the fire bypassed a tiny cluster around 6069, leaving a small window into the mix of structures that filled the hills before the conflagration. This one is an impressive period revival, with spacious interiors full of oversized beams and wrought iron – a welcome respite from the monoculture of 1990s homes that now surround it.

Posted in Period Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival | Leave a comment