40 Mariposa, Orinda

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Olof Dahlstrand spent most of his career in Carmel so the bulk of his work is found there, but there are seven of his homes that remain in the Bay Area. They represent a brief period at the start of his solo practice when he was forming the basis of his design vocabulary with inspiration from both Frank Lloyd Wright and the Langhorsts with whom he was employed for a number of years.

The home we feature today was originally built for Shell Oil researcher Bill Thurston and it is a beautifully preserved example full of soffits and glass as well as plenty of exposed wood and masonry. It is a tribute to Dahlstrand’s immense talent that this early work already displays the mature eye for massing and detail that often takes many years to fully develop.

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1112 Union, Alameda

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Today we feature a lovely Alameda bungalow. The home has a great shingled double gable supported on large brackets facing the street. Inside there are built-ins, divided lights and multiple fireplaces. Of particular note are the battered and pedimented casework around the doors and windows – very unusual.

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1418 Bonita, Berkeley

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This picturesque late Victorian is attributed to Ira Boynton who was responsible for some of Berkeley’s showiest early homes. This particular example has seen a bit of modification over the years but the public rooms are beautifully preserved and full of great original detail. Boynton, like many of his contemporaries, was a builder first with little formal design training. But his homes nevertheless show a mature understanding of the styles of the day and an innate ability to use them creatively to his own ends.

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1433 Sandpiper Spit, Richmond

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Our featured home today is a charming neo-industrial postmodern residence designed by Max Jacobson. Jacobson is a longtime fixture in the East Bay architectural community, working at Berkeley for many years beginning in the 70s and collaborating with Christopher Alexander and others on the still influential book A Pattern Language. Today JSWD Architects, the firm he founded with Berkeley colleague Murray Silverstein is still producing interesting work more than 40 years after its inception.

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6 Nogales, Berkeley

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Today we feature a lovely shingle style bungalow designed by Walter Ratcliff. The bungalow was not a form that Ratcliff favored, preferring instead creative amalgamations of period revival styles, so this home is a bit unique. It is a rare exception in Ratcliff’s substantial catalog of work and is clear indication of his great flexibility and unusual facility with a wide variety of architectural styles. Not surprisingly perhaps, the home has been enlarged somewhat in recent years from its original two bedroom form, but some attempts have been made to match the new to the old which is a challenging and undeniably admirable undertaking.

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6351 Longcroft, Oakland

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Today we feature an unusual modified steel A-Frame designed by N Kent Linn. Linn’s homes were often angular and experimental and this one is no exception. At its core it is an A-Frame but the large dormers on the sides open the interiors so much that it is barely recognizable as such. It is an exceptionally creative take on a form that has become a ubiquitous symbol of mid-century design.

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5661 Estates, Oakland

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This handsome mid-century is a study in economy with a series of surprisingly generous spaces packed within a fairly modest footprint. The interiors are beautifully preserved with lots of wood and glass as well as a number of charming built-ins. It is a fairly early piece of Bay Region modernist design clearly by an accomplished hand

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