1311 Clinton, Alameda

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Erik Schuler, Compass

Our featured home today is a beautiful Alameda Colonial revival designed by California architectural pioneer David Farquharson. Farquharson is probably best known today as the designer of South Hall, the oldest remaining building on the UC Berkeley campus, but his impact on the state’s early built landscape was immense. Starting in Sacramento in the 1850s and then moving to San Francisco shortly thereafter he was responsible for some of the most influential early buildings in Northern California. By the time he designed this particular home, he was 80 years old and had enjoyed a long and successful career but he was clearly still well versed in the latest styles of the day as well. It is no wonder that his influence was so great on the generations of architects that would follow in his footsteps – architects who would as a group create what we call today the Bay Region Style.

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106 Forest, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ernie Sexton, Sexton Group

Edificionado is pleased to have represented the buyers of the Torres-Rioseco house. There was no indication in the listing, but the home was originally designed for Poet and Berkeley professor of Latin American Languages, Arturo Torres-Rioseco and his wife Rosalie by influential local architect John Funk. Funk was a bit of a design celebrity at the time. One of the first homes that he designed after opening his own practice in 1938 was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York among works by Neutra, Wright, Gropius, Le Corbusier, Aalto, and Saarinen. Funk’s influence on our local Bay Region modernism is difficult to overstate. He was one of only a handful of Bay Area architects who were embracing modernist ideals before World War II and as a result his influence on the generation of architects that came out of Berkeley after the war was immense.

The Torres-Rioseco house is in many ways very typical of Funk’s best work with its simple plan and boxy visage. Also prominent are the trademark sunscreens that Funk managed to incorporate into many of his designs for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

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841 San Luis, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anne Culbertson, Compass

This modest mid-century jewel box was designed by prolific local architect Henry Hill fairly early in his long and productive career. It has seen a bit of modification over the years so that the colorful flash that Hill liked to incorporate into every home is not readily apparent today. Even so, Hill’s thoughtful organization of space and careful placement of glazing shines with each room oriented to best capture the views outside. It is a lovely example by one of the Bay Area’s most talented and versatile modernist designers.

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440 Camino Sobrante, Orinda

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This exquisite Orinda mid-century is a beautifully preserved design by local East Bay architect Roger Lee. The home has only been on the market once before and it looks as though it has remained essentially unchanged since it was new. Lee was known for his modest modernist homes and this one is a perfect example of his striking ability create stunning environments in relatively compact spaces. For a bit of context about how amazingly little the home has changed over the years, we have included a few photos that were taken when the home was originally published in 1956.

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14100 Skyline, Oakland

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This impressive Bay Region mid-century is another thoughtful design by the partnership of Lyman Jee and Jack Anderson. It was designed during the brief period when fellow Berkeley grad Wit Willer was part of the firm before he became principal architect for the UC Office of the President. The home is in need of a bit of love but it is full of great period fabric and could be quite exceptional with a little work. Most of Jee and Anderson’s homes are in and around El Cerrito where their first office was located so it is a treat to see one a bit farther afield in Oakland.

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1 Los Arboles, Richmond

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It’s a bit difficult to tell from the photos, but this massive mid-century estate in the hills above El Sobrante is clearly the work of a talented designer. No architect is credited in the listing, but the home was built for Richmond native and local serial entrepreneur Ralph Johnson and his wife Marie. It boasts generous public spaces surrounded by walls of glass and topped by a butterfly roof with an unusual high gable window. Set in the middle of almost 60 acres, the sizable residence feels exceptionally private while remaining only a short drive from the Bay Area urban centers.

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741 Santa Barbara, Berkeley

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Our featured home today is an intriguing shingled Tudor revival attributed to Roland Stringham. The home is very much in keeping with Stringham’s spare detailing and refined use of embellishment. The wood ceilings in the public spaces are a particularly nice touch that we don’t see in many Stringham homes.

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52 Glen Alpine, Piedmont

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The Jean Witter house is a palatial Tudor revival designed by Oakland architects Williams and Wastell for one of the original partners in the San Francisco stock brokerage Dean Witter. No expense was spared to replicate the lavish European residences that were the inspiration for this sizable home. There has been some updating over the years but thankfully much of the original grandeur remains.

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900 Regal, Berkeley

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The Warner Brown House is a fairly early William Wurster design executed the same year as the famed Gregory Farmhouse and only 4 years after he had returned to the Bay Area to open his own office. Though the level of finish in the Brown House is quite different than that in the Gregory commission, the same reductive inclination is very apparent in both these early works and already Wurster’s spare detailing and innate ability to create beauty out of simplicity is clearly present.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Second Bay Region Style, William Wurster | 2 Comments

6 Rosemont, Berkeley

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Norris Gaddis is perhaps best known today as the original designer of the Oakland Zoo, but he was also responsible for a number of truly inventive residences around the East Bay. Gaddis was educated at Iowa State and then taught for a number of years in Oregon before coming to the Bay Area, so his influences were a bit different than many of his local contemporaries, but he arrived here at a time of great community creativity and his contributions were notable. This particular home has not changed hands since it was built allowing it to remain virtually untouched and making it a great window into the architect’s original intent.

Posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Norris Gaddis | 1 Comment