Open House Obsession: Sophisticated Redwood Modernism in Kensington

Where: 250 Stanford Avenue, Kensington
When: Sunday, March 23 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
What: Built in 1955, this impeccable 2-bed, 1.5-bath house– a series of indoor and outdoor spaces arranged on a down-sloping lot with incredible views of Marin County and the North Bay– was designed with a sure hand by an unknown architect. On the market two days and asking $749K. We think it's the work of architect Henry Hill. From the street, all you see is a carport and a hedge, with stairs leading down to the main entry:

While Hill designed almost five hundred houses in the Bay Area when redwood and fir were the woods of choice, it could be by any number of architects working at the time, including William Turnbull. The two bedrooms are on the upper level and the foyer is a mezzanine (top) open to the living room below.

Doors to the right of the fireplace lead to the garden below, while the two grids of glass and redwood provide light and shadow as the day progresses. The black marble fireplace– part firepit, part altar, with its shed-like hood– is unique, but typical of the quirky fireplace details Hill insisted on:

A long run of windows opens the living and dining rooms and the renovated kitchen to the view– outside, the vintage railing has been replaced with glass:

Downside: None? Aside from a lot of stairs and only one full bath, it's a lovely work of Bay Area architecture that has no unsympathetic remodeling to remove. Plus we love the garden.

Click on the listing link for more images.

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