Real Estate Report: Serene mid-century modern in Berkeley, $2.5M


The Basics: A three-bedroom, two-bath plus a powder room house in Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks neighborhood, built in 1959, plus a family room and two-car garage. On a sloping lot, the lower level’s legal apartment  contains a large one-bedroom, one-bath suite with a living area and separate kitchen. Asking $2.5M, it’s been on the market since last September.
Not So Basic: A classic mid-century house by architect Gerald McCue, arranged around an atrium and framing views out to San Francisco Bay, fully restored and expanded by its current owners. Unlike so many houses of this vintage on the market in the Bay Area, this one’s had mechanical and structural upgrades without compromising the design. Above, the view from the atrium through the living room. Also beautifully landscaped- note that huge coastal oak in front.
[Update, January 3, 2010: Turns out the house is much less Gerald McCue than we thought. It’s been completely reinvented by Joanne Koch of Koch Architects. It was once stucco, just for starters, and although the vaulted ceilings are original, almost the entire rest of the house in not. Below, a view of the atrium when the current owners bought it; compare it to its current incarnation a few images down. McCue visited the house late last year and praised both its evocation of the time and the seamless quality of the renovation. We couldn’t agree more.]

Above, the atrium and entry hall. Below, another beautifully detailed hallway along the atrium, and the living room with its vaulted, rough-sawn fir ceiling and sliding panels; the dining room and kitchen are just beyond.

Above, Joanne Koch re-imagined the master bedroom, which also has a fireplace and looks out to the bay. Lots more images at the realtor’s dedicated site. Architect Gerald McCue was another product of Berkeley’s architecture school and a protege of William Wurster. He designed a few homes like this in the Bay Area and then went on to a nationally successful design practice with clients like IBM and Chevron, along with designing Berkeley’s Cyclotron.

Listing: 89 Southampton Avenue, Berkeley [Redfin]

Sponsored by