Open House Obsession: Hidden Henry Hill in Berkeley


Where: 1129 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley
When: Sunday, May 25 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
How Much: Asking $899M, will probably sell for substantially more.
What: Built in 1947 and designed by Bay Area Modernist Henry Hill, this 2-bed, 2-bath house stretches the length of a long narrow lot above the fog line in the Berkeley Hills. Now somewhat overgrown– this was once open coastal meadow– the view of the bay is still there and the house retains its classic, light-handed Hill details.

With nothing visible from the street except the parking structure, the entry starts at this decorative screen and proceeds up to the side of the house:

Once inside, the living room’s curving concrete wall incorporates the fireplace hearth and seating and faces a patio (top) with bay views. Hill loved contrasts, and here he put together rough, exposed concrete, copper and the rythmic pattern of walnut paneling:
The plan extends to the master bedroom through a sitting/office area with a fireplace and access to another patio:
Althugh technically a Post & Beam house, Hill used pipe instead of wood to support the roof along the windows in the master bedroom, a subtle detail allowing a small room to feel much larger and open:

What We Love: The house is in almost original condition– in other words, not covered in white paint to brighten it up, no Tuscan kitchen or crown moldings. Below, the horizontally-slatted fence is another favorite Hill detail.

More: Check out the listing for more images.