Open House Report, SF: Sunday, Head Out to Kensington and Have a Look at this 1953 Classic


Like last week, this weekend’s most interesting open house in the Bay Area— in terms of design and price— is this classic Mid-Century Modern in Kensington (just north of Berkeley.) It’s had a crisp rehab by Bee Renovated and is ready to move into.

315 Vassar Avenue, Kensington, $1.185M
While it’s not certain who the architect was, it was built for the Etchevarry family in 1953. Bernard Etcheverry was the head of UC Berkeley’s Engineering School— Berkeley’s progressive design community was close-knit and the house was probable designed by someone connected to UC, like Beverley David Thorne. There’s some speculation the house was designed by Thorne early in his career, before he moved away from wood post-and-beam structures and towards steel. It also reminds us of this house by LA Modernist Gregory Ain built a few years earlier and extensively published. Although you don’t notice them immediately, the subtly tapering beams became one of Thorne’s trademarks and give any view more perspective.

Whoever designed it, the Etchevarrys lived there until their deaths. Enter Sean Gaston and Jim Jewell, the partners in Bee Renovated who bought the house and brought it back to life in a sensitive but up-to-date reinvention. Or as they say in LA, “rescripted.” With a “West Elm Meets Julius Shulman” esthetic, it’s Bee Renovated’s 17th project.

On two levels the 5-bed, 3-bed, 2-half-bath house includes a legal 1-bedroom apartment that functions equally well as a casual entertaining space. Check out Ruth Frasseto’s outstanding slide show for the property for more images. Open Sunday, April 1 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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