Open House Report, Berkeley: Three Classics, Just Not Covered in Brown Shingles


Berkeley was long a testing ground for new ideas in residential design, receptive to the Arts & Crafts movement and full of Shingle-Style houses both by anonymous builders and well-known architects, and later, the Progressive community that UC Berkeley attracted wanted the modest, modern houses that reflected their ways of thinking and living. People in Berkeley are both proud and knowledgeable about their architectural heritage— if it’s a nice day, expect crowds.

1311 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley Hills, $985K (pictured above)
The youngest of the trio, this multi-level Mid-Century, 4-bed, 4.5-bath house is perched above the road, giving it wide-open views of San Francisco and the Bay. Downstairs, there’s a family room with a kitchen, plus a paneled study. Regrettably, the downstairs rooms have dropped acoustic ceilings— but look like they’re in good shape. And besides, it was built in 1959. The house retains it’s original (and brilliant) modular kitchen, cork floors, and what look like Japanese rake tiles around the fireplace. Open Sunday, Apr 22 from 2:00PM to 4:30PM

10 Claremont Crescent, Berkeley, $900K
On the market about a week, this c.1923 stucco cottage looks a bit bland, but ready for the some perking up. In a very walkable neighborhood, the 4-bed, 2-bath house has great proportions and we like how the windows are scaled. Worth a look, but it seems expensive, considering the depressing kitchen, and we’re always a little wary when there are no pictures of the bathrooms. Open Sunday, Apr 22 from 2:00PM to 4:30PM

76 Codornices Road, Berkeley, $795K
The kind of house that only seems to exist in Berkeley— on a quiet narrow lane, with an architectural pedigree (by Arts & Crafts architect Ernest Coxhead) and in a neighborhood full of hard-fought, well-preserved architecture. Close by are houses by William Wurster, Richard Neutra and others, along with Bernard Maybeck’s famous Rose Walk. Inside, the house does seem to have been hosed down with white paint, but Coxhead’s trademark grey-washed beams and woodwork have survived, along with an austere white-tiled but updated kitchen. The c.1930, 3-bed, 2-bath stucco cottage has a large yard and no facing neighbors. Unless there’s a lot wrong with it, this should sell for over the asking price— and expect a crowded open house. Open Sunday, Apr 22 from 2:00PM to 4:30PM 

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