Open House Report/Berkeley Edition: Head to the hills for vintage Tudor houses


Berkeley development really took off in the era between the two World Wars in a variety of European styles. Here are three properties open this Sunday with a well-crafted Tudor look.

1836 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks/North Berkeley. $1.295M
There may not actually be a one thousand oaks in this neighborhood, but there’s at least that many houses in the stylistically-diverse area developed between the wars, a hotbed of historical styles plus some Mid-Century Modern thrown in later. Built in 1936 and very much what you see along the area’s winding streets, this 4-bed. 3.5-bath half-timbered, stucco and brick Tudor looks solid and substantial. We like that the kitchen doesn’t need to be redone— although the baths might— and loving the shady brick patio and its old-school stone fireplace. Open Sunday, July 8 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Sonoma Avenue, Berkeley, $819K
Probably more “Norman” in style— based on the stucco houses of Normandy and a popular style after WWI— this 3-bed, 1.5-bath house built in 1925 also comes with what the realtor calls a “Japanese environment.” We’re not sure heat that means, exactly, but in the back yard is an open-framed, skylit redwood pavilion with shoji-like walls that looks like it could have been a luxe potter’s shed but now holds a hot tub. A Berkeley spa? The house’s interiors are simple, although there’s a spectacular fireplace in the living room. The kitchen could use some updating, and we’re not sure where an second bath would go. Open Sunday, July 8 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

486 Michigan Avenue. North Berkeley, $1.55M
Built in 1928, this Tudor/Norman mashup looks like it could use a thatched roof. It does have a high-ceilinged living room with tongue-and-groove elm planks that end in a very sharp peak, overlooked by the the stairs to the second floor. We’re not wild about the kitchen, but it’s bright, recent and well-laid out, plus the lower level has been beautifully finished by a previous architect-owner. Overall, very nice details with neutral (and reversible) decor. Open Sunday, July 8 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

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