East Bay / Architecture

 
Taves House by Donald Olsen in El Cerrito, 1957

House by Don Hardison in El Cerrito

 
The same house from a different side.

House by Mario Corbett, Kensington, 1946


Kip House by Donald Olsen, Berkeley, 1952
This one recently sold for just over $1M. Architect Olsen's own house is right next door.

Olsen House by Donald Olsen in Berkeley, 1954
He still lives here.



Atwell Residence by Richard Neutra in El Cerrito, 1948
Some work is being done on the house. I hope they aren't butchering it.


Photo: California Book of Homes

Photo: California Book of Homes

As seen in the above photo, the lower house wasn't originally part of the site. 
The Neutra house was in rough shape and sat on the market for quite a while. It eventually sold and 
the huge house underneath was built.  

Photo: California Book of Homes

Hahn house by Beverley "David" Thorne, El Cerrito, 1963

This is house is just incredible. It spans a stream and includes a cutout in the stairwell for a tree.  It looks like 
it's still in good shape. The current owners have made some decorating decisions that don't exactly showcase the house,
so I'm not posting any current photos. You can see for yourself here -- and rent it out if you want.  It actually
looks worse now than it does in the photos. It's actually not that bad. I'm just a picky jerk sometimes.

Thorne is one the best architects most people have never heard of. His houses were built with steel and he also has a 
Case Study House under his belt, #26.   Based on that, he's seen by some as the Bay Area's Pierre Koenig.  

The reason he isn't more well known was on purpose.  In an interview in NorCalMod, the Thorne 
explains that after getting too much press for the house he designed for jazz man 
Dave Brubek (seen below), he made an explicit effort to get out of the limelight. 

Photo: NorCalMod: Icons of Northern California Modernism (BTW- You need this book!)

Brubeck House by Beverley "David" Thorne, Oakland, 1954

Thorne said the success of the house actually hurt his architecture business.  He believed he was seen as the guy who designed 
houses for famous people on difficult sites and therefore clients were afraid of what it might cost to hire him. This, along with 
a fear of what becoming a famous architect might do to his children, caused Thorne to "shut it down".  He stopped 
taking on new clients and focused on remodel jobs. Just imagine all the great buildings that never happened. 


House by Beverley "David" Thorne, El Cerrito, 1955

I'd like to thank Maz from Post War Pop for showing me around his neighborhood and giving me a lesson on some great Bay Area architects. 

His house, seen here, was designed by J.A. Riddell of Riddell & Papadakis. The firm was one of many that set up offices 
in the Richmond area post-war to design homes for men and women who relocated to the area after working in 
the shipyards and oil refineries during the war. In fact, Maz's house was built for an engineer in the oil industry.

 
 Maz not only knows where all the good houses are, his knowledge on design in general runs deep. 
The Mel Bogart andirons/grate in his fireplace proves that.

It doesn't stop there. Here's his living room, with a VKG coffee table and floor candelabra. It's hard to see in the photo
but there's also a George Nelson weather vane sitting on that Saarinen side table.  That's as rare as it gets.  It goes on and on.