How Quirky is Berkeley? In praise of bungalow courts

1115 Addison
1115 Addison St. Photo: John Storey

Bungalow courts are undeniably, incontrovertibly, inexorably, and intrinsically quirky.

The 1100 block of Addison, between San Pablo and Byron, is rich – filthy rich – with bungalow courts.

1117 Addison St. Photo: John Storey
1118 Addison
1118 Addison St. Photo: John Storey
1135 Addison
1135 Addison St. Photo: John Storey

From the backyard of San Pablo Avenue up to almost the hills, on Virginia between Euclid and Scenic is this gem.

2444 Virginia
2444 Virginia St. Photo: John Storey

Good one!


This next one, on Tenth Street, is a bit severe, a bit stark.

1731 10th
1731 Tenth Street. Photo: John Storey

Maybe its the battleship gray paint. Or the concrete. Still, though, it rocks the bungalow vibe, no? Just north of a feral cat colony of some renown.

A Quirky Berkeley reader spotted this next bungalow court on the way to dinner, they said, driving up Dwight between Fulton and Telegraph.

2226-2228 Dwight
2226-2228 Dwight Way. Photo: John Storey

It is not a quiet and peaceful location, but there is a definite serenity otherwise lacking on the block.

Here’s a really big one:

California and Berkeley Way
California Street and Berkeley Way. Photo: John Storey
California and Berkeley Way
California Street and Berkeley Way. Photo: John Storey

It wraps around the corner of California Street and Berkeley Way. The addresses are 1540-1544 Berkeley Way and 1924-1940 California. Looking at the units from along the street leaves you without a great sense of this being a bungalow court. When you peek into the courtyard though, you see the beauty. The units aren’t detached, making it not technically a bungalow court.  But – close enough for me!

And, a sweet bucolic one on Lincoln above Sacramento.

1707 Lincoln
1707 Lincoln St. Photo: John Storey

Just west of the North Berkeley BART station is this court:

1757-1775 Franklin
1757-1775 Franklin St. Photo: John Storey

The final two in this batch are special — they have names. And signs with the names on them.  How perfect!

First, on Dwight:

1114-1116 Dwight
1114-1116 Dwight Way. Photo: John Storey

Sweet!  Love the brugmansia, aka Angel’s Trumpet. Night-scented.

A second named court:

2116 Oregon
2116 Oregon Street. Photo: John Storey

What a sign!!!  What a perfect name!

2116 Oregon
2116 Oregon St. Photo: John Storey

There are more courtyards, I am sure. More good ones. I’ll keep my eyes open and if you know of one you think I should check out, write me. The courts here have strikingly different characters. I’m in favor of a project to document and celebrate all our bungalow courts — as long as I don’t have to do it. They are a great meeting between affordable housing (hate the term!) and character with beauty.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,000 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-plus-year resident muses on what it all means.

For a fuller version of this post with more photos, see Quirky Berkeley, and also see an earlier post about bungalow courts there.