Tag Archives: Bernard Maybeck

Berkeley home with personality, built for famed geologist

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Idiosyncratic and lovely. Both words describe the recently listed home at 1555 La Vereda Road in North Berkeley.

The three-bedroom house with separate cottage, which is priced at $1,095,000, was built for — and in part by — the renowned geologist Andrew Cowper Lawson in the 1930s.

Lawson was a traveler, art collector and enthusiastic builder. He had already had one distinctive home designed for him when he decided to have his next one built right behind it. Bernard Maybeck created the now landmarked “Pompeian villa” on La Loma Avenue for Lawson in 1907. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s brown shingles: The original party houses

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“Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles,” (Rizzoli, 2013), is a new book by Bay Area architects Lucia Howard and David Weingarten, with photographs by David Duncan Livingston. The book showcases 20 Bay Area homes that epitomize the classic brown shingle style and, despite its title, 12 of those homes are in Berkeley.

On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m., Howard will host an illustrated lecture on Berkeley’s brown shingle homes at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall at 2537 Haste St., in collaboration with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.  

Berkeleyside caught up with Lucia Howard to ask her about the book and the beautiful homes it features.

A good number of the homes you feature in your book are in Berkeley. What was it about Berkeley that led to so many brown shingles being built here?
Berkeley was the epicenter of brown shingle architecture. The town’s vibrant mix of professors, writers, artists and free-thinkers drawn together around the University, many of whom pursued what Charles Keeler termed “The Artistic Life,” provided ideal clients for these houses. Built before the silver screen came along to define entertainment, brown shingles were a species of “party house,” designed for people to gather for performances, readings, worship, and events of many sorts. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Faculty Club. Photo: Daniella Thompson
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CYPRESS TREE STUDIOS OPEN HOUSE  Spend an afternoon at Cypress Tree Studios this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The studio’s open house will include artwork by Sarah Winkler, Bob Bechtol, Pat Sonnino, Patricia Bruning, Thomas Richardson, and more, as well as live music from GIO, Gary Garrett and KOCH starting at 4 p.m. Food will be provided by Elite Eats Hot Dogs. More info at the event’s Facebook page. Cypress Tree Studios, 1450 Fourth Street.

RISK EXHIBITION AT THE BERKELEY ART CENTER  The Berkeley Art Center’s annual juried exhibition will open to the public this Saturday, June 29. Apsara DiQuinzio of the Berkeley Art Museum and Kimberly Johansson of the Johansson Project have selected 34 artists from a pool of nearly 250 applicants. Their work, all of which centers around the idea of risk – creating it, examining it, or even being made under circumstances of it – will be shown at the Berkeley Art Center. The exhibit runs from June 29 to August 24 at the Berkeley Art Center at 1275 Walnut St. For details, visit the Berkeley Art Center’s website.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Built: Bernard Maybeck’s Senger House

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Berkeley Built is an occasional series in which Berkeley’s David Stark Wilson of WA Design takes a look at a notable Berkeley structure or building. 

I’ve always been a fan of Maybeck’s work and this building is no exception. These images show the interior and exterior street entrance of a home Maybeck designed for J.H. Senger, a professor of German language at UC Berkeley.

The exterior of the home is a mixture of brown shingle and the medieval half-timbering seen in these images. Maybeck is remarkably playful in his use of different window motifs all tightly composed in this one façade. The original bright blue of the front door and the stenciling further demonstrate Maybeck’s often whimsical approach. … Continue reading »

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Landmark Bernard Maybeck home for sale in Berkeley

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Chances to buy — or at a minimum see inside — a Bernard Maybeck designed home in Berkeley come along rarely. The Kennedy-Nixon house at 1537 Euclid Avenue in north Berkeley has just gone on the market.

The landmarked home, which was built in 1914 (and quickly rebuilt in 1923 after it burned down in the devastating Berkeley fire of that year), is priced at $1,995,000. The home has had only three owners since it was built, and it has stories to tell.

The Nixon family built it as a live-in studio for their daughter’s piano teacher, Alma Kennedy. It was designed to include a recital hall, a waiting area for students’ parents, a reception room with a small kitchen and an upstairs sleeping quarters. The recital hall, with its cathedral windows and clear-heart unfinished redwood paneling, is particularly arresting. … Continue reading »

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Maybeck School celebrates namesake’s 150th birthday

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More than 200 current students, faculty, staff, parents and alums gathered at Maybeck High School on College Avenue Wednesday to celebrate what would have been the 150th birthday of architect Bernard Maybeck who left an indelible mark on the architecture of Berkeley and the Bay Area.

Stan Cardinet, one of Maybeck High School’s founding teachers, delivered a lecture about Maybeck’s life as an artisan, architect and artist.

A selection of Bernard Maybeck’s original drawings were also hand to view, thanks to the generosity of art … Continue reading »

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Pianist Dick Whittington back in Berkeley, his kinda’ town

Dick Whittington. Photo courtesy of Berkeley Jazzschool
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If Berkeley had a hall of fame for musicians, pianist Dick Whittington would be inducted as part of the inaugural class. As an educator, presenter, and ebulliently swinging player, he left an indelible mark on the city’s jazz before decamping for the Monterey Peninsula in the mid-1990s.

In an all-too-rare return to Berkeley, he performs Saturday at the Jazzschool with his trio featuring bassist Robb Fisher, drummer Vince Lateano and special guest Andrew Speight on alto saxophone.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Whittington made his first major contribution to the Bay Area scene in the late 1960s when he and trumpeter Phil Hardymon helped found the Berkeley public school system’s innovative music program. By the time he retired in 1991, he had helped initiate several generations of musical visionaries into the art of improvisation, including Peter Apfelbaum, Rodney Franklin, Steven Bernstein, Jessica Jones, Joshua Redman and Benny Green. … Continue reading »

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The Hanging Gardens of Berkeley

Gardens and architecture are uniquely intertwined in our wonderful little hamlet of Berkeley.
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By Robert Trachtenberg

I have spent the last month observing and waiting to see what is blooming in Berkeley as we slowly come out of a long, cold winter. Berkeley the Garden City is an incredible place to live, especially if you have a passion for gardens and architecture. In my recent search for plants that are beautiful and distinct, a consistent theme began to emerge. From one end of Berkeley to the other there was an explosion of wisteria blossoming profusely everywhere. I am most captivated by this flowering vine when it is intertwined with history and, in particular, buildings designed by Berkeley architects like Bernard Maybeck.

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Storied Pelican Building is considered for landmark status

Pelican Building
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The Pelican Building, situated on the UC Berkeley campus on Eshelman Road, was designed by architect Joseph Esherick, who taught at UC Berkeley for 40 years, designed Wurster Hall, co-founded Cal’s College of Environmental Design with William Wurster and Vernon DeMars, and was one of the founding designers of Sea Ranch on the Sonoma-Mendocino coast. But the design story of this pretty pavilion-style structure goes even deeper than that.

Venerable Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck originally received the commission to design the building. In his nineties at the time, he passed the task along to Esherick who expressed his gratitude by blending some signature Maybeck touches with his own, more modernist ideas, into its design. That is why the building might bring to mind one of Maybeck’s most well-known creations, Berkeley’s First Church of Christ Scientist — and why the Pelican Building has been described  as “a unique overlap of First and Third Bay Traditions”.

The client for the building is another big name in California history — Earle C. Anthony (1880-1961), whose wide range of interests included cars — he was California’s distributor of Packards and built three impressive showrooms, one of which, designed by Maybeck, still survives, on Van Ness in San Francisco — radio and television, journalism, song- and play-writing and promotion of the arts.

While an engineering student at UC Berkeley in 1903, Anthony founded the college humor magazine The California Pelican. More than 50 years later he would finance the creation of a building dedicated to the magazine — hence its name, and the pelican sculpture at its entrance. Today the building is known as Anthony Hall, or the Graduate Assembly.

Robert Johnson and Berkeley architect Gary Parsons have prepared the report supporting the application to Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. … Continue reading »

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Real estate

Landmark north Berkeley property up for sale

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Anyone wanting to get their hands on an architecturally distinctive property in Berkeley — and with $3,680,000 in their pockets — is in luck with the recent arrival on the market of this multi-unit complex on Codornices Road.

Designed by Henry Gutterson in 1924, the nine units are across the way from Bernard Maybeck’s Rose Walk. Four two-story duplexes face a garden. A separate cottage with a large deck faces Codornices Road near Rose Garden. Together they were designed as … Continue reading »

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