May Packed with Home Tours

Open houses for May 5, 6, 12, 19 feature modern design in every corner of the Bay
Fridays on the Homefront
Many beautiful homes will open their doors for four Northern California home
tours for the month of May, with each tour featuring a number of modern designs. The first up is the 'AIA Silicon Valley Home Tour' in the South Bay this Saturday May 5. The home above, 'Pam & Paul's House,' a design by Craig Steely Architect, leads the modern way for that tour. Photo: Darren Bradley
Fridays on the Homefront
'Slot House,' a design by Feldman Architecture, part of the AIA Silicon Valley May 5 tour. Photo: courtesy AIA Silicon Valley
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Two mid-century homes that will be open for Sunday May 6's Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association tour: design by Roger Lee (top), design by Mario Corbett (above). Photos: courtesy Berkeley Architectural Heritage

It's spring, and a modernist's fancy turns to thoughts of home tours—at least it should.

A veritable bouquet of gorgeous homes will be viewable in four Bay Area home tours this merry month of May, with each tour featuring a number of modern designs.

For this Saturday May 5, it's the 'AIA Silicon Valley Home Tour' (in the South Bay); for Sunday May 6, it's 'Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association's House Tour' (in the East Bay); for Saturday May 12, it's the 'Sea Ranch Soroptimist Architectural Tour and Wine Tasting 2018' (in Sonoma and Mendocino counties); and of course, for Saturday May 19, it's the long-awaited 'Marin Eichler Home Tour 2018' (in San Rafael). Here's the lowdown on each.

Bay Area fans of mid-century modern will have a tough choice to make this weekend: shall we venture to the South Bay or the East Bay? Or perhaps to both?

Tickets for the fourth annual AIA Silicon Valley Home Tour this Saturday May 5 cost $59 for members and $75 for non-members.

"Our big selling point is you get to walk through these homes…[and] you get to speak to the architect and suppliers of some of the work or materials," promises Chris Burnham, executive assistant at the Silicon Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). "That doesn't happen very often."

Burnham promises that all four homes on the AIA tour will have the architect, a docent, and at least one member of the builder team on site. All four were built in this decade, with three in the modern style and one a three-story, East Coast Colonial design. In addition, ticket holders are invited to a mixer with the architects the night before in Santa Clara.

Meanwhile, across the Bay in Berkeley. "It's more than we've ever had on our tours," Anthony Bruce, longtime executive director of Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, said of the five modern homes on the group's Sunday May 6 tour. The ticket is a bargain at $45 for 12 homes.

Pressed on about which homes he likes best, Bruce said he admires the two "mega-mansions from the '30s" but added, "The mid-century houses, I think, are pretty incredible."

For mid-century modern fans, the Berkeley tour will include homes by Roger Lee, Mario Corbett, Frederick Reimers, Ian McKinlay, and Michael Goodman.