One Compound, Two Homes

North Berkeley listing boasts mid-century modern design plus a host of possibilities
Fridays on the Homefront
One of the most idyllic mid-century modern properties in the East Bay is now on the market, comprised of two complete homes, including this one above, with gorgeous grounds on an acre that borders Tilden Park in northernmost Berkeley. Photos courtesy The Grubb Co.

One of the most idyllic mid-century modern properties in the entire East Bay hit the market recently, with gorgeous grounds and almost endless possibilities for would-be buyers.

"I live in North Berkeley, and I don't know of any other property like it," says Bebe McRae, listing agent of 636 Wildcat Canyon Road for the Grubb Co. Realtors. One look at the sumptuous home makes you realize that, for once, this is not mere sales hype.

Listed at $3.9 million, the property is two complete homes on just short of an acre at the border of Tilden Park in northernmost Berkeley.

Fridays on the Homefront
The full compound, with the primary residence at the top, followed by the garage, and then the smaller home.

"It is [actually] two lots and could have been sold separately," said McRae, representing the listing with partner Alexis Thompson. A key attraction of the property, she said, is "not just the size of the lots but the utility and the access" of the main house and guesthouse to the beautiful grounds.

No doubt this allure stems from design work on the 1957 home, rendered by two Bay Area-based architects who hailed from World War I-era Germany.

"We do have all the original plans," notes McRae, who also represented the property when the current owner bought it in 2015.

Fridays on the Homefront

According to those plans, the original architect was Hans Schickele, and additions were designed by Felix Rosenthal—both affiliated with the University of California School of Architecture. An obituary indicated Rosenthal was a popular San Francisco North Beach figure who lived several years on the City's Vallejo Street, where both architects listed their offices at the time.

"The mid-century style gives such appreciation to the grounds around it," said the realtor, praising the walls of wood-framed glass in each house and how their living rooms open up to the gardens and verdant surroundings.

The main house has three beds and 2.5 baths on 1,962 square feet, and the guesthouse one of each on 847 square feet. Each home has a fireplace and laundry, and the property also has a three-vehicle carport.