Discover El Cerrito as a Bastion of Mid-Century Modernism

Taves House

If the East Bay town of El Cerrito doesn't leap to mind when you think of bastions of modern residential architecture, maybe it should. The city boasts a large stock of homes built between 1940 and 1970, many of which utilize the copious glass, straight lines, and indoor-outdoor spaces that came to define the mid-century modern look.

"We have houses by David Beverly Thorne, a Richard Neutra house, Campbell and Wong houses," CA-Modern features editor Dave Weinstein says of the city he calls home.

For those interested in learning more about El Cerrito's undersung architectural resources, Weinstein plans to lead a Nov. 3 lecture at one such dwelling, the Taves house (pictured), designed in 1953 by Berkeley architect Don Olsen.

Weinstein has written about his friend Olsen before, and will speak about the architect's career and work, as well as showing slides of other homes. He'll also lead a tour of the house, once home to Lou Gottleib of the Limeliters.

Two other notable Bay Area modern architects, Henrik Bull and Jack Roberts, will also speak about their careers. Bull, who got his start designing Tahoe-area vacation homes, helped define the Bay Tradition of modernism. Robbins also helped shape the style, building throughout the Bay Area, including his own award-winning home in Oakland.

Many of El Cerrito's other interesting homes are very close to the Taves house, so a self-guided walking tour may be in order, with a bit of direction from Weinstein.

The 2 p.m. event is free, but space is limited, so RSVP to Weinstein* soon in order to secure a spot.

*Note: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect email address for David Weinstein. If you sent an RSVP note to the address linked above, please click through the link again and send another, as the address has been corrected. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.