Architectural Appreciation and Preservation this Week

by arlene on March 24, 2012

Sunday open houses can indeed serve as mini-architecture tours. This Sunday a home with some superb details will be open at 150 Arlington Avenue in Kensington. I’ve always admired the rustic exterior with its redwood timbers, and if you visit you’ll enjoy a delightful arbor in the back garden, also quite rustic in design. So the interior surprises with the formality and elegance of the details. According to the listing agent, Tricia Swift of Grubb, the carved balusters, mantel and the wonderful floral-patterned stenciled box beams were recycled from a former mansion in the Claremont area when the house was built in the mid-1940’s. I love the idea of early creative re-use! The home is a treat to view, and the sheer size of the rooms remarkable; the home totals nearly 5,000 sq. ft. It last sold in 2007 for $1,840,000, and the current owners made further improvements, including the development of a lower level. It is currently listed at $1,575,000 and will be open on Sunday from 2 – 4:30 pm.

“Historic Preservation – What it Is and Is Not” is the topic of a lecture on Tuesday the 27th at 7 pm. This is one of three free events jointly sponsored by Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) and the California Preservation Foundation (CPF). It will be held at the Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr Way (John Bakewell Jr. and Arthur Brown, 1907). This should be an interesting presentation about historic preservation in the 21st century, from the fundamentals of what it entails, and how it can benefit the Berkeley Community. For more information visit

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