San Anselmo is a breeding ground for architecturally significant homes. Most of the homes with modern or mid-century modern elements are up on the hillsides or on private knolls overlooking the valley and the distant bay. The homes pretty much go with the territory - any time there are expansive views to be had, homes with lots of windows are sure to follow - and windows are an important inspiration behind most modern architecture.
William Wurster, considered to be the grandfather of "soft Modernism" in California, collaborated with Theodore Bernardi to build the first modern prefab home in San Anselmo. Located just off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, the Prebilt House was an interesting exercise in design. With exposed arch ribs, plywood walls, tall glass windows, a very efficiently designed floor plan, and landscaping designed by the famous Thomas Church, the home was everything the modern school was looking for; it was, well - very modern.
Joseph Eichler is also represented in San Anselmo. He built a small tract of homes designed by architect Claude Oakland in the Sleepy Hollow Valley. These homes are still standing and inhabited by many who love the clean and modern architecture of the homes. Eichler also built a custom home that overlooks the valley.
San Anselmo seems to be a magnet for well-known architectural firms. In addition to the work done by William Wurster, Aaron Green who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, also built a home in San Anselmo. A little more recently designers such as Sim Van der Ryn Architects, JSWD Architects, and Pfau Architecture have worked on projects that include condominiums, remodels, and custom homes. Recently Pfau Long Architecture designed a 2,200 square foot residence on the existing skeleton of a 50's mid-century modern home. Aptly named the "Outside-In-House", this home has several wings coming off the original footprint and a second story made of glass; incredible - to say the least.
Modern architecture is still going strong in San Anselmo, and it is still an affordable area. If you are looking for a mid-century modern gem, you can still get a good size home for just over $1M.
Contact Us if we can help you buy or sell a modern, mid-century modern or architecturally unique home in San Anselmo, California.
Photo Credit: Pfau Starr Residence pictured above courstey of Pfau Long Architecture.
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