San Rafael is home to the largest grouping of mid-century modern homes in Marin. Home builders Joseph Eichler and the Alliance Homes Company constructed large developments of mid-century modern homes for the masses in the 1950's and early 60's, using designs created by architects Anshen and Allen, Jones and Emmons, and Claude Oakland. Over 1,500 of these classic post-and-beam ranch homes can be found throughout the Terra Linda & Lucas Valley neighborhoods, which is great news for the mid-century modern enthusiast.
Frank Lloyd Wright. That is the name that comes to mind when one thinks of San Rafael architecture. The grand and very famous Marin Civic Center was designed by the Grandfather of Modernism himself. In collaboration with his associate Aaron Green, Wright created a structure that would seem to "melt into the sunburnt hills". To some it may look like it is from a planet far, far away; but modernists see the true beauty in the rounded windows, bright blue domed roofline and protruding gold spire. With park like grounds landscaped by Royston and Hanamoto surrounding it and a children's park (which is, by the way, scheduled for a facelift) on the grounds, the Civic Center is a magnet for locals and sightseers alike.
If you are looking for a little variety in architecture - something not quite Eichler, but not Frank Lloyd Wright either - you can find custom homes designed by Anshen and Allen, Francis Joseph McCarthy, David Beverly Thorne, and Aaron Green to name a few. If you have a yen for an Eichler, but don't want one that was mass-produced, there are a couple of custom Eichlers in the Peacock Gap area. It might, however, be a long wait for one to be available! Other San Rafael neighborhoods where mid-century modern homes can be found include Sunnyside, the Dominican area, Loch Lomond, and the Fairhills Drive area.
Should something with a contemporary flair be more to your liking, San Rafael has one of the only loft buildings in Marin. The Marin Lofts, designed by architects Jerry Kler and Jack Rittenhouse, is an industrial-style complex with 15 residences. High ceilings, exposed rafters, and oversized windows give these homes an open, airy feeling.
You want modern design but your budget is tight. That doesn't need to be a problem. Take a look at San Rafael real estate and explore your many options. It is crawling with modern homes and is convenient to San Francisco, Napa, and the East Bay. Better yet, 3-4 bedroom single family homes can be had for $700k to $1.3M, which is a bargain by either Marin or San Francisco standards.
Contact Us if we can help you purchase or sell a modern, mid-century modern or other architecturally distinct property in San Rafael, California.
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