Free Woodworking Plans
Richland, Washington

The Wallen Maybeck House


Bernard Maybeck's Wallen house, at 2751 Buena Vista Way in Berkeley, California, is for sale. Agent Norah Brower (with Berkeley Hills Realty) has the 1,700 square foot house on a 7,900 square foot hillside lot listed for $1,050,000 (3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a potting studio, plus basement and garage). As with most Maybeck homes, this particular house is full of beautiful hand-hewn and lovingly-assembled detail. From the flyer:

After Maybeck's large family house on Buena Vista burnt down in 1923, it was never rebuilt, nor did he build another large house for his family. Instead, over the following years, he and his family built several cottages all in the same neighborhood, some on the site of his original house. Maybeck had purchased large parcels of land in the North Berkeley hills and 2751 Buena Vista was one of two houses, essentially the same design but rearranged to fit the site, that he designed and built during the depression to keep his staff and craftsmen working. Over the years, various family members moved in and out of their 8 different houses, all cotages except for "Hilltop" in Kensington. 2751, however, seemed to be the heart of the extended family, where Ben and Annie lived for several years and to which Wallen, Jacomena and the twins eventually returned. It embodies many of Maybeck's notions about what an ideal home should be; modest, free of adornment, well-integrated into its site, amidst the lush foliage and with views of the bay. The many decks extend the interior outside, the height of the living room, the arched beams and the floor-to-ceiling metal sash windows add drama, atmosphere and light.

In more recent years, it has had a new foundation, drainage and retaining wall added (1998), a new furnace, electrical upgrades and a new roof and roof deck off the kitchen (2005). Jacomena wrote in her book, Maybeck, A Family View, that a workman told Maybeck "I believe you have put the house partly on the next lot," to which Maybeck replied, "Oh, well, move the lot line." This was finally done in 2004.