We love Henry Hill, the Bay Area modernist architect. So this 3-bed, 2-bath "attributed to Henry Hill" asking $1,298,000 jumped off screen at us. On the market a week, it's a definite maybe, although it lacks the subtle but witty details Hill stuck to most of his buildings and looks nothing like Ray Liotta. It's possible the clients prevented him from applying the latticed grills and outriggers he was so fond of. As a not-so-minor footnote, the clients were the parents of Lucile Packard. Lucile never lived here- the house was built in 1956 and she married Bill in 1938. [Update: A commenter tells us the house was designed by John Ekin Dinwiddie and built around 1938.]
Whether or not Henry Hill even drove by, it's a nicely massed house that manages to combine a little streamline moderne with the local redwood modern. Beautiful chimney, lovely stairs and railings. Sadly, while the new kitchen's quite swank (two sinks! two dishwashers!) it looks like it belongs somewhere else, but the baths appear to be in great original condition. As per usual, the realtors are calling an open mezzanine a bedroom to bring the number up to three. Membership in the Forest Hill Association is available (or possibly compulsory) but the listing is silent on HOAs. The house is also open this evening for a twilight tour, 5:30 to 7:00PM should you be in the neighborhood or just escaping from Laguna Honda.
· 29 Mendosa Avenue [Zephyr]
· 29 Mendosa Avenue [Redfin]
· El Cerrito Hills: Henry Hill, Mad Architect [Curbed SF Archives]