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'Eichler-Esque' Oakland Hills Home Asks $895,000

Not the real deal, but a noble imitation

Done wrong, modernist homes can look lifeless and austere, like museum pieces or, far worse, giant fish tanks. But this four bed, two bath 1957 house at 3118 Robinson Drive in the Oakland Hills absolutely nails the style while remaining welcoming and humane.

The listing describes it as "Eichler-esque"; buyers will presumably decide for themselves how good the imitation is, but the glass walls, concrete blocks, low-slung structure, and slightly sloped roof hit many of the same notes.

Most of the style was loaded onto the front of the house, with its slate-tiled entryway, frosted glass front door, and vertical paneling. If you look closely, you can see that the fold of the butterfly roof marks the point in the open floor plan where the living room gives way to the dining room. Nice touch.

The yard features maple and elms. The ad even lists a deodora cedar, native to the Himalayas. This 1,598-square-foot pad is asking $895,000, which is not a particularly big jump from the $723,000 it last sold for in 2009 (about $805,000 after inflation). In fact, it’s less than the Oakland average for a four bedroom house on some real estate sites.

Robinson Drive is less than 250 feet south of Joaquin Miller Park, and the enormous Redwood Regional Park.