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Midcentury Piedmont pad with Japanese tea room asks $2.79 million

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Imported Japanese touches mingle with Wright homages

A one-story mid-century home surrounded by redwood trees. Courtesy Ali Babington, Coldwell Banker/BRIDGE

The ad for the three bed, three bath mid-century home at 42 Sotelo in Piedmont advises potential buyers to “make it your own or lovingly resort back to its vintage splendor.”

Although “resort” seems like a weird way to put it (maybe they meant “revert?”), you could do much worse than defer to the classic mode of this three bed, three and a half bath 1957 house in a copse of redwood trees overlooking Tyson Lake, even if its latest asking price is the decidedly un-1957 sum of more than $2.79 million.

According to realtor Ali Babington, late mid-century architect Paul Hamilton designed 42 Sotelo and that he credited Frank Lloyd Wright as his inspiration—which does indeed appear to be something Hamilton did pretty often, telling the New York Times Magazine in 1997 “I certainly vibrate to his organic principles and his sense of space.”

(Hamilton’s family even mentioned Wright’s name in Hamilton’s death notice in 2015, also talking up his Sonoma winery designs.)

In this case it looks as if some pan-Pacific influences crept into the mix as well, with some a Japanese-style tea room, screens and all.

But that wasn’t the product of architect Hamilton but rather of owners Hiroshi and Mary Harada (occupants for the past 40 years and only the second owners ever), who “had workers & materials brought over from Japan” to install the “hand crafted wooden ceilings, tatami mats, wall shelves, [and] lacquer bases for display of art and tea utensils” according to Babington.

Potential home buyers who like the sound of NorCal Wright by way of Kyoto can drop by this weekend’s open house.