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Rare Roger Lee midcentury in Montclair asks $1.09 million

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Owned by the same family since 1959, the house was once featured in Sunset Magazine

Photos by Open Homes Photography, courtesy of Pacific Union International

Billed as one of ”the Bay Area’s great forgotten architects,” Roger Lee never gained the prominence of Bernard Maybeck or Julia Morgan, which is a shame. The designer built more than 100 post-and-beam homes in the East Bay and Bay Area, with a focus on European modernism.

Lee, along with Joseph Eichler, belonged to the last generation of architects who created custom-built homes for middle-class and working-class people. Today his residences are highly sought-after; when one lands on the market, it tends to sell for seven figures. Take, for example, this stunning Lee specimen in Montclair’s Piedmont Pines neighborhood.

Featuring four beds, three baths, and 2,192 square feet, 5722 Chelton comes with signature touches found in many midcentury homes—exposed beams, walls of glass, clean lines galore—but also signature Lee touches like rhythmic design (the repetitive exterior panels provide both shade and panache) and attention to nature.

The abode has since been updated with a careful and loving hand, like the kitchen and bathrooms, which have benefitted from gentle remodeling. There’s also a separate studio with kitchen and bath.

Asking is $1,099,000.

Psst: Be sure to check out our series “Modernist Next Door,” which includes a spotlight on Roger Lee.

  • 5722 Chelton [Patricia Bennett and Alice Plato of Coldwell Banker]