31 March 2006

The residential work of Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr. in Claremont Park

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006

Our Spring House Tour & Garden Reception
Sunday, 7 May, 1 to 5 pm

This year’s Spring House Tour celebrates the Ratcliff centennial by showcasing the residential work of Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Berkeley’s only official City Architect, Mills College Campus Architect, and founder of the architectural firm currently celebrating a hundred years of continuous practice.

The tour features eleven charming and elegant homes located in Duncan McDuffie’s Claremont Park, a gracious “residential park” subdivision opened in 1905. Houses open for viewing will include private commissions as well as Ratcliff’s speculative houses, noted for their beauty, spaciousness, and high quality of detail.

Tour goers will visit a gabled, brown-shingle house perched on a hillside—one of the earliest houses Ratcliff built after starting his own practice; a picture-perfect Craftsman bungalow with a riverstone fireplace; several examples of Ratcliff’s elegantly-proportioned stucco houses of the early 1910s, with superbly detailed wood-trimmed interiors; a unique English-cottage studio home from 1910; a California Mission-inspired hilltop mansion from 1909; a Spanish Colonial Revival; as well as several other houses designed in the woodsy Bay Region tradition.

Tour map, illustrated guidebook, and refreshments will be provided. General admission $35; BAHA members and guests $25. See additional information and reservations.

House docents receive complimentary admission to the tour. To volunteer, call Lynn Crosby at (510) 653-3718 or e-mail BAHA.

A pre-tour illustrated lecture will be given on by Woodruff Minor, author of the book Ratcliff Architecture, to be published in the fall by Heyday Books:

Lecture: Walter Ratcliff, Architect
Thursday, 4 May, 7:30 pm
Claiborne Hill Chapel (Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., 1949)
American Baptist Seminary of the West
Hillegass Avenue, Berkeley
Admission $10.


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