Preservation Nightmare – Charles Moore’s Orinda Home Eaten by Oversized Ranch



I’m not sure how this was allowed to happen, but it appears that Charles Moore’s famous Orinda home was desecrated sometime in the last ten years. This small house, designed by Moore for himself and built in 1962, was considered by many to be the quintessential expression of third bay region residential architecture. It received numerous awards and was published around the world.

Originally one bed, one and one half baths, and 1545 SF, it has now ballooned to four beds, three baths, 3291 SF. The original structure is now barely discernable within the greater whole. The new gabled porch over the originally unadorned entry masks most of what used to be the facade. The entire interior has been drywalled over and whitewashed, and glazed walls have been replaced with clusters of vinyl windows and doors.

This may be the most compelling recent example I have seen of why it is important to document and preserve our important architectural resources. This is now especially true for the work of our important mid-century designers because their structures have until quite recently been largely overlooked by the preservation community.


About edificionado

Edificionado is an Oakland-based real estate brokerage specializing in architecturally and historically significant homes. BRE 01883790
This entry was posted in Charles Moore, Mid-Century, Preservation, Third Bay. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Preservation Nightmare – Charles Moore’s Orinda Home Eaten by Oversized Ranch

  1. zoladotrene says:

    Thanks for this post. I was going to make a weekend trip out to Orinda to see the house, and it would have been a shock to find it in the current state. This is really unfortunate.

  2. Walt Lockley says:

    oh my God. thank you for posting this amazing criminal act. you might have thought the Orinda House would have enough meaning and a small enough footprint to survive…..

  3. Mark Erickson says:

    In his essay “The Yin, The Yang and the Three Bears” Moore says the Orinda house was a square pavilion (that) measured “26’8” on a side. That would make it about 715 sg. ft., not 1545…

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