Gorgeous Montclair Midcentury Modern Has a Thorne-y History

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If you never heard of Beverley David Thorne, you’re likely in good company — the name may not have been as famous as other Midcentury Modern architects of the day, but that’s likely thanks to a name change right at the height of his fame.

You see, Thorne became famous for designing homes for jazz great Dave Brubeck in Oakland and Connecticut in the mid-1950s. Overwhelmed by the attention he added the Beverley to his name and cut down on his work, but not before contributing to Arts & Architecture magazine’s 1949-1966 Case Study House program, where he and other architects were tasked with helping address the post-war housing shortage by showing how to build modern homes with less expensive materials like steel and glass in areas like California, where land was scarce and pricey and building into hillsides could provide more options.

Thorne joined architects like Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, and Craig Ellwood in the endeavor.

While the Montclair Thorne home we’ve chosen for this week’s Historical Shelter is not his Case Study House, it is a terrific example of both the architect’s talent and California Midcentury Modern, post-war architecture that turns a forbidding hillside into a home site with splendid views. 

It’s also an apt example of what conscientious updates with an eye toward being period-appropriate can look like. Current owners clearly took pains to update the home, but still honor Thorne’s work. 

A gourmet kitchen still boasts the sleek cabinetry one would expect in a well-done Midcentury home, but also has high-end stainless steel appliances and finishes, quartz counters, and custom lighting. 

Living and dining rooms, are open and airy, taking advantage of the views on the adjacent deck, and showcasing the exposed beams, clerestory windows, and a floating fireplace. 

A covered lanai breezeway provides even more entertaining space.

The master suite also takes advantage of the beautiful views, and sits on the lower level, where two more bedrooms and another bath are also placed. 

All told, the home has four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and 2,178 square feet of living space. 

This Montclair home is priced at $1,385,000, and is listed by Linnette Edwards with Abio Properties. To see more of the listing, click here.