Timeless Appeal

This mid-century modern Skyline home fits an active lifestyle to a T.


White-washed oak plank flooring, a seamless kitchen and great room, and windows galore add to the appeal of this mid-century modern home.

Photos by Christian Klugman

In the latter seasons of Mad Men, Don Draper’s period-perfect Manhattan penthouse played a leading role. Had the troubled ad man made his way to Northern California long enough to discover the charms of the Bay Area, fans might have gotten another season, and the mid-century modern home at 6130 Skyline Blvd. would have landed the part.

Built in 1959 by Berkeley architect Robert Ratcliff, this masterpiece is uniquely situated on a flat three-quarter-acre parcel of land along the eastern side of Skyline. With its expanse of windows, beamed and vaulted ceilings, and signature blend of interior and exterior space, it’s the kind of home mid-century modern enthusiasts lose their minds over.

“I have a small following for mid-centuries and contemporary homes,” said Sotheby International Realty’s agent Anthony Cassel. “When I find one of this caliber, I do a lot of early marketing outside of the Bay Area metro. Prospective buyers come from all over.


“This home is unique because of its level space. Most hillside homes have to make do with decks for outdoor living,” said Cassel. “Homes in locations like this have timeless, international appeal.”

The four-bedroom, three-bath 3,300-square-foot home underwent a renovation in the 1990s to add a second floor. The addition, designed by one of Ratcliff’s understudies, moved the master suite upstairs, increasing square footage and privacy, while remaining indiscernibly true to the original concept.

However, at nearly 60 years old, the near pristine home needed some updating.


“We didn’t want to destroy or detract from Ratcliff’s design,” said Cassel. “Instead, we sought to improve upon a few things, while staying true to the design and period.”

Working with Gary Sabre of Nurture Source and Ryan Bucko Design, mid-century modern renovation specialists, Cassel’s team removed an L-shaped bookcase surrounding the original kitchen—a dark, cramped, and strictly utilitarian space. The re-imagined kitchen now opens to the great room, separated by a period-perfect slatted wood screen that adds visual interest and structural support.

Renovations to the home also included removing the original, unrevivable wooden parquet floors and carpets, replaced with new oak hardwood. Stained a unique white wash, the distinctive wide plank flooring unifies flow throughout the house.


Then, there’s the view. Framed by a forest of trees, the home’s great room, grounds, and patio space feature picture-postcard views of San Francisco Bay. Secluded and private, the home is minutes from Montclair, Piedmont Avenue, and College Avenue shopping districts and close to a number of East Bay Regional parks. The best of both worlds, to be sure.

“I envision an active couple, whose children are grown, who love to hike or mountain bike, living here,” said Cassel. “That’s the demographic that’s been interested in this home.”

Or this scenario: Don Draper reunites with Megan, purchases the Ratcliff, opens an agency in Oakland, quits smoking, joins AA, and buys a couple of mountain bikes. It’s all downhill from there.


The tree-shrouded home is sleek, flowing, and open, with inspring views. It feels secluded yet is close to retail hubs.


The Particulars

6130 Skyline Blvd., Oakland

Price: $1,895,000

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Square Footage: 3,300

Amenities: Wine cave, 2-car garage, art studio, ¾-acre level lot

Listing Agent: Anthony Cassel, Sotheby International Realty

Design and Remodeling: Gary Sabre, Nurture Source, Ryan Bucko Design



Published online on May 4, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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