Thornburg Village – Berkeley, California - Atlas Obscura

Thornburg Village

A storybook European village in Berkeley. 


Designed by Oakland architect William Raymond Yelland and named for developer Jack Thornburg, both well known for their storybook architectural style seen elsewhere in the city. Yelland in particular was influenced by time he spent stationed in France during WWI.

The apartment complex displays various architectural influences inside and out, from Mediterranean Europe to Scandinavia, with pronounced French Normandy accents, resulting in a fantasy-land storybook look that is not quite at home in any one time or place.

A second portion was added in 1928, expanded between 1941-55 by new owners David and Rebecca Roth. Also known locally as “Normandy Village”, the picturesque buildings were designated a City of Berkeley Landmark in 1983, and are still occupied today.

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