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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dave Brubeck's "House In the Sky"

In 1949, while still a student, architect Beverley David Thorne was introduced to Iola Brubeck by mutual friends who knew they were both jazz aficionados. When they met, Thorne had no idea that she was the wife of famous jazz pianist Dave Brubeck.

She told Thorne that she and her husband had purchased a rugged lot with a war bond her husband's father had given him after World War II. The lot was high in the hills and had a spectacular view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. "Oli" Brubeck's only requirement was that the house be a single-level design, so Thorne built just such a house perched atop an outcropping of bedrock 25 feet up from the street.

The house was completed in 1954, and, as a result of its stunning cantilever design, it has received tremendous attention ever since.

Thorne and Brubeck at the house in the mid-1950s


  1. "Take Five" sure did build a great house!

  2. That is stunning! I can't imagine living around such greenery!

  3. @bopfish: What I find interesting is that they came up with the plan for the house, according to an interview with Thorne, before they could really afford to build it. It was a few years later, when Brubeck had achieved more success, that they had it built. And even then, they had to wait several more years to be able to afford having a driveway built up to it. Apparently some of the rich and famous have to be practical and do things a little at a time like the rest of us! :)

  4. @Flo: Just like living in a treehouse, huh? Wouldn't that be amazing? And to have a panoramic view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge would be icing on the cake.