Historic brick storybook home in the Belvedere asks $4.795M

Historic Brick ‘Storybook’

Known as the “Audrey Jones Beck cottage” on the city of Belvedere’s “designated landmark” registry, the home at 423 Belvedere Avenue doesn’t look like any cottage we’ve ever seen.

First of all, the home was built in 1930 by renowned “storybook” architect Carr Jones. The curved brick walls, cathedral wood-beamed ceilings and turrets are more reminiscent of a European castle than a quaint country cottage.

Historic brick storybook home in the Belvedere hills asks $4.795M

What You Get….$4.75 Million Homes in California, New York and Illinois

Belvedere, California

WHAT A 1930s brick house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms
HOW MUCH $4.795 million
SIZE 3,919 square feet

SETTING Designed by Carr Jones, a local architect who built in a storybook style, the home is on Belvedere Island. Its first occupant was Joseph Baermann Strauss, the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about 25 minutes south and visible from the property. For many years, the house was the summer residence of Audrey Jones Beck, an art collector and philanthropist from Houston. The boutiques and restaurants of downtown Tiburon, as well as a commuter ferry, are about a mile away.

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Famous Belvedere brick beauty asks $4.7 million

Seaside local landmark up for grabs

Designed in the 1930s by Carr Jones, who was famous for his storybook homes (for example), this brick abode is a local landmark and point of pride for residents who cherish the work of the noted architect.

Featuring three beds, three baths, and 3,919 square feet, 423 Belvedere Avenue boasts crooked slate tiles on the pitched roof, archways galore, landscape windows with views of that famous hunk of metal in the bay, and fruit-bearing garden.

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Tiburon rated California’s third-safest place to live


Tiburon has been rated as the third-safest place to live in California, and town leaders said they found the news pleasing, but not necessarily shocking.

Niche.com, a data analysis website, released a report naming Tiburon No. 3 for safety in the state based on its low rates of assault, robbery, murder, burglary, vehicle theft and larceny. The numbers came from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

According to the state Department of Justice, whose crime database is similar to the FBI’s, Tiburon reported a single violent crime and 107 property crimes in 2014, the latest complete year available.

The violent crime was an assault. The property crimes included 21 burglaries, four vehicle thefts and 82 thefts, among other offenses.

“Speaking honestly, I’m not surprised,” said Tiburon Mayor Erin Tollini. “I’m proud to be part of a community in which the community members all work together to create a town we want to live in.

“We want our children and our senior citizens to feel safe here, and we make an effort to make that happen,” the mayor said. “I want to credit the police force. I think we have an amazing police chief and incredible police officers and as a result of their efforts we live in a safe community.”

Half of the locations in the report’s top 10 were in the Bay Area, with Hillsborough, in San Mateo County, in first place. Other Marin locations that made the top 100 were Belvedere, No. 11; Mill Valley, No. 35; and Fairfax, rated No. 65.

Niche.com offers rankings and statistics on every neighborhood and city in the U.S. to help people find the best places to live. The rankings take into account indicators of a location’s safety such as violent and property crime rates in order to measure an area’s safety and security.

The assault and robbery rates for the various areas, as reported by the FBI, have the greatest weight in the assessment. Other factors such as the murder rate, the burglary rate, the vehicle theft rate and the larceny rate also figure into the equation.

Like the mayor, a top law enforcement official said she wasn’t surprised by the news.

“We have a rather high ratio of police officers to population that is pretty diligent in serving our citizens to keep them safe,” said Patricia Seyler, who serves as a police captain for Tiburon and chief of police for Belvedere.


Seyler extolled what she described as a partnership between police and the community.

“If citizens see something suspicious, they let us know,” she said. “With people working long hours and being insulated from their neighbors, that can be to the advantage of criminals; but when the community is looking out for each other and committed police … support community awareness, it makes for a really good place to live.”

The law enforcement official also mentioned the intrinsic value of Tiburon’s location.

“Geographically we are protected, as there’s really generally one main way in and out of the Tiburon peninsula. Our main access is in and out of Tiburon Boulevard,” Seyler said.

About five years ago, the town installed one stationary camera at each of the town’s two entrances, further enhancing the geographic advantage.

The devices scan the license plates of passing cars, instantly checking them against registration violations, warrants and criminal databases, sounding alarms when a plate on a stolen or suspect vehicle is spotted.

“It’s (the cameras) been a valuable tool for the police department,” said Councilman Emmett O’Donnell.

“(Tiburon police Chief Mike) Cronin was ahead of his time in recommending the license plate readers to the City Council and they have done a remarkably good job. It has a preventative effect because people know they are there” and it has helped police solve petty crimes, O’Donnell said.

At the time the cameras were installed, some privacy advocates objected because of what they saw as the system’s potential intrusion into drivers’ privacy. Since then, the controversy has abated to a great extent and other Marin police departments have adopted the devices.




Pacific Union is thrilled to announce that we’ve officially opened a new office in Palo Alto, our company’s first in Santa Clara County and the next step in growing our presence in the crucial Silicon Valley market.LyttonAveOffice_sm

“Our expansion into Palo Alto underscores Pacific Union’s commitment to become a leader in Silicon Valley, as it has the Bay Area and San Francisco,” Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin said. “With this new Palo Alto office, we’ll be able to deliver even stronger client service, and our Silicon Valley team will have an important foothold in the dynamic Palo Alto market.”

Located at 437 Lytton Ave., the office will serve as a temporary base of operations for Pacific Union real estate professionals Amy Sung, Adam Touni, and Wendy Kandasamy until our permanent office is ready in 2016. The office is located in Downtown Palo Alto, just one block from bustling University Avenue and within walking distance of the Caltrain station, making it convenient for clients to visit our team in person.

The Palo Alto office is Pacific Union’s fourth in the Silicon Valley region. In April 2014, we opened our flagship regional office on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. We also operate two offices in Burlingame — one on Primrose Road and one on Park Road.