Designed by renowned Bay Area architect Donald Olsen and hidden across a creek and behind a custom gate in Claremont, the modern masterpiece at 256 The Uplands was built in 1967.

The four-bedroom home measures 3,483 square feet, with a 15-foot ceiling and walls of glass in the living, dining and kitchen pavilion, behind which there’s a breakfast nook and terrace.

256 The Uplands Rear

And having never before traded hands, as far as we know, the Bauhaus-style home has just hit the market listed for $2.5 million.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by anonimal

    Realtors like to use the word stunning. Here is a worthy home.

  2. Posted by johny


  3. Posted by Nancydrew99

    Oh man. I wish I had 2.5MM right now.

  4. Posted by Bay Guy

    Unfortunately, for me, I love the house and the environment. However, all the trees give me the heeby-jeebies, considering what is going on in California this summer.

    • Posted by Jake

      The great Oakland hills fire of October 1991 came very close to this place. It is perched near the Hayward Fault, along the edge of the crush zone. The fire ebbed there as the wind shifted, else this house most likely would have burned. That should afford some protection from a future fire as the burned areas were rebuilt with less foliage and more fire resistant homes. The FEMA report (namelink) is gripping:

      “On the hill above the Claremont Hotel, the fire was advancing through a mixture of modern homes and stately mansions, working its way down the hillside. With the hotel protected by master streams, poised for action, the crews climbed the hill to engage the fire on the upper streets, but found that the hydrants on the upper streets were dry. They returned to the bottom and started up again, handstretching a 5-inch hoseline to support an offensive attack on the fire. The fire was successfully held at Alvarado Road.

      In the Rockridge district, the 5-inch hose and portable hydrant system was used to bring a strong water supply into the area where San Francisco units were operating. Several companies were able to obtain water from the portable hydrants.

      The main battle continued until approximately 1930 hours, when the wind finally abated. The smoke and heat changed from pushing ahead of the fire to rising vertically as the wind eased off. Within a few minutes, a cool damp ocean breeze began to push the products of combustion back into the burn area. This stopped the uncontrollable advance of the fire, but left a huge perimeter of blazing homes that continued to expose adjacent structures.”

  5. Posted by Booger

    This is a version of a dream home! What a beautiful home with simple modern elements throughout.

    This will go very fast!

  6. Posted by simms3

    I really do not like this house. Something is off putting and it’s not necessarily the style/architecture. The setting perhaps? A bit creepy? Too museum like? Not one feature that is warm or inviting? Remote location?

    • Posted by BobN

      Black-rimmed glasses and a turtleneck and you’d feel right at home.

  7. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    1967? Wow, Olsen was really ahead of his time.

  8. Posted by PRE

    The Uplands, remote location!

  9. Posted by around1905

    This house is a good reminder that ‘modern’ is a style that has been around since the 1920s. Listening to its propagandists like the AIA (especially the AIA SF), this style is perennially ‘new’ (witness the houses they feature on their tours each year in SF and Marin) but it is just as much a historical style as Palladian, Arts and Crafts, or Victorian.

  10. Posted by jamesjr

    The location is a little dark and creepy. Scream 5?
    The kitchen needs an update. No problem with this price point.

    • Posted by BobN

      I wonder what’s up with the post in the living room.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        It means that the architect signed off on the contract before the engineer.

  11. Posted by djt

    The contrast of this to Scott McNealy’s house couldn’t be more stark. McNealy’s house is like a giant tract house – expensive and large, to be sure, but generally not designed for the site and complete with all the architectural gimcracks that were popular at the moment. I’m sure McNealy’s house has the requisite wine cellar, exercise room, whirlpool tub in the master bath, etc. All things that big tract homes have, and with just as little style.

    This house, on the other hand, was designed for the site and will command a premium just because of the architecture.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      You forgot home theater. Dontcha know every luxury home needs a gloomy basement storage space special room to watch blu-rays?

      • Posted by BobN

        With individual recliner seating because, as we long suspected, the rich don’t snuggle.

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Or maybe that is to frustrate their teenagers trying to reach 3rd base. But, haha, that won’t do much to stop horny teens.

  12. Posted by SF Is Cheap

    Wow, amazing! Like seriously, $2.5M is a steal. This is like ART!

  13. Posted by EBGuy

    For that kind of money, I’m still going with a house in the hills. Bay and city views, with mid-century architecture and a pool to boot.

    • Posted by jenofla

      Nice interiors. Troubling phrase, though: “3 lower vacant lots available.” If you don’t purchase those too, are your views lost?

      • Posted by BobN

        Your views and, I assume, the tennis court.

  14. Posted by Dixon Hill

    I get that it’s in the woods, but I’m troubled by the lack of window coverings.

  15. Posted by Mark F.

    I bet it sells for over asking. Nice home. But—no really good views and you have to drive everywhere.

    • Posted by shza

      The location is not really that remote. It’s one mile from Rockridge BART and College Avenue; half a mile from the corner of Claremont and Ashby (which is then a very short bus ride to BART — name link). Far more central than the place EBGuy posted. I have a couple of colleagues who live at the Uplands (but closer to Claremont) and have walked to/from BART every day for years for the SF commute.

  16. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 256 The Uplands has been reduced $265,000 (10.6 percent), now asking $2,235,000.

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