Welcome to Thornburg Village, or as locals call it, Normandy Village! It was named after Jack Thornburg, a developer from California who drew inspiration from architecture he had seen in the Normandy region in northern France.

With all the brick, thatched roofing, winding staircases, gargoyles, large windows, half-timbered structures, and cone-shaped roofs, the apartments in Normandy Village in Berkeley do give the impression that you’ve stepped into another world, like the pages of a storybook!

Thornburg worked together with Oakland architect, W. R. Yelland, and completed it in 1927. In 1983, the structure on Hearst Avenue and Spruce Street near the UC Berkeley campus, was named a Berkeley Historical Landmark.

This is how Normandy Village in Berkeley looks today!

entrance to the courtyard and a Chanticleer
I was tempted to climb up this winding staircase
is that a leopard or a lion?
inside the courtyard
crying fowl: at first glance, I thought it was real
inside the courtyard looking out

I’d like to visit the Normandy region in France some day. If you’ve been there, tell me: how well did Thornburg capture the essence of Normandy’s architecture?