Thornburg Village (Normandy Village), Berkeley

Thornburg Village (Normandy Village), Berkeley

Thornberg Village, also known as Normandy Village, is a residential neighborhood at Spruce Street and Hearst Avenue. The village was the brainchild of Jack Wood Thornburg. The 25-year old had already constructed a number of buildings in the area in storybook style. His next venture was to create a self-contained neighborhood using French-Norman, Scandinavian and Mediterranean influences.

The goal was to build an area that consisted of homes, shops and restaurants, all with the old-world style of brick and stone facades, steep gables, tower rooms and turrets. Unfortunately for Thornburg, zoning prevented him from achieving the commercial goals he desired. Instead, each of the units became residential spots where locals have continuously owned and rented room since the area was completed in 1927.

Tourists can walk through Thornburg Village to see homes that appear as though they have transported themselves directly from the pages of a European storybook. The interiors cannot be viewed by the public as they are private homes, but it is easy to imagine the stone walls, oak floors and beamed ceilings that are held within.

Not all of Thornburg Village is original. The area was expanded once in 1928 and again in 1955. There are now parking structures for the residents, but these are hidden from street view so as not to distract from the overall appearance.

Thornburg Village was declared a Berkeley Historical Landmark in 1983.

Why You Should Visit:
- To take a step into old-world Europe without leaving the United States
- To admire residential areas that are nearly a century old

Tips:
These private homes are currently occupied. Therefore, visitors should make sure they are respectful of the property during their visit.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Berkeley. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Thornburg Village (Normandy Village) on Map

Sight Name: Thornburg Village (Normandy Village)
Sight Location: Berkeley, USA (See walking tours in Berkeley)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Berkeley, California

Create Your Own Walk in Berkeley

Create Your Own Walk in Berkeley

Creating your own self-guided walk in Berkeley is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Telegraph Avenue Shopping

Telegraph Avenue Shopping

In addition to other attractions, the colorful and joyful city of Berkeley, California offers a wide variety of places to shop. Perhaps the most notable among them is Telegraph Avenue, a vibrant and eclectic thoroughfare, featuring a unique blend of cultural diversity and youthful energy.

One of the standout landmarks on Telegraph Avenue is the Berkeley Hat Company. Here, you'll find an...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
University of California in Berkeley Walking Tour

University of California in Berkeley Walking Tour

The University of California, Berkeley, often referred to as UC Berkeley or simply Berkeley, is a part of the larger University of California system, known for its distinguished academics and vibrant campus life. The UC Berkeley campus is the core of Berkeley's attractions. Its design resulted from an 1898 architectural competition, with each building having its own story to tell.

Start...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Berkeley Introduction Walking Tour

Berkeley Introduction Walking Tour

The Ohlone people were the original inhabitants of the area that is now known as Berkeley, California. Many of them were casualties of the presence of the first settlers of European descent who arrived with the De Anza Expedition of 1776.

Among the soldiers in this expedition was Luis Peralta, who was gifted the land that would become Berkeley by the King of Spain. Peralta gifted the land to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Berkeley's Historic Landmarks Walking Tour

Berkeley's Historic Landmarks Walking Tour

Berkeley, California, boasts a fair amount of landmarks distinguished for their historical value and representative of the city’s architectural beauty.

One such gem is the Thorsen House, an iconic residence designed by the renowned architectural firm Greene and Green, showcasing the American Craftsman style.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is another notable sight. Its mixed design...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles