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

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.

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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:

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