Central Station

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Friday, November 6, 2009

WHO LIVES HERE.......LeAnn Flesher


She loves the design and the find! As I walked through the door of LeAnn Flesher's upstairs corner grove unit I was hit with light from all sides and stopped in my tracks by the great sense of original design and feeling of "I'm home". First was the unusual kitchen island.....a piece of furniture that was perfect but that I had never seen before. It was an oak craftsman style table/island/counter/cabinet all in one that LeAnn uses for eating, storage, as an island and for computer work. Really cool! As a dining table it comfortably seats 12! The main focus in her loft is the two story pillar that is smack dab in the in middle and visible from basically any room. LeAnn entertained me by sharing her visitors comments and suggestion for use of the pillar ranging from painting it, to stringing it with lights, to putting hooks in it, to getting rid of it all together. We laughed about that last suggestion as we both visualized the ceiling crashing in and taking everything in its path down to Zack an Tyler's unit below! LeAnn uses her space so creatively with placement of her living area and bedroom downstairs and a home office and TV/den/second bedroom upstairs. I think many people would have switched the placements but this really works beautifully!

LeAnn, who works in Berkeley as the Academic Dean of the Baptist Seminary of the West, moved from Alameda to an apartment in Emeryville a couple of years ago. From this base she took her time looking throughout the area for a home to purchase including the Richmond Marina. In escrow two times before closing on her PCL loft, she finally moved in on May 18th and immediately went off to Africa for work (more on that later). Her unit actually closed while she was traveling and she told me that she felt like she was home the minute she walked back in the door even though she was still in boxes. LeAnn looked at a number of units at PCL during her hunt but this one stuck with her! When she first saw it she figured the numbers wouldn't work and actually asked her realtor to get her out of there! Both he and Gail picked up on the fact that her face actually changed when she entered that space and eventually she did come back, was very pleased with the numbers and moved in!

Prior to becoming Dean, LeAnn was a professor of theology, specializing in Old Testament Studies at the Graduate Theology Union in Berkeley, an ecumenical and interfaith school. Her education is extensive including undergraduate work in business administration at the University of Minnesota, her home state, a masters degree in divinity from Bethel Theology Seminary and a PhD. from Drew University in Madison, NJ. Her work took her to Africa where she is involved in starting a Protestant seminary in partnership with a mission in Uganda. She was also in Rwanda and war torn Congo working with women who were struggling with the trauma of being war victims. Have a cup of tea with LeAnn if you can and listen to the stories! After that I felt silly asking her if she was wary of West Oakland but home is different. LeAnn calmly replied that she had been in much worse situations in NY and was very excited after talking with Rick about his vision for the area. She loves being apart of it all and living what she teaches. I asked LeAnn where her neighborhood haunts were and found that she really goes all over the place. She loves the local restaurants and has taken up sailing in the Berkeley Marina. LeAnn....thanks so much for sharing your home and in your spare time could you please design our next model?
P.S. this blog is in red because we both love designing in reds!

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