1273 Hearst.  Photo: Tom Dalzell.
A mailbox house at 1273 Hearst Ave. Photo: Tom Dalzell

The 2010 Census reports that there were 46,029 households in Berkeley. Some households, to be sure, get their mail in banks of mailboxes that do not permit innovation in design, but there are many thousands that do.

To an extent not seen in most cities, Berkeley residents see their mailboxes as an opportunity for creative expression. I have several hundred photographs of whimsical mailboxes, including the two presented (one above and one below) in which the mailbox mirrors the color of the house it serves:

The mailbox at 2017 Essex. Photo: Tom Dalzell

At least one mirrors the architecture of the house in impressive detail.

1909 Francisco. Photo: Tom Dalzell
1909 Francisco. Photo: Tom Dalzel

Many others simply celebrate architecture and color on a small scale.  These are among the best of the bunch:

2124 Eunice. Photo: Tom Dalzell
1110 Chaucer. Photo: Tom Dalzell
597 Santa Clara. Photo: Tom Dalzell
584 The Alameda. Photo: Tom Dalzell
314 Panoramic. Photo: Colleen Neff
55 Northampton. Photo: Colleen Neff
754 Spruce. Photo: Tom Dalzell

For a fuller treatment of mailboxes designed as houses, see Quirky Berkeley.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,400 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means. This is the seventh installment in the series.

Freelancer Tom Dalzell has lived in Berkeley since 1984. After working for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers for 10 years as a legal worker and then lawyer, he went to work for another labor union...