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A stream runs through this historic Berkeley home for sale at $2.775 million

A river runs through it: Historic Berkeley home straddles creek, selling for $2.775 million

A historic Berkeley, California, home that straddles a creek is for sale for $2.775 million. The 1915 home comes with four bedrooms and three and a half baths. It’s set back from the street in a park-like setting in the Claremont district.
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A historic Berkeley, California, home that straddles a creek is for sale for $2.775 million. The 1915 home comes with four bedrooms and three and a half baths. It’s set back from the street in a park-like setting in the Claremont district.

A historic Berkeley home that straddles a creek is for sale for $2.775 million.

The 1915 home comes with four bedrooms and three and a half baths. It’s set back from the street in a park-like setting in the Claremont district. Dramatic architectural features can be found throughout the 3,300-square-foot house, but none as unique as the stream running through the foundation.

Harwood Creek runs behind and under the house, which is “considered one of the first and only houses in the U.S. to straddle a creek,” said Helene Barkin of the Grubb Company, the listing agent.

“The sound of water from a natural source is extremely soothing, serene (and) almost emotional,” Barkin said. “The little waterfall in the back lends a kind of drama that you only get from the real thing. This is no ‘water feature’ installed by a contractor ... this is an environment that is very special and rare” for a home in an urban setting near city amenities.

The property is near shops and restaurants and within a short commute to San Francisco.

Designed by influential East Bay architect John Hudson Thomas, the house at 41 Oakvale Ave., Berkeley, has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. It’s set back from the street in a park-like setting in the Claremont district. Mature redwoods and oaks stand on the 5,500-square-foot lot.

Thomas designed other homes in the Claremont neighborhood. He died in 1945.

The house features a two-story redwood-paneled living room under a towering cathedral-like ceiling, with a tall, brick fireplace and picturesque views into the garden. French doors open to a porch overlooking the flowing creek.

A formal dining room with built-in cabinets provides the a spot for entertaining. The creek-side patio off the eat-in kitchen offers relaxed outdoor dining.

The master suite is comprised of a sitting area and a remodeled bath. Two additional bedrooms and a second bath are also located on the master-suite level.

“Perhaps the real piece de resistance is the home’s upper level, an expansive third floor featuring a dramatic atelier,” the listing states. “This exciting space with its soaring ceiling and glorious window is a light-filled enchantment with versatile potential.”

Barkin told SFGate that the home has drawn artistic and creative lookers since it hit the market in mid-July.

“The owner is an artist and writer who bought the house as a collector would purchase a work of art,” Barkin told The Sacramento Bee. “He intended to live in it while he worked on it, and remodeled the atelier to be his art studio and also remodeled the master bathroom. He planned on this being his forever home, but by surprise he found himself with another opportunity that he decided to take.”

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David Caraccio is a video producer for The Sacramento Bee who was born and raised in Sacramento. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and longtime journalist who has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor, page designer and digital content producer.
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