The Essence of Home: Living in a Work of Art*

1325 Arch Street
Berkeley, CA
Offered at: $4,100,000
Sold Price: $4,100,000
Stories: 3
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3.5
Garage Spaces: 1
Year Built: 1906 per public records
Building Size: 3686GLA+(712)wine cellar, attic + basement Square Feet
Lot Size: 6600 Square Feet
Property Status: Sold
Property Style: Bernard Maybeck Architect
Description:

Located in North Berkeley among architecturally significant homes, and prominently sited at 1325 Arch Street, is a Swiss Chalet-style house designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1907, originally named Semper Virens, but more commonly known as both The Albert Schneider House and The Kroeber House. This home exemplifies Maybeck’s artistic vision as an architect. Shielded from the street, a wisteria-covered arbor greets you as you enter a truly exquisite home with stunning design elements that pay homage to its rich history.

This five-bedroom, three and one-half bath home has been cherished by its owners, who all felt privileged to live in this unique treasure. Spaces for gathering and other rooms for private contemplation blend throughout. Filled with the brilliance of its heritage and the beauty of natural materials, it has been restored with exceptional attention to its lustrous originality while blending modern features and amenities. Broad graceful bracketed eaves and Swiss scroll-sawn wooden balconies and decks look out onto San Francisco and Golden Gate views.

You enter the living and dining room, in which exquisitely refinished redwood interiors glow as the sun shines through, lending the space a warm, intimate energy, a welcoming harbinger of the beauty yet to come. The upstairs shared common room is enhanced by a light-filled glass ceiling, with an adjoining sunporch with enveloping glass windows that evoke the feeling of being in a treehouse. There are three bedrooms on the second floor: The principal bedroom has an en-suite bath and beautiful views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and Mt. Tam, and opens onto a balcony, to further accentuate these awe-inspiring vistas. The feeling of union with the environment can be experienced throughout the house. The suppleness of the wood, anchored with copper nails, can best be appreciated as the sun flows in through the many windows and doors that link this home to the serene outside areas. The flourishing garden offers a private portal to the flora and fauna of the surrounding landscape, one of the cornerstones of Maybeck’s creative conceptualization. It stands out as a stunning specimen of the architect’s principled consideration of nature as a springboard for designs that enhance, rather than subdue, the organic elements around it. Accessible proximity to shops and restaurants, as well as UC Berkeley, BAMPFA, the Berkeley Rose Garden and Codornices Park, this is a home that will charm and inspire its future occupants. In the words of the late poet and novelist Ursula K. LeGuin — daughter of Alfred and Theodora Kroeber, renowned American anthropologists — who grew up in this remarkable home: “If I recall my childhood, I recall that house. It is where everything happened. It is where I happened.”… “Writing this, I wonder if much of my understanding of what a novel ought to be was taught to me, ultimately, by living in that house. If so, perhaps all my life I have been trying to rebuild it around me out of words.”*

This architectural jewel, so prized and adored by each of its prior owners, is awaiting the buyer who can truly appreciate its unique value. The opportunity to obtain this home is an incredible gift to give yourself           

* Used with permission of the Ursula K. LeGuin Literary Trust. Ursula Le Guin wrote “Living in a Work of Art” in 2007 for the periodical called Paradoxa.  

**  Wilson, Mark Anthony , Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance , Gibbs Smith, 2011. Pgs. 19,85-88

***Neither Sellers nor Listing Agent has verified the accuracy of any of these sources of information.