Looking at the photos of the Hume Cloister, often known as the Hume Castle, it's hard to believe it's not in Europe. It is actually in the Berkeley Hills at 2900 Buena Vista Way.
The home was designed by John Hudson Thomas in 1928 in the style of a 13th century medieval cloister in Toulouse, France. It was built for Samuel and Portia Hume; he was the head of University of California, Berkeley's Greek Theater Department, she was a respected psychiatrist. It's been an official landmark since 1985.
To say the 5,746-square-foot place is magnificent would not be an understatement. The five-bedroom, seven-and-a-half bath home is arranged around a courtyard lined with stone Gothic arches. The Gothic motif continues inside, with an interior made of stone and accented with ornate metal work. Castle-like imagery abounds, including a pair of carved lions, domed ceilings, and heavy wood beams.
That's not to say there aren't modern amenities. The kitchen is recently remodeled and the place has been retrofitted with a solar heating system.
The site alone is spectacular, with amazing views of the San Francisco Bay and the Berkeley Hills. The grounds include a bocce ball court, a grand terrace, a koi pond, and gardens on just under an acre.
- 2900 Buena Vista Way [Redfin]