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Julia Morgan Berkeley home asks $1.69 million

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Brown shingle beauty is Morgan masterwork

Photos courtesy of David & Devin Ratoosh

The ad for 1220 Spruce calls it a “rare opportunity to own a classic brown shingle home designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan, one of only 49 private residences she built in Berkeley.”

The 1990 biography Julia Morgan: Architect of Dreams lists only 48 Morgan homes in Berkeley, so perhaps Marvin Gardens Real Estate and publisher 21st Century Books will have to compare notes and settle Morgan matters.

Either way the five-bed, four-bath, circa-1911 house at 1220 Spruce, asking $1.69 million, makes both lists, meaning that this is indeed an opportunity for Berkeley buyers to get in on the Morgan market.

According to a 2014 nomination for the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal on behalf of Morgan, she was only the seventh woman granted membership in the AIA in 1921.

“Principal of her own office for 46 years and completing most of her work during the Depression, Morgan was a pre-modernist leader in the adoption of new technologies of construction, sustainable building practices, and in the development of the First Bay tradition” according to her AIA biography.

Other than the Morgan name, the Spruce Street house (one of two Morgans on Spruce, for the record) banks on its “beautiful woodwork and stained glass” as well as the “oversized formal dining room,” plus the addition of a more contemporary in-law unit.