A 1907 brown shingle Craftsman in Berkeley, located at 2956 Hillegass Avenue, landed on the market this week, asking a cool $1,500,000. A not-too-shabby price for a three-bed, two-and-a-half bed, 1,832-square-foot home in the city’s charming Elmwood District.
While the two-story home has seen updates over the years (the kitchen and bath have been revamped as of late), it has yet to fall victim to a bloodless, antiseptic renovation. Redwood paneling with boxed beam ceiling and period light fixtures can still be seen in the living room. The shingled facade keeps an eye on the past. And some of the home’s old tile work remains, seen around the fireplace and in the bathrooms.
Speaking of which, the home’s first owner, according to its current owners, was EL Bradley, purportedly a tile contractor for William Randolph Hearst’s mammoth estate in San Simeon.
“He may have also been the tile contractor at the Berkeley City Club,” says Wes, one of the current homeowners. “We were told all of this by Kirby W Brown, who ran a tile museum in Oakland. Mr. Brown came by the house one Sunday morning. He identified the cherub/Neptune tile in the center of the upstairs bathroom floor as the missing sixth tile from the guest bathrooms at San Simeon.”
The Hearst Castle site, however, notes that ceramist Camille Solon created the tiles used in the San Simeon estate, most notably for the Neptune pool.
Whether true or myth, both the Elmwood abode and the nautical tile are gorgeous peeks into the past.
- 2956 Hillegass Avenue [Allen Hibbard Better Homes and Garden Real Estate]