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Historic Berkeley mansion chops $1 million off price tag

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Circa-1914 Spring Mansion is no stranger to price cuts

Spring Mansion’s Beaux-Arts exterior.
Photos by Circle Visions, courtesy of Herman Chan of Sotheby’s International Realty

Berkeley’s Spring Mansion, located at 1960 San Antonio, is one of the Bay Area’s busiest landmarks and rarely out of the spotlight for long.

This seven-bed, six-and-a-half-bath mansion the Berkeley Hills has chopped its price again. When it first listed in 2016, the asking was $7.5 million; now, it’s a touch over $5.99 million, after previously dropping to $6.99 million last year.

Modeled after the residence of an Austrian empress, the opulent abode is named for San Francisco-born land baron John Hopkins Spring. He only lived there briefly with his then-wife before walking out on her and the house, and straight over to San Francisco to reside in another mansion and with another wife.

When completed in 1914, the 12,000-square-foot landmark was so large that it was visible from San Francisco. Curbed SF previously noted its frequent price changes and turbulent times on the market.

Architect Gary Jarvis once referred to the white mansion as a “white elephant,” suggesting that, though stunning to the eye, it’s impractical for all but a handful of buyers.

These days, realtor Herman Chan of Sotheby’s International Realty, who is in charge of the listing, refers to the home as “the new Spring Mansion,” touting “a tasteful update of several key elements” credited to HGTV host Cora Sue Anthony.

Due to its landmark status, major changes cannot be made to the property, with new updates focused on repairs, restorations, and material details like “elegant furnishings and soft carpeting” and a “gleaming white coat of paint.”

Note that when it was built the mansion cost the equivalent of $3.8 million, whereas in 2011 it asked nearly $5.3 million, making the new price tag a fairly modest markup by modern Bay Area standards, at least over the span of 105 years.

An indoor marble fountain prefaces the home’s dramatic staircase that leads to a wraparound second-floor gallery.
Living room comes with plaster chandeliers, a carved oak fireplace, built-in oak bookcases, and a carved box beam ceiling.
Original tapestries of hunting scenes are featured in the dining room, as well as the living room.
Arched doors highlight this family room area.
One of seven bedrooms.
Soaking tub in master bathroom.
An aerial view of the Spring Mansion.