Soon to hit the market in Berkeley is a 1907 residence that puts the “craft” in “Craftsman.”
Designed by architect Edward B. Seeley, the two-story home was one of the first built in the upscale subdivision known as Claremont Court. Set behind an elegant Beaux-Arts-style gateway of ivory-colored terra cotta that was designed by U.C. Berkeley’s supervising architect John Galen Howard, the ritzy enclave is anchored by the landmark Claremont Hotel, which was described as “the largest wooden structure west of the Mississippi” when it opened its doors in 1915.
Located in the shadow of the hotel and a few blocks from the Berkeley campus outskirts, the 115-year-old Craftsman was built for John Albert Marshall, a prolific real estate developer as well as a cement contractor who paved a significant number of Berkeley’s sidewalks.
Measuring approximately 5,500 square feet, the seven-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home is jam-packed with stunning original details such as Art Nouveau stained-glass windows, hand-painted wall coverings, period light fixtures, and crown moldings. But what really sets the house apart is its incredible woodwork, including mahogany paneled walls and railings, oak floors with intricate inlaid marquetry, box-beamed ceilings, pocket doors, and built-in hutches.
Granted, the home is not without its weak spots, the most notable of these being its outdated though well maintained kitchen and bathrooms. Also keeping it from realizing its full potential are the unfinished status of its basement and attic, which is large enough to roller-skate in. But with a bit of polishing, it’s easy to envision the house becoming an absolute show-stopper.