One of the more amazing Berkeley luxury homes is on the market, and offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a part of the Bay area's architectural history.  Known as the Spring Mansion, it sits high atop the hills of Berkeley above winding Arlington Avenue, among other similar architectural classics of its era.  Located at 1960 San Antonio Avenue, it was built in 1912 by John Hopkins Spring, a developer of some wealth, who secured the talents of famed architect John Hudson Thomas to create his dream home.   Spring's goal was to make this home the centerpiece of the subdivision called Thousand Oaks, which his firm was developing. Random

Now offered at 3.25 acres, it was originally built on 16 acres. The grounds, designed by Mark Daniels, were planted with a wide variety of trees, and it's famous botanical gardens were created to highlight a fountain and a reflecting pool, and amazing views of the San Francisco Bay and Berkeley below.

The home is an amazing mix of classical styles, and, while the exterior appears to have a Beaux-Art influence, inside, as you wander through the various rooms, you will sense Arts and Craft, Egyptian, Mediterranean, and blends of all of these at times.  The home is approximately 12,000 square feet.  It's most impressive feature  is seen the minute you enter---a 30 foot high atrium which is covered by a pleasant skylight which provides a muted warmth to the hall.  This atrium is supported by four impressive columns, and, as you view forward, you see a 15 foot wide central staircase that leads you to the second floor balcony that wraps around the main floor.  That balcony houses 6 bedrooms that form the "U" shape of the entry. 

Off this remarkable entrance is the large and gracious living room, the dining room, and the billard/sitting room, all with rich ornamentation, multiple fireplaces, wood molding and trim, and built in features.  A large functional kitchen is available for seeing to the needs of large groups of guests and for gracious entertaining.  

This home combines graceful living with Berkeley history to produce a truly unique and impressive opportunity for an interested buyer.



Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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