BEAUTIFUL ARTS & CRAFTS
$2,150,000 – Sold
1309 Arch St.,
Set back on the east side of Arch, this grand Arts & Crafts house sits above the street level with commanding views of the San Francisco Bay. In a coveted location, close to the amenities of “Gourmet Heaven” the “Gaston and Mabel Straus house” is filled with charm. Numerous fine details from another era abound, such as oversized baseboards, a hammered copper fireplace hood, four relief tiles from the Moravian Tile and Pottery Works of Doylestown, Pennsylvania and handsome interior multi-pane glass doors separating various spaces. It has a dramatic living room with beautiful Bay views, a stunning Redwood ceiling with various design planes and an Inglenook bench near the beautiful red tiled fireplace. Designed by Paul Needham in 1908, the exterior is stucco and half timbering on the lower part and cedar shingles on the upper level.
Framed by Bougainvillea, the covered exterior porch has a built-in seat and original light fixture. Step inside to an interior entrance hall with multi-pane glass doors separating both the living and dining rooms.
The expansive living room has natural light from a bank of windows on the westside with views of the S.F. Bay, a floor-to-ceiling multi-pane window on the south side and a charming leaded glass window on the north side, next to the Inglenook bench. Refinished Oak floors extend into the dining room, breakfast room and the upper level. The dining room can be open to the living room or separated by a pair of beautiful multi-pane glass doors, has a beamed ceiling, Redwood board-and-batten paneling and built-in drawers and cabinets on the south side. Three south facing windows above the built-ins flood the room with natural light. The charming little room off the dining room with windows to the rear garden, is staged as a breakfast room and has been used as an office.
The kitchen has new quartz counters, a new farmhouse deep sink, new faucets, abundant storage and looks out to the lovely rear garden through a pair of French doors. The refinished Cherry floors extend into the laundry and powder room where there is a rear door to the deck. The deck and rear stairs have recently been rebuilt and the upper deck was rebuilt earlier in 2016. Grass on three levels creates a soft green and inviting backyard complete with a hot-tub.
The upper level, infused with light from numerous windows has three bedrooms, one bathroom with a claw-foot tub and a separate toilet. Two beautiful stairways (a narrower one from the kitchen) lead up to a spacious double volume hall, opening to the bedrooms and bathroom. A romantic deck off the master bedroom has beautiful views of the Berkeley hills as well as views onto the backyard, while the front rooms have stunning San Francisco Bay views. A window in the middle bedroom frames the Golden Gate Bridge. A separate furnace in the attic heats the upper level and is controlled by a Nest thermostat as is the heating on the lower levels.
The lower level guest suite, includes a Murphy bed, built-in shelving and cabinetry, Caribbean Cherry flooring, bathroom and closets. It was remodeled in 1999. There is a nook off the main lower level area perfect for an office. Two pairs of French doors lead out to the front deck, with stairs down to a flagstone path, which joins up to the front walkway. Also on the lower level is a basement / workshop, a wine cellar, a utility room with furnace and water heater and an exit door to the north side of the house. There is additional storage in closets on the stairs going from the main level to the lower level.
An exterior storage shed with sliding doors sits on the north side and one on the south side houses the hot-tub equipment. A metal sculpture near the north storage shed catches water from the roof and redirects it down the hill. The south and west side of the house have just been re-shingled.
The current owners had plans drawn many years ago for a one-car garage but did not do the work. Deeply attached to this house, they have endeavored to be good stewards of this marvelous property and have done many upgrades and updates over the past 19 years, including a new foundation and extensive seismic and electrical upgrades.
The neighborhood is full of homes designed by esteemed architects of the early 20th century, including Julia Morgan and Bernard Maybeck on this same block of Arch. Developed around Live Oak Park in the early nineteen hundreds, it is also adjacent to the Rose Garden and Codornices Park. It sits in one of the finest Berkeley locations, within blocks of several beautiful parks, close to Chez Panisse and surrounding shops as well as minutes from the campus of U.C. Berkeley. Two BART stations, North Berkeley and Central Berkeley BART are equally close.