$1,698,500 – Sold

9 Tamalpais Rd.
Berkeley, Alameda

Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2
Living Room:
Fire Place:
Garage: 1
Stories: 3

Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1915
Interior Square Footage: 2,629 sq. ft.
Lot Square Footage: 6,200 sq. ft.

Let’s journey back, more than a hundred years to 1905 to see this house in its historical context. The Hopkins Terrace Tract #4, the most north-eastern tract in the Berkeley hills, opened up for development just above Codornices Reservoir. It was called Berryman Reservoir at that time and collected water from the north and south forks of Codornices Creek. The natural beauty of this romantic setting attracted painters, musicians, writers, poets, architects and University professors, many of whom were members and followers of the Hillside Club. Established in 1898 with noteworthy members such as Charles Keeler (president) and Bernard Maybeck, its aim was to promote architecture and design sensitive to this beautiful natural landscape. At around the same time, out of the Arts and Crafts Movement came a unique Bay Area design philosophy, known as the First Bay Tradition, pioneered by architects such as Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Ernest Coxhead and John Galen Howard. It emphasized that design should be sensitive to the natural environment, that houses be well integrated into their particular sites and surroundings and have a relationship with the outdoors (by employing windows, decks, balconies and sleeping porches). In addition, it promoted the use of local, natural “honest” materials, such as redwood, cedar, oak, brick and stone. This philosophy espoused simple (as opposed to ornate) forms and unique designs specific to the needs of the particular client. Modern building materials and construction methods were to be combined with historic elements. This was indeed an early sustainable or “green architecture” design movement. Against this background, Reuben and Mary Underhill, who were early members of the Hillside Club, commissioned Harris Allen in 1915 to design 9 Tamalpais Road. Allen had already established a reputation as a First Bay Tradition architect and this house represents a fine example of this movement. The exterior of the house is clad with a combination of stucco, redwood shingles and a tile roof. A leaded window bay at the street level presents an opportunity to interact with neighbors walking past. The house sits close to the street on a site that slopes gently downwards, allowing for lovely views of the S.F. Bay and Mt.Tamalpais. It has a very appealing street presence, inviting one to step through the arch into the exterior foyer(between the garage door and the front door) before entering into a beautiful entry hall. Many wide multi-pane windows on the west wall bring in light and allow for the lovely verdant vistas and views, framed by redwood trees. Beautiful birch floors connect the living room, dining room and hallway. A handsome redwood bench flanks one side of the lovely simple Craftsman tile fireplace with built-in bookshelves on the other side. The walls of the dining room have redwood wainscoting with windows on the north side, a triple set of French doors to a deck on the west and built-ins on the east side. A breakfast nook off the kitchen looks onto the street through diamond pattern leaded windows. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a “baby room” off the master, decks off the master and the east bedroom, an attic with insulated door and lots of storage. On the lower level which has access to the back yard is a large family room and wine cellar. Much work has been done on this house in the last 4 years, as follows: Major updated electrical, with new main and subpanel and almost complete elimination of knob and tube wiring Living room re-plastered and new wiring with recessed ceiling lights and sconces Major seismic/foundation work with steel frames, foundation to add additional room under the dining room, Basement media room with new windows Minor master bath upgrade (plus plans for major remodel) New garage roof Complete landscaping New high efficiency furnace with 3 zones New fence and gate securing entire perimeter Rebuilt and reinforced the old leaded glass windows, new leaded glass window insert in the front door. New front patio New garage door with automatic door opener Drill and fill insulation in all exterior walls and R 36 insulation in attic New high energy efficiency attic door stair with magnetic seal Chimney repaired and damper secured Enlarged and waterproofed wine cellar The house is steps away from Rose Walk and Greenwood Common. It is a stone’s throw away from the Rose Garden, Codornices Park, Glendale-La Loma Park and close to U.C. Berkeley, Chez Panisse, the amenities of “Gourmet Ghetto” and minutes from Tilden Park.


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