$1,510,000 – Sold

1143 Keith Ave
Berkeley, Alameda

Bedrooms: 5
Baths: 4
Kitchen: 1
Living Room:
Fire Place:
Garage: 2
Stories: 3

Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1927
Interior Square Footage: 3,011 sq. ft.
Lot Square Footage: 6,750 sq. ft.

Once in a while, a truly remarkable and distinctive house such as this comes onto the market. A Storybook/Spanish Revival house, built in 1927, it is loaded with charm, character and atmosphere and has only had 2 owners. Romantic and quirky, the style of architecture is reminiscent of William Raymond Yelland, who designed Normandy Village on Spruce Street. The history of the house as told by the son of the original owners is that his mother studied at U.C.Berkeley together with Gregory Peck, who became a friend and frequent visitor. According to him, the house was well known in the hills not only because of its unique architecture but also because of frequent entertaining and organ concerts, as his mother was an avid organ player and composer. The custom made musical organ was built specially for the house by Allen Organs in 1967 with speakers on all levels. The expansive living room with its high barrel-vaulted ceiling provides superb acoustics for concerts, which, over the years were hosted by the previous and current owners. A large multi-lite picture window on the south-west side of the living room opens the house to beautiful S.F.Bay views framed by majestic redwoods, while on the north side of the room a pair of double French doors opens onto an enclosed sun porch, giving an indoor-outdoor feel. The organ takes its place at the head of the living room opposite the fireplace, which is punctuated on either side with niches for ornaments. Windows on either side of the fireplace let the gentle morning light in. The combination of all these elements, together with gorgeous Chinese Mahogany floors results in a dramatic and romantic space. From near the front door the elegant mahogany clad steps lead up to a circular dining room with windows that frame the Bay views. It is an interesting-shaped dining room which together with the rooms above and below form a turret, reminiscent of a castle. The sculptural quality of the walls, ceilings and arches are repeated throughout the house in interesting ways. Adjacent to the dining room sits a kitchen, updated to suit the character of the house and from there a passage leads to a sauna, a bathroom, a laundry, the sun porch and a main level bedroom. The mahogany stairs that begin near the front door and pause at the dining room, wind up to the master suite, another bathroom and 2 more bedrooms, one that is circular above the dining room. Nearly all the rooms have S.F.Bay views. At the street level sits a garage with interior steps leading up to a large storage area and door out to the front garden. From the street, the visitor walks up some brick stairs through an arch, which opens out to what appears to be a secret garden, private and serene and filled with mature and drought tolerant plants. Several decks and patios surrounding the structure provide outdoor resting places in the yard. A guest suite, below the dining room on the left side of the structure has its own entrance and is unconnected to the main house. Additional storage or a wine cellar is situated on the right side of the house, below the living room and at the rear of the property is an “artist’s cottage”. Many updates and upgrades have been done over the years, including replacement of most of the foundation, seismic reinforcement, new electrical service and sub panel, a new ¾” main copper water pipe from the street, almost all new custom made wood windows and all new interior doors. A more complete list of improvements is provided with the disclosures.


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