Asking $1.4M, This Historic Berkeley Home Lists for the First Time in More Than a Century

Asking $1.4M, This Historic Berkeley Home Lists for the First Time in More Than a Century

By Kathryn M.
The Ericsson-Bray House features original clinker bricks and box beam ceilings—as well as a hidden bedroom beneath the redwood-clad gable roof.

A historic Arts and Crafts style home is now up for sale in Berkeley, California. Last available on the public market in 1914, the property features the footprint of an original cottage, along with several additions completed in the 1920s. Today, the home retains its century-old charm with decoratively notched redwood beams, vintage hardware, and arched window alcoves overlooking a romantic garden.

Located in the hills of Berkeley, California, the 1911 Ericsson-Bray House features the footprint of an original cottage by designer-builder Carl Ericsson. Several additions by architect John Hudson Thomas were completed in 1921 and 1929.

The entryway opens to the living room on one side and a library to the other. Throughout the home, original features include redwood boxed beam ceilings and board-and-batten paneling, as well as vintage light fixtures and door hardware.

Known as the Ericsson-Bray House, the structure was originally built as a small cottage in 1911 by local builder Carl Ericsson, who designed it as a speculative property. Its second owners, Nora and William Bray, purchased the home in 1914 and expanded it throughout the following two decades, hiring Nora’s brother, architect John Hudson Thomas, to complete several additions.

A sunlit library near the entryway was one of several additions designed by Nora Bray’s brother, architect John Hudson Thomas.

In the adjacent living room, a large hearth features original clinker bricks and a solid redwood mantle. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the backyard garden.

According to the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, the home’s living room, dining area, kitchen, and stairwell were part of Ericsson’s original floor plan. Thomas later extended the entry hall and added both a library and a bedroom in 1921. 

The association also notes that Thomas returned to the home in 1929 to oversee the addition of a piano alcove and conservatory off the living area. Yet perhaps most alluring is a "secret" room Thomas added above the conservatory, accessible from two of the original upstairs bedrooms.

The conservatory that John Hudson Thomas designed in 1929 retains many original features, including natural gray-toned stucco walls that match the exterior of the home.

The conservatory also connects to the dining area, which comes complete with built-ins and vintage light fixtures.

In total, the residence now offers five bedrooms and two full bathrooms spread out across over 3,000 square feet and three levels. The property is secluded on a charming tree-lined street in Berkeley’s Northside neighborhood. Keep scrolling to see more of the home, currently listed for $1,450,000. 

The kitchen features original cabinetry, as well as a vintage stovetop and modern appliances.

Above the sink is a beveled-glass bay window, and in the corner next to the refrigerator are stairs that lead to the lower level.

A sunken vestibule was added in 1921 to expand the original entryway and stairwell.

One of three upstairs bedrooms sits along the front of the home, and features ample glazing on three sides.

Upstairs, above the conservatory, the secret room hides inside the gable roof. It was added by John Hudson Thomas in 1929.

The space is accessible via doors leading from each of the other two bedrooms on the same level.

The secret room is accessed through two bedrooms, one of which is pictured here.

A rear view of the home shows how portions of the original shingle cottage merge with the stuccoed additions. A covered outdoor area extends from the lower level and connects to the multilevel backyard garden.

Raised vegetable beds rest on an elevated portion of the garden.

A view over the lush landscaping looks northwest. 

On clear days, views from the property include the University of California, Berkeley campus, as well as San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

2708 Virginia Street in Berkeley, California, is currently listed for $1,450,000 by Daniella Brower and Norah Brower of Compass.

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