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Welcome to 899 Euclid Avenue. This vintage home offers a wonderful combination of especially beautiful period details with practical updates for modern living. This 1912 home designed by renowned architect John Hudson Thomas features many of his design signatures as well as overall exceptional craftsmanship. The redwood details are remarkable. From the front entrance you step into a warm living room with fireplace with a massive mantle. You’ll find deep baseboards here and in the dining room, where you’ll also enjoy a lovely built-in china cabinet. There are charming seats on either side of that handsome front door, reminiscent of inglenooks that John Hudson Thomas features in many homes, and carefully notched moldings and trim. But what will probably catch everyone’s attention are the leaded windows. Unusual for a John Hudson Thomas, these beautiful rose-pattern leaded windows feature stylized roses, somewhere between Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts in style, which grace the living, dining room and two bedrooms. They create streams of colored light at different times of day. The original dining room fixture blends with the floral patterns in the windows.
The floor plan flows gracefully from the period ambiance of the front rooms to the spacious and bright eat-in kitchen, which was remodeled to echo key original design elements. The raised ceiling provides exceptional light, and there is sufficient storage to satisfy any serious cook. The kitchen opens to multi-level decks for alfresco dining and socially-distanced entertaining. From the main deck you can be sheltered by the mature Japanese maple tree, and also be afforded views of the extensive park-like garden. You can also watch the goldfinches and doves as they hang out at the feeding stations!
Back within the home, you can appreciate some of the practical updates. Extensive shelving lines the hallway, providing space for either a library-worth of books, or for displaying copious collections. The two hallway bedrooms both enjoy those beautiful leaded windows as well as original windows that afford views of the extensive grove of mature camellia trees along the Marin side of the property. The spacious ensuite primary bedroom opens to a plus-room with a pair of gorgeous original sliding windows, a walk-in closet and a builtin dresser which the sellers added, made of exotic and beautiful lacewood. That upper room could serve many uses: from dressing room or office, nursery or yoga space or some combination of those. Both of the bathrooms on this level open to the hallway, though the primary bath can be closed to the hall providing a true suite.
The lower level has a large flexible room that could be used as an ensuite bedroom, as well as space for multiple functions, with access to the garden and the lower patio area. This room has served as exercise space, a guest retreat and with the external access could make a fine guest accommodation. There is also a temperature-controlled wine cellar outfitted for serious storage and tasting!
For those who would benefit from stair-free access to a home, there is an extensive driveway the leads not only to the stand-alone two-car garage, but to a ramp that can be used up to the deck and the kitchen entry, through a pair of French doors.
In 1912 when John Hudson Thomas designed this home for Oscar Runnels on this spacious corner parcel on Marin Avenue, it was the only developed lot within view, and there were no trees to be seen. It originally featured a Marin Avenue address. Now the home is nestled among majestic conifers and fruit trees, and almost hidden behind the corner fence. Once you open the gate you enter a remarkable multi-part garden planted with hundreds and hundreds of bulbs ready to burst into bloom. RIght now there are lavendar iris in bloom, as well as white and yellow narcissues. Two magnolias are opening up, and pink and white camellias are in full bloom.
This home is just up from the Arlington Circle Fountain, in a prime North Berkeley hills location near the UC Berkeley campus, as well as just blocks to both Shattuck and Solano Avenue shops. It offers the best of living in a "secret garden" while being so close to all of the amazing amenities of North Berkeley. Some of my favorite Berkeley specialty stores are right down the hill: Cheese Board, Saul's, the original Peet's, Masse's, and of course, Chez Panisse. Here the buyer can enjoy an active and delicious lifestyle, nurturing both the body and the life of the mind! This home also provides that elusive quality of having good karma...it has been well-loved, and supported a good life for its inhabitants.
As someone who is passionate about Arts & Crafts and vintage homes, I am delighted to represent this exceptional property! It's hard to really experience the beauty of old-growth redwood or those leaded windows from photographs. Serious buyers are urged to review the photos, and then schedule an in-person visit. Every day some new bulb or flowering tree comes into bloom!
Exterior and system elements:
*new as of 1/2021
Below you will find a letter from the seller, sharing here experience in this home over almost 30 years. You may wish to download it for easier reading.
For the serious devotees of the architect of this home, John Hudson Thomas, you will enjoy finding numerous of his signatures in this home, including his square-of-squares, here in an unusual touch: inlaid in the hardwood floors in the living room as well as in tiles on the exterior. There are also etched rams horns both in the massive fascia boards as well as etched into the stucco. This home also features his special “initials” window design in numerous rooms and echoed in the front door. The arched windows in the back "plus-room" above the primary bedroom are reminiscent of windows in others of his homes, and in this case these slide open providing cross ventilation, as well as a wonderful connection with the outdoors.
What is rare and especially beautiful are the colored leaded windows. The geometric floral designs reflect a combination of Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts influences, and are in pristine condition.
To learn more about John Hudson Thomas, click here.
This is one of my favorite achitechts, and I've been honored to represent several buyers and sellers of homes of his design. I hope you will enjoy each of the special examples of his design expertise which are to be found in this beautiful home!
Perched above the city and offering the best panoramic views in the entire Bay Area, North Berkeley Hills is an incredibly peaceful residential neighborhood, yet not far from the hustle and bustle of the city’s more urban areas. Homes in the neighborhood are built in a variety of styles and feature spacious patio decks, thoughtfully landscaped gardens and many mature trees. Depending on where you live, North Berkeley Hills residents can enjoy views of the San Francisco and Oakland skylines, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Mount Tamalpais. For even more great views plus a variety of great outdoor activities, residents can take a short trip to nearby Tilden Regional Park. Park amenities vary between free and paid activities. Free activities available at TIlden Park include a beautiful botanical garden, the Little Farm, and nearly 40 miles of scenic hiking trails. For a small fee, the public can also swim at Lake Anza, take a spin on the Merry-Go-Round, or enjoy a round of golf at Tilden Park Golf Course. Some residents in the southern part of North Berkeley Hills, such as this home on Euclid, are within walking distance of the thriving retail district on Solano Avenue. Featuring a wide variety of stores, shops, and plenty of great restaurants, including: Andronico's: Located at the southwest corner of Solano and Fresno Avenues, this is a great place to check off everything on your grocery list. Noor & Sons Rug Gallery: Find handcrafted Oriental Rugs for your home, as well as rug cleaning and repair services, and a variety of specialty stores including my favorites: Lavender Bakery, Sue Johnson Lamps, Pharmaca and Kirin. Additionally, foodies who love a variety of cuisines are just a short walk or drive away from the infamous Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood, and the amazing Cheese Board and their pizza outlet, Chez Panisse, Masse's and Saul's Deli. Peet’s Coffee: It all started at this original spot in Berkeley, and this location is ideal for your morning cup of coffee before you begin your commute. Despite its elevated location, North Berkeley Hills is extremely transit-friendly. The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District bus lines that serve the neighborhood drop residents at the Downtown Berkeley BART station for a quick commute to downtown San Francisco. Berkeley Hills residents who live near the western section of the neighborhood are less than one mile away from the heart of UC Berkeley, making it a great area for faculty and administrators to live.