Bernard Maybeck’s design at 2357 Le Conte Avenue in North Berkeley is another wonderful example of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts influence on his work.
This stunning residence is ideally located in the historic Holy Hill neighborhood of North Berkeley and just minutes to downtown Berkeley, the famed Gourmet Ghetto, and the world-renowned UC Berkeley campus.
Accessed from the main entry hallway, with its wonderful flow to the gracious spaces throughout the home, you’ll find a dramatic and large living room with a vaulted ceiling made of clear heart redwood and a large hearth fireplace. There are many special details throughout the unique home with handcrafted beam brackets, clay tiled roof, and a stained-glass newel post at the grand living room’s entry.
There are 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms on two levels. The kitchen leads to an ample deck ideal for morning tea and evening cocktails and overlooks a large front garden, as the house is set back from the street on the 9,840 sq. ft. parcel (approx. per public record).
Unique Architectural Features:
- Clear heart Redwood vaulted ceilings
- Grand fireplace + hearth
- Dramatic Mica light fixtures
- Stained glass Newel post lighting
- Custom beams and brackets
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- 2,001 living sq. ft. approx. per public record
- 9,840 sq. ft. lot approx. per public record
- Off-street parking with carport
- Outdoor spaces include a sprawling front yard, rear yard, and breakfast patio with built-in benches
- Central heating
- Ample storage
- Minutes to UC Campus, Gourmet Ghetto, Downtown Berkeley, parks, shops, BART, and more!
History of 2357 Le Conte
Often referred to as the Orin Kip Murray House, the home was re-built in approximately 1924 after the fire earlier that decade destroyed the original brown shingle home that was built in 1901, by Bernard Maybeck for UC Professor Fletcher Bascom Dresslar, who eventually sold the property to Orin Kip McMurray.
Orrin Kip McMurray died in 1945, but Mrs. McMurray continued to own the house until 1971 when she sold it to the current owner, the Pacific School of Religion. The home has been used in the past by various faculty and the School‘s President.
At the time the current house was built, Prof. McMurray was serving as dean of UC’s law school. You’ll have noticed that the stained-glass panels in the illuminated house-like newel contain legal motifs. On one side, the word LEX (law in Latin) is prominently displayed, while the other side appears to show an outline of the Ten Commandments tablets. Both sides feature figures wearing long robes and cowls.
Maybeck’s own house on Buena Vista Way burned in the 1923 Fire, and in 1924, he built the “Sack House,” aka the “Studio,” on the same site. That house features the same type of ceiling brackets and industrial sash windows seen in the McMurray House.