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Ira & Carol Serkes
Pacific Union/Christie's Int'l RE
Berkeley, CA USA
800-887-6668
510-526-6668

serkes@berkeleyhomes.com

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Berkeley Hills
Magical Views

In the mid 70's I was fortunate enough to rent an apartment on Buena Vista Way... mid way between the Temple Of The Wings-Boynton House and Hume Castle, and just up the street from Maybeck Twin Drive. Bernard Maybeck lived here, and designed some extraordinary buildings... the Lawson House (built to be earthquake resistant), Mathewson "studio" house, a "sack" house with an exterior made of sacks dipped in concrete.

Sunset over San Francisco Bay

I always loved it up there - the smell of eucalyptus, the wonderful views, and the delightful architecture. It was particularly magical when I awoke to find the bay fogged in... there were times when the fog was below me... and I felt that I was living above a sea of clouds.

These photos give you an idea of what it was like.

 
 


Greenwood Commons is just down the street (one block below La Loma to the north of Buena Vista Way) has some lovely contemporary homes sited around a grassy commons... with views of the bay.

My English Setter Magus (named after John Fowles' book) and I took lots of walks in the hills, and I really got to love the parks and architecture here.

You'll love it too!

Some of the wonderful sights in the Berkeley Hills are Cragmont, Remillard, & Indian Rock Parks (look for the rock climbers), Rose Walk, the Berkeley Rose Garden. Further up the hills you'll find the UC Botanical Gardens and the Lawrence Hall of Science... a spectacular place to watch 4th of July Fireworks around the bay. Berkeley Shakespeare Festival used to perform at the ampitheater at John Hinkel Park.. now there's a kids' festival which performs there.
Don't miss Tilden Regional Park with its Little Farm, Merry-Go-Round, Golf Course, De Anza Lake, and Steam Engine Ride

  Berkeley Hills
  North of Campus, East of Shattuck Avenue
 
  Things to do
 
 Arlington Fountain Arlington & Marin
Berkeley CA


The little bears around fountain get decked out in decorative wreaths during the holidays. They have charming little bellies. We call them buddah bears.

For decades this was just a grassy circle, and itís wonderful that the fountain was recreated.
 
 
 
 Mathewson "Studio" House2704 Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Right on the corner of La Loma and Buena Vista Way, this starts Maybeck Country. He lived across the street, and designed several homes in the area for friends and family. I rented an apartment just up the street and loved living in the hills 
 
 
 Maybeck "Sack" House2711 Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Experimental Architecture - I recall that Maybeck dipped burlap sacks in concrete or stucco... then used them as architectural elements. 
 
 
 Wallen Maybeck House2751 Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Maybeck built this for his son and daughter in law, Jacomena. I met Jacomena when I lived on Buena Vista Way. I think they originally lived in the wonderful home on Purdue in Kensington. 
 
 
 Temple Of The Wings-Boynton House2800 Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Oh boy - one of Berkeleyís most amazing architectural gems. The original building didnít have walls. I believe that Isadora Duncan once danced here. 
 
 
 Hume Castle2900 Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Iíd heard about this building for months when Iíd first come to Berkeley, but I never knew where it was. Then I rented an apartment on Buena Vista Way... and discovered, to my delight, that I was smack dab between the Hume Castle and Temple Of The Wings (Isadora Duncan's hangout).. and just up the street from Maybeck Twin Drive. The home was built by the Boynton family, who were friends with Isadora Duncan

I loved living there with the pleasant eucalyptus fragrance. From time to time Iíd awake to find a sea of fog below me. It was magical! You'll love it living in the hills too.
 
 
 
 Kennedy House Euclid & Buena Vista Way
Berkeley CA


Right on the corner, this is actually two buildings - a home and a performance studio. The colors are wonderful and the home has a graceful feel to it. 
 
 
 Lawson House1515 La Loma Avenue
Berkeley CA


I believe that Lawson was a geologist or structural expert, so Bernard Maybeck designed this Pompeiian villa to withstand earthquakes. Itís still there, so I guess his design worked. 
 
 
 Rose Walk Euclid by Codornices Park
Berkeley CA


Pleasant path just south of the Rose Garden - several very attractive homes on it 
 
 
 Berkeley Book Stores
Berkeley


 
 
 
 LBL - Lawrence Berkeley Labs1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley CA


LBL has an open house during Cal Day each spring and a wonder open house in the fall. If youíre interested in the physical sciences, this is the place to go. The open house has science exhibits, tours, lectures & talks.

The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Labs specializes in energy, electron microscopy, environmental, physics, and accelerator and fusion research.... amongst other things.
 
 
 
 The Homestay
Berkeley CA


510-528-9970
North Berkeley home renting for 1 week or more. Email them at hillshomestay@hotmail.com 
 
 
 The Brown Shingle1514 La Loma Avenue
Berkeley CA


510-848-6385
Bed ní Breakfast - Room rates $75-$125 including tax and breakfast 
 
 
 Tilden Park Little Farm
Berkeley CA


510-635-0135
Pigs, Sheep, Goats, Donkeys and more

This is a WONDERFUL place that we go to when we just want to get away from it all

Itís particularly magical in the spring, when the babies are born. Thereís nothing as charming as an infant goat!

Also see Pt. Isabel when you want to be transformed by 4 legged creatures... of the woofer variety
 
 
 
 Lawrence Hall Of Science Centennial Drive
Berkeley CA


510-642-1057
Fun and Science in the Berkeley Hills 
 
 
 Tilden Park Pony Rides Central Park Drive
Berkeley CA


510-527-0421
Tilden Park is just east of Grizzly Peak Blvd, and has pony rides, a childrenís zoo with adorable goats (babies every spring) a merry-go-round, golf course, and more! 
 
 
 Codornices Park1201 Euclid
Berkeley CA


Just up from the Rose Garden 
 
 
 Dorthy Bolte Park Spruce & Michigan
Berkeley CA


Enjoy the concrete slide! It's more fun (and less safe) with Wax Paper) 
 
 
 Tilden Park Steam Train Grizzly Peak & Lomas Contadas
Berkeley CA


510-548-6100
Live Steam rides in Tilden Park. The trains are large enough to sit on. Enjoy! 
 
 
 Hillside Club House2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley CA


510-848-3227
 
 
 
 Lawrence Hall of Science Centennial Drive near Grizzly Peak
Berkeley CA


510-642-5132
Science exhibits and more... and a spectacular view of the Berkeley and the Bay Area. It was used as a set in the movie "The Forbin Project" 
 
 
 Berkeley Opera715 Arlington Avenue
Berkeley CA


510-524-5256
 
 
 
 Berkeley Hills Nursery1161 Sterling Avenue
Berkeley CA


510-849-1612
 
 
 
 Cragmont & Indian Rock Parks
CA


Cragmont and Indian Rock Parks are two of the best rock climbing parks in Berkeley. The view from Cragmont Park is particularly special.  
 
 
 Cragmont Climbing Club
Berkeley CA


 
 
 
 Wildcat Canyon Regional Park
Richmond CA


510-562-7275
 
 
 
 UC Botanical Garden200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley CA


510-642-3343
Plants from around the world... high up the Berkeley Hills

A magical place to go... itís high up the Berkeley Hills, above the UC Berkeley Stadium. Carol spent lots of time here when she was a gardener.
 
 
 
 Contra Costa Rock Park Contra Costa north of Solano
Berkeley


 
 
 
 Rose Garden1250 Euclid Avenue
Berkeley CA


A WPA Project, it has a pleasant arbor and spectacular bay views. The Rose Garden Sign was recently redone. 
 
 
 Indian Rock Indian Rock & Shattuck
Berkeley CA


Big rock in a small park - itís a neighborhood favorite, and one of the places (Cragmont Park is another) to go when you want to learn how to climb rocks. Me??? I like to watch people climb rocks, and view the John Hudson Thomas Secessionist Architecture across the street

One of Berkeleyís special places - come here for sunsets or to watch the rock climbers. Itís only a few blocks up Indian Rock Path from Solano Avenue. Be sure to check out the John Hudson Thomas home just down the street on Indian Rock Road
 
 
 
 Remillard Park-Rock Climbing Keeler & Poppy
Berkeley CA


Another Rock Climbing Park 
 
 
 John Hinkel Park Somerset & Southampton
Berkeley CA


Once the location of Berkeley Shakespeare Festival (moved to Orinda and renamed California Shakespeare Festival,, the ampitheather still hosts childrenís Shakespeare Camp. 
 
 
 De Anza Lake Tilden Park
Berkeley CA


First time I ever went here I saw a topless woman feeding a duck. So... why havenít I returned in years? 
 
 
 Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round Tilden Park
Berkeley CA


510-524-6773
A magical merry-go-round with special lights during the holidays. 
 
 
 Tilden Park Golf Course Tilden Park Grizzly Peak & Shasta Road
Berkeley CA


510-848-7373
Golf??? In Berkeley??? You betcha!

Link is under contruction
 
 
 
 Tilden Regional Park
Berkeley CA


510-562-PARK
The first time I went to Tilden Park I was astonished. Just a few miles from our home was a huge, undeveloped park! You can play golf, swim in Lake Anza, visit a botanical garden, or ride a live steam (small scale) railroad or merry-go-round! 
 
 
 Berkeley Montessori School2030 Francisco
Berkeley CA


510-843-9374
 
 
 
 Bentley School1 Hiller Drive
Oakland CA


510-843-2512 x460
K-12 Independent School 
 
 
 Crowden 2401 Le Conte
Berkeley CA


510-644-2299
 
 
 
 Cragmont Elementary School830 Regal Road
Berkeley CA


510-644-8810