English home on Euclid Avenue on sale for $4.5 million

Alice Langford/Staff

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An expansive English home with vaulted ceilings, grand formal spaces and lush gardens on Euclid Avenue is on sale for $4.5 million.

The house, located at 1495 Euclid Ave., was built in 1924 by then-Berkeley city architect Walter Ratcliff for the mining engineer G.H. Blood and his family. After 23 years, the third family to own the house is moving into a smaller home, according to Bebe McRae, the house’s real estate agent.

“There are no similar homes, and the history and architecture add great value,” McRae said.

According to McRae, the home was built when North Berkeley was being developed and rebuilt after a major area fire.

The four-bedroom residence still retains many of Ratcliff’s original design elements. One example is the front doors, accessible by brick steps, that lead to a brick porch opening onto a garden.

“It has the slate roof, rough hewn beam and leaded glass, but it is light and airy and opens to the gardens in all sides,” McRae said.

Ratcliff graduated with honors from UC Berkeley, then called the University of California, with a degree in chemistry in 1903, but his interests then shifted toward architecture. He went on to build several brown shingle houses in Oakland and Berkeley.

In 1913, Ratcliff was appointed as the Berkeley city architect, designing fire stations, supervising the creation of new schools and producing the state’s first zoning laws. The Architect and Engineer magazine praised the city of Berkeley for choosing “a really first-class man for their City Architect” in 1916.

Aside from designing the Euclid Avenue home, Ratcliff joined John Galen Howard’s architecture firm and participated in the construction of UC Berkeley’s Hearst Memorial Mining Building, completed in 1907. He also worked on the design of the Morrison Library reading room inside Doe Memorial Library.

Berkeley homes typically sell for about $1 million and average 1,500 square feet, according to Ira Serkes, a real estate agent with Pacific Union and Christie’s International.

“The home on Euclid is a unique and stunning house in North Berkeley … with a significantly larger lot, and (it) has a good location,” Serkes said.

Contact Sooyoung Hu at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SHu_DCal.