2840 Claremont Boulevard built in 1910, is on the market for $5.45M Photo: BHG
2840 Claremont Boulevard built in 1910, is on the market for $5.45M Photo: BHG Real Estate

One of the first houses built in Claremont Court is on the market for $5.45 million, marking it as one of the most expensive residences ever for sale in Berkeley.

The light-filled landmark home at 2840 Claremont Blvd. has eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, a large entryway, a formal dining room, a grand living room and a suite of servants’ rooms upstairs. Paul O. Teitzen, the president of the Bank of Santa Maria in southern California, hired the architectural firm of Hodges and Mitchell to construct the home, said Allen Hibbard,the listing agent for the home. He is with Better Homes and Garden Real Estate. The Teitzen family moved in in 1910, just four years after ground was broken for the Claremont Hotel (it opened in 1915) and three years after Duncan McDuffie and Joseph J. Mason started to subdivide the area bounded by Derby Street, Belrose Avenue, Claremont Boulevard, Claremont Avenue, the Claremont Hotel, Russell Street and Oak Knoll Terrace. It would become known as Claremont Court and was noted for the graceful gates that set off the subdivision.

Living room of 2840 Claremont Blvd. Photo: BHG Real Estate
Dining Room Photo: BHG Real Estate
Bedroom. Photo: BHG Real Estate

This is the first time the home has been on the market in 48 years. David and Sylvia Tower, the founders of the Berkeley Psychotherapy Clinic, purchased the property in 1968. They were just the third owners. David Tower died in 2014.

The price tag for the house is so high because it is large and it sits in one of the most coveted areas of Berkeley with a great walkability score, said Hibbard. It is near the Claremont Resort, shops and restaurants on Domingo Avenue and College Avenue, BART, and the Highway 24 on-ramp, he said.

The kitchen has not been updated, however. Hibbard said everything in the house is “functional.”

Hibbard hosted an open house for neighbors last week to build buzz and the house will be open the next two Sundays for viewing as well as by appointment. Hibbard said he will accept offers on July 6.

Very few houses in Berkeley have ever been listed for more than $5 million. The John Hopkins Spring Estate, commonly known as the Spring Mansion, sold for $6.5 million in 2005.

To find out more about the history of the area, visit Berkeley Historical Plaques, which has a slideshow with photos of the original gates to the subdivision.

A postcard of 2840 Claremont Blvd., taken when the Tietzen family owned the house. Photo: Berkeley Historical Plaques

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...