California Castle Was Inspired by French Medieval Cloister!
Many Americans have regretted that their young country doesn’t have the castles that abound in Europe and some have made attempts to rectify the problem by designing their own replicas. A few were pretty nice and some absolutely horrid. But in 1928 when Samuel Hume, then the head of the University of California Berkeley's Greek Theater Department, decided he wanted his own castle, he knew how to do it right.
Hume engaged architect John Hudson Thomas asking him to use a 13th-century medieval cloister in Toulouse, France as his inspiration. With just under an acre in the Berkeley Hills overlooking San Francisco Bay, Thomas designed a castle that fit the slope of the land and maximized the views while allowing for a stunning central courtyard with mature plantings and Gothic stone arches and outdoor terraces for viewing the bay. The Gothic theme runs throughout the structure, so authentic in detail it looks as though it was an antiquity imported from Europe. At 5,746 square feet, the stone castle has five bedrooms, eight baths, massive fireplaces and living room ceiling that opens to a picturesque library level with iron railings circling the room that leads to an upper level overlooking study. The estate, which became an official landmark in 1985, is now for sale priced at $5 million.
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