Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a cabin nestled in the woods, where you’d write, or paint — or simply meditate on the meaning of life. You probably didn’t imagine it would be in Berkeley, but a small — as in 642 square feet — wooden dwelling with vaulted ceilings and old-growth douglas fir floors has come on the market which might just meet those desires.
While it has the vibe of a former hunting cabin, the one-bedroom one-bath building at 2794 Shasta Rd. was built as a dwelling, according to architectural historian Daniella Thompson, who consulted the 1929 Sanborn map of the area. It’s listed on the MLS as having been built in 1927, but Thompson found records that show that, in 1925, it was owned by Thomas M. Creed, who lived at 1188 Cragmont Ave. Creed, she reports, was an English-born former school principal who owned the Oxford Book Shop at 2208–10 Allston Way, on the corner of Oxford Street. He specialized in textbooks and also rented typewriters. Thompson couldn’t immediately unearth who designed the cabin-like home which sits above the street and has “peekaboo” views of the bay.
Listing agent Devin Ratoosh said he was told the house — along with two others that were originally on the lot too — were built as residences for pear pickers at a “fabled pear orchard.” “I have no idea if this is actually true,” he told Berkeleyside. “We were also told by a neighbor that this was one of the few properties that didn’t burn down in the Berkeley fire in 1923.” Ratoosh added that there are two cabins on the lot now.
The place has an undeniable charm with a large window in the living room looking out onto redwoods (“hug a tree” exclaims the listing agent), a claw-foot tub in the bathroom, a private porch off the bedroom, as well as a yard shared with a neighboring cottage.
Whether such a diminutive abode is worth paying $746 per square foot for — it’s listed at $479,000 — remains to be seen. One indicator might be that it last changed hands in 2007 and fetched $520,000.
This story was updated after publication with a correction about when the last recession began.