In 1897, an Arizona rancher named Sam Crozier built a brown-shingle home at 2028 Bancroft Way. It was in an era in which Berkeley’s downtown was growing, due in part to the efforts of one of the city’s early land barons, Francis Kittredge Shattuck, who convinced the Central Pacific Railroad to run a spur line from Oakland through his holdings, which included downtown Berkeley.
Crozier only lived in the house a year before returning to Arizona, according to Caitlin Harvey, who prepared a report of the property’s history as part of a development effort. From then on the home was rented out to numerous people until 1977 when Yahya and Rosa Mayeri bought the home. They lived there until the mid-1990s, according to the report.
On July 19, starting at 5 a.m., Everest Properties moved the structure from its home of 123 years to a new site just a few blocks away, at 1940 Haste St. The move precedes the construction of a six-story, 62-foot high complex that will have 37 housing units. Two of them will be rented out below the market rate. The old house will be renovated, and joins another old house that was moved to the lot in 2017, said Laksh Lakireddy, the president of Everest Properties. The company manages about 1,200 units in Berkeley in total, some of which it owns and some owned by others.
It took a lot of organizing by a lot of different companies to make the move successful, as utility lines and electric lines had to be moved, traffic controlled, and more, said Lakireddy. The organizations involved included Scott Heavy Movers, Heafey Commercial, the Berkeley police, Cal Safety, PG&E and Sonic.
Berkeley has a tradition of preserving old brown-shingle houses constructed in what is known as the First Bay Tradition.
“The Bay Tradition was an ongoing regional architectural trend spanning from around 1910 through the 1960s and was the only dominant regional style of architecture to emerge in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Harvey wrote.
To build what was originally called Acheson Commons on University Avenue, the developer Equity Residential sold two old brown-shingle houses on Berkeley Way to Dmitri Belser and Tom White. (Mill Creek Residential eventually acquired Acheson Commons from Equity). The pair moved one house to a lot on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in 2010 but could not find a spot for the second house. It was torn down.
UC Berkeley is planning to tear down another old brown-shingle house on Berkeley Way to make room for its Gateway student housing project, which could comprise 850 beds.
Update, July 28: This article was updated to say that the Mayeri family lived in the home for almost 20 years.