A tale of two mystery houses and one politician
2212 Fifth St., built in 1877 (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)
1905 Grove St., built in 1904 (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)
Berkeleyans who enjoy exploring the town will have seen the lone pink Italianate Victorian standing at 2212 Fifth Street just south of Allston Way. Even those who dont get about too much should be familiar with the grand Colonial Revival house guarded by two majestic palm trees at 1905 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (formerly Grove St.), just below Hearst Avenue.
Despite decades of research at BAHA, nobody knows who designed these two houses and by whom they were built.
But the houses have more than mystery in common: they also share a history, having been the successive homes of one prominent family, whose head was an imposing figure in local affairs as well as in state politics.
Read about Charles H. Spear and his two houses here.