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Listing No. 2005

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1913 Italianate

Placentia, California 92870

Berkenstock Estate

Welcome to 829 Berkenstock Circle. One of the most significant homes architecturally and culturally in Orange County California.
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Column detail
Column detail
Formal Dining Room
Formal Dining Room
Formal dining room with quarter sawn floors, wainscoting, coffered ceilings,and built in buffet with leaded stained glass mural and doors which measure approximately 17x18
Historical Landmark #1 in Placentia
Historical Landmark #1 in Placentia
This home is ready to be submitted for National Register Status.
1 Story
Bedrooms 3
Full Baths 4
Heated Sq. Ft. 5,684
Unheated Sq. Ft. 35,066


  • Breakfast Room
  • Dining room
  • Finished Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry Room
  • Living room
  • Casement windows
  • Driveway - Paved
  • Fenced Yard
  • Garden
  • Patio
  • Pool - In Ground
  • Sprinkler System
  • Built-in Cabinets
  • Carpet
  • Fireplaces
  • Skylight
  • Wood floors
  • Gas heating
  • Range
  • Sprinkler System
  • Water Heater - Gas
  • Claw-foot Tub(s)
  • Pocket Doors
  • Stained Glass Window(s)
  • Wrap-Around Porch
  • Abundant closets
  • Built-in settee
  • Dumbwaiter
  • French doors
  • Quarter sawn hardwood throughout,on the floors,coffered ceilings,trims,wainscoting and built-in furniture
  • Sconce lighting

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This listing is archived and is not for sale.

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Berkenstock Estate designed by architect Frederick Eley

The Historic Berkenstock Estate features 5,684 square feet of turn of the century elegance. William Berkenstock, husband to Josephine Wagner of the pioneer Wagner family, made his fortune in orchard fumigation, and in 1913, he commissioned an elegant home for his wife and daughters, at a
reported cost of $15,000, a small fortune at the time, befitting the Berkenstocks sature in the community. The Berkenstock Estate was designed
by Frederick Eley, an architect who designed some of the most notable public buildings and private homes at that time. Among Eleys best known
commissions are St.John's Lutheran Church in Old Towne Orange, the Gervais-Truxaw house, now known as The White House Restaurant on South
Anaheim Blvd in Anaheim, Orange County High School Science and Education Arts Buildings (now Chapman University), the A.H. Heim Residence, on
Palmyra in Orange, Santa Ana's YMCA Building, the Fiscus Residence, now the Caldwell home on Broadway in Anaheim. Nearly all of Eley's works are now listed on the National Register, and a professional historian stands ready to list this property in the National Register, should the new
owner choose to pursue that prestigious honor. Due to its historic significance, this property is also Mills Act eligible, resulting in a
potential savings of up to 60% on property taxes. The Santa Ana Register reports on the home in 1912, which will probably be the handsomest and
most notable building of the kind in Orange County.* Originally surrounded by an 80-acre orange grove, the estate now sits atop a knoll
on nearly an acre, in a private development near the intersections of Yorba Linda Blvd. and Mc McCormick in the city of Placentia.

The exterior design of this grand estate is Italian Renaissance Revival and reflects the architectural influences of the early 20th century, as Americans sought to establish themselves with the imagery evoked by the
classic architecture of Europe. Sophisticated features borrowed from the Arts and Crafts movement then sweeping California balance the interior. This is also one of the few remaining structures of its size and type still in use as a single-family residence.*

The home features quarter sawn hardwood throughout, on the floors, coffered ceilings, trims, wainscoting and built-in furniture. Pocket
doors can separate the central living room from the private library and gracious dining room. With the doors open, the three spaces flow together for entertaining in a grand manner. The two fireplaces remain original with accents and green tile reflecting turn of the century tile artisans. The Berkenstocks moved in the most elite social circles of their day, and
their home reflects their impressive stature in the community.

The 5,684 square ft. estate includes three spacious bedrooms and three and a half baths. There is a clearly defined master bedroom, which offers its own bath. The grand living room features gorgeous casement windows, with French doors leading to the stately courtyard. The living room fireplace nestles a nook with built-in settee. The stately library, also adorned with a fireplace, features its own side entrance. The library also offers what appear to be the original ceiling mounted and sconce lighting, which are very impressive.

Frederick Eley's generous use of stained glass is a hallmark of his work, and is evident in both the two stained glass windows depicting scenes of
a castle, flanking the living room fireplace, as well as the amazing windows in the entertainment-sized dining room. The dining room windows
are wrapped in a huge built-in buffet that captures the soft light of the north facing room The formal dining room measures approximately 17ft x 18ft, features coffered ceilings and wainscoting of quarter sawn oak. Two doors lead to the kitchen.The bright, light filled kitchen features a center island and original dumb waiter! A very large breakfast nook, a huge utility room, and power room are all conveniently located in this northern wing of the home.

Unlike many homes of this era, Frederick Eley was generous with storage and space in his design. The abundant closets are located in the most
sensible of areas. The basement in this home is unlike any other in Orange County. At a staggering 2,156 square feet, this basement offers plenty of storage and usable living space! The basement is split into several rooms with potential for a crafts room AND a storage room and the largest room would make a great media room with theater seating. The basement has large windows that open to lots of natural light and a door that leads to the exterior!

The perfectly sized pool in the rear yard is accented by a patio retreat, reportedly an adaptive use of the former port-cochere reused from the side entrance. The original garage to this home is approximately 1,450 square feet! Mr. Berkenstock was a car collector and the garage can fit several cars! The very high ceilings may accommodate car lifts for today's car collector! There are also two storage rooms attached to the
garage. One has a bathtub in the corner with plumbing going to tanks, which legend reports was where alcohol was produced back in the
prohibition days! (bath tub gin?) The second room is obviously a workshop with storage loft.

Preservation professionals have evaluated the home and declared it to be eligible for National Register status.

Archived in June, 2012

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Listing No. 2005

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