berkeley palace exterior Photo: Trulia

It’s true. At $7.5 million, 1960 San Antonio Avenue, or the John Hopkins Spring Estate, is the most expensive property currently on the market in Berkeley.

Modeled after Empress Elisabeth of Austria’s Achilleion Palace in Corfu, Greece, the sprawling mansion lies on 3.25 acres in the Southampton area of the Berkeley Hills. Ripe with redwood, eucalyptus, pine and palm trees — as well as a reflecting pool — the massive estate is also home to 1984 San Antonio Avenue and 639 Arlington Avenue.

berkeley palace gates Photo: Trulia

berkeley palace entry Photo: Trulia

berkeley palace stairs Photo: Trulia

The mansion is huge, with seven bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms, but the star of the estate is without a doubt its atrium, which features an Italian fountain and sweeping 15-foot-wide staircases.

berkeley palace fireplace Photo: Trulia

berkeley palace living area Photo: Trulia

The massive home was built in 1912 for John Hopkins Spring, a Bay Area entrepreneur who opened the very first department store in San Francisco — the City of Paris in Union Square. Designed by John Hudson Thomas, the property has a Beaux Arts-style exterior; its 12,000-square-foot interior features Vienna Secession and Egyptian motifs.

berkeley palace couches Photo: Trulia

berkeley palace bedroom Photo: Trulia

berkeley palace bathroom Photo: Trulia

More recently, the property was made a City of Berkeley landmark in 2000. Before it went up for sale, celebrity designer and HGTV host Cora Sue Anthony was enlisted by Sotheby’s International Realty to cast her interior design magic on the estate.

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