The Hume Cloister is one of Berkeley’s most eccentric and exceptional residences. It was built in the late 20s by Samuel and Portia Hume who had recently returned from an extended trip to France. They were so enamored with the many medieval structures they saw there that they decided to make their new home in Berkeley a half-scale replica of a monastery in Toulouse. The architect they selected for this ambitious undertaking was none other than John Hudson Thomas.
Thomas handled the project with his usual aplomb, adding a few of his own trademark embellishments along the way. The home’s detailing was highly unusual even in the 20s when period revival architecture was on the rise so most of the materials had to be custom fabricated on site during construction.
It has been a banner week for fans of Thomas’ work. This home and the Pratt-Thomas house that was listed earlier in the week are two of the most impressive and best preserved examples of his work in Berkeley.