Video Tour


511 Dwight Place, Berkeley

Perched on a dramatic pinnacle of Panoramic hill, this mid-century masterpiece offers some of the most expansive and extraordinary views of the entire San Francisco Bay area. First time on the market and being sold by the original family, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Bay Area Architect John Hans Ostwald designed “The Moruza-Ostwald House” in 1958. Ostwald designed the home to take advantage of the site's 270 degree view. The home’s location and architecture strike a masterful balance between the surrounding urban and the natural landscapes.

The Moruza house features a striking cathedral ceiling living room, wrapped in glass on three sides, South, West and North to take advantage of one of the most comprehensive panoramas of the Bay Area. Toward the West one looks straight out at the Golden Gate with a dramatic canyon view to the South side.  Ostwald’s goal in all his designs was to bring the outside in, so the structure with its glass walls are light and draw attention not so much to themselves, but to the spectacular Bay and natural Canyon vistas. 

The view is unique because the spur on which the house sits extends out beyond all the other ridges in the East Bay Hills providing unimpeded views north, west and south to include all five bridges of the San Francisco Bay. At approximately 760 feet above sea level, the elevation of the home is ideal to allow for an expansive view and separation from the urban landscape, while not being too high in the hills so that the detail and three dimensional effect is flattened as it often is at higher elevations. In fact, although it does not feel like it, about a ten-minute walk will take you to the UC Berkeley Campus and shopping areas.  

To the north, one can see Napa on a clear day, Mount Tamalpais and all of Marin County.  Through the center of the living room pavilion one looks straight out to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Faralon Islands beyond. Looking south, one can take in San Francisco, the Peninsula all the way to San Jose.  In the East Bay, the view extends from the San Rafael Bridge to San Leandro.  The house looks “over” and down on all of the UC Berkeley Campus and its’ Campanile tower (Sather Tower).

Another unique aspect of the four parcels on which the house is built:  They were purchased by Tito and Margaret Moruza from the direct descendants of the Peralta family. As a result, the Moruza house is built on one of the last parcels to be sold from the original Royal land grant to the Peralta family from the Spanish colonial era.

As one approaches the house from down the hill and looking at it from the street, the asymmetric porch can be seen jutting out towards the bay, an effect made possible by a steel cantilever beam, which also supports the living room.  The house was designed to present the views to a person entering the house as a striking revelation because one enters from below, up two levels of the outside stair case, and then up a spiral staircase to the living room where the views suddenly and unexpectedly present themselves on all directions.  This transition ends with a sense of floating over the entire Bay Area.

The living room is visually anchored on the left front by a black classic modern cast iron fire place in the round designed and built by JP Glaser, who designed the famous fire place in the Squaw Valley Lodge. There is a matching fire pit in the backyard also by JP Glaser.  Mr Glaser fashioned both round bases of the fireplace and the fire pit from five foot caps of a pressure vessel.

Ostwald believed that a house should be fitted to the personality and style of life of its occupants as well as to the nature of its environment. He valued rough cut simple materials, so you will see exposed double beams and all the ceilings of rough cut fir with Japanese style post and lintel timber construction, and direct unaffected use of planks, posts, trusses, nails and bolts, all of which are references for Ostwald, of early California rural farm structures.

The entire view side of the house to include the front bedrooms has a wraparound continuous deck, which juts out in front towards the Golden Gate on a cantilever beam like the prow of a ship.

The back of the house and protected patio provides a rock garden respite from the expansive view. A sitting room and bedrooms face the secluded garden, which is protected from the elements by a glass windbreak.  Landscaped paths lead uphill behind the house to terraces for more perspectives of the view and the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve  to the South.

The seclusion of The Moruza-Ostwald house is guaranteed because the property is contiguous to the East Bay Regional Parks Claremont Canyon, a natural canyon of extraordinary beauty. Both the canyon and the dramatic knoll across can be viewed from the living room and deck.  While the south edge of the property is completely protected by the Regional Park, the property also includes two lots to the front assuring protection of both the view and the home’s privacy.    The lot adjacent to the north of the house is also part of the property, which includes four lots in all.

The house made quite an impression when it was built, as it can be seen from all over the bay area, and was featured in an article and on the cover of Sunset Magazine in 1960 and local newspapers.

More about the architect:

John Hans Ostwald 1913-1974


Built in 1958
Architect: John Hans Ostwald 1913-1973
“The Moruza Ostwald House”
Interior sqft: 3022
Total lot(s) sqft: 25,236
Bedrooms: 5
Baths: 3
Two-car garage plus off street parking
Located at the end of a cul-de-sac backing Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve

Upper level:

  • Breathtaking SF bay views
  • Sunken living room with three sides of floor to ceiling glass panels
  • Open concept living and dining room
  • JP Glaser corner wood burning fireplace with gas starter
  • Anderson Fibrex dual pane sliding doors
  • Wrap around deck with cantilevered steel beam
  • Original kitchen design, deep counters, Bosch dishwasher, custom pass through & garbage shoot, open glass shelving and cork flooring
  • Kitchen overlooks the back patio, Claremont Canyon and sitting room
  • Access to back patio and upper gardens
  • Master suite with updated bath
  • Three bedrooms with an additional split bath off central hallway
  • Refinished random plank oak floors throughout
  • Marmoleum flooring in laundry room and hall bath
  • Atrium and back patio

Lower level:

  • Main entry with spiral staircase
  • Au-pair bedroom suite
  • Family room with wet bar
  • Lower level polished concrete floors
  • Full updated bath
  • Storage room
  • Hallway closets
  • Interior garage access
  • Lower patio access

Parcel Map


Panoramic Hill 

Living with Nature...

“Not only is this an area of great architectural significance, but the intimate relationship between houses, paths, and landscaping—all perched on the hillside, with narrow, circuitous Panoramic Way as their common bond—has resulted in a most charming and scenic district.

Panoramic Hill has been compared to a European hill town, but with its brown-shingle houses and lush vegetation, this “hill town” could only be found in the Bay Area. There are few sidewalks, but the many steps and paths will let you bypass the street often. The stunningly beautiful and romantic Orchard Lane, a classically inspired stairway designed in 1910 by Henry Atkins of Vickery, Atkins & Torrey, begins at the foot of the hill. Leading off in another direction is quiet Mosswood Path with its soft carpet of redwood needles. Arden Steps is arduous, but well worth the climb.

Co-existing with the early homes are some of the finest mid-century Modern houses. Set in such proximity, one can readily see the continuity and harmony between the redwood houses of the two eras.”*

Home to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Berkeley offers the intellectual and cultural stimulation from its campus -- which is within walking distance of downtown. Berkeley has long been at the forefront of culinary innovation. Locals flock to the original Peet’s Coffee & Tea and for residents who like to savor their meals at home, nearby retail districts allow them to shop like Europeans, going from store to store to purchase everything they need.

Panoramic Hill is adjacent to Claremont Canyon regional preserve. The canyon preserve is made up of 208 scenic acres, with miles of picturesque hiking, off leash dog and equestrian trails to observe wildlife in its rightful home.

The demographic of the Hill hosts longtime residents, families, professors and students. The major thoroughfares are Telegraph Avenue, Bancroft Way, and College Ave, where street vendors, bookstores, galleries, record shops, cafes and eateries cater to the local residents. Nightlife is abundant, thanks to the proximity to campus, The Greek Theatre, Zellerbach Hall, and Downtown Berkeley theatres.
Downtown Berkeley BART station serves the neighborhood, as do a number of Alameda-Contra Costa Transit buses, making it a snap to get to downtown San Francisco, local airports, sports stadiums, and other locations in the Bay Area.

*Sited Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association 2005 (BAHA)

Please excuse the road construction....

Panoramic Hill has been working with EBMUD to replace University Reservoir, apprx. 7,300 feet of water pipes and the University pumping plant for the residents. While it has been limiting our access to and from during the daytime hours, Oakland, Berkeley and our utility companies are doing their best to accommodate our needs. The good news is at the end of this project not only will we have tremendous upgrades for our utilities, the City of Berkeley is also slated to repave their roads affected in 2018.


Open Houses:

Sunday October 1st 2pm-4pm

Sunday October 8th 2pm-4pm


Please note timing....

***Offers due Friday October 13th***


Additional Showings by Appointment:
Contact Laura Arechiga


Laura Arechiga

Laura Arechiga

Realtor® AssociatecalDRE# 01388149510.701.5188