Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Known in Berkeley as the “Troll House,” 2321 Valley St. has incredible history and a whimsical design befitting that nickname. 

This 1,283-square-foot cottage was built in 1928 and it’s on the market now for $899,000. Though it oozes the fairytale charm that so distinguishes Storybook style, it didn’t get its fairytale name until it passed into the hands of Grateful Dead sound engineer Owsley Stanley. Stanley owned the home during the Dead’s heyday, which meant many illustrious people passed through these enchanting brick walls. 

The kitchen has been updated for modern cooks, but still has a vintage feel. 

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The breakfast nook looks out on the 3,605-square-foot landscaped and fenced lot. 

The breakfast nook looks out on the 3,605-square-foot landscaped and fenced lot. 

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The two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage was built by the Fox Brothers, an architecture and design partnership responsible for similar Storybook structures in Berkeley built from the 1920s through the 1950s. Among their work are such iconic structures as Fox Commons and Fox Court. Both landmarks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The angles and picture windows add Storybook appeal to this office/yoga space. 

The angles and picture windows add Storybook appeal to this office/yoga space. 

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That enchantment came from more than these cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows overlooking the property’s landscape. Along with his work for the Dead, Stanley was an enthusiastic manufacturer of high-quality LSD.

The primary bedroom rests under dark wood cathedral ceilings. 

The primary bedroom rests under dark wood cathedral ceilings. 

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This bedroom is large enough to allow for an office nook.

This bedroom is large enough to allow for an office nook.

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 A Rolling Stone article from 1982 describes how Stanley filled the home with Asian furnishings and fabrics, musical instruments and stereo equipment. The Troll House “quickly became a regular stopover for the psychedelic elite,” according to the home’s official website.

A close-up of the brickwork showcases Fox Brother craftsmanship. 

A close-up of the brickwork showcases Fox Brother craftsmanship. 

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The home now has a different role in this Berkeley neighborhood that is itself charmingly dubbed “Poet’s Corner.” The current seller is a playwright and artist who has preserved the home’s original beauty.

In the bathroom is a deep soaking tub. 

In the bathroom is a deep soaking tub. 

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If you want to be the next to call the Troll House home, you will need a little magic on your side. 2321 Valley St. is already pending. 

Welcome! Your entrance and exit will always be memorable here. 

Welcome! Your entrance and exit will always be memorable here. 

Open Homes Photography