The Senger House is a private residence located in Berkeley, California, designed by architect Bernard Maybeck in 1907 for J.H. Senger and currently owned by Michael & Andrea Scharff. Through this website the Scharff family hopes to share their broadening understanding of the home’s history and design.
Bernard Maybeck's Senger House
This exceptional First Bay Regional Tradition home was designed by architect Bernard Maybeck for J.H Senger, Professor of German at UC Berkeley and Co-Founder of the Sierra Club. It is a complex structure showcasing Maybeck’s playful and creative use of unusual combinations of details. Here he has combined the exterior elements of Tudor half timbering, reminiscent of a traditional German Home, and the Berkeley brown shingle style. The house is lavishly appointed inside with grand public spaces that showcase Maybeck’s immense talent for the dramatic. It is this immense creativity and unbridled love of invention that makes Maybeck’s work so admired still today.
- Christian Olson, LEED AP BD+C
J. H. Senger
J.H. Senger was a native of Prussia, born in 1848. He joined the University of California, Berkeley as an instructor in German after taking his A.B. degree in 1882. In 1888 he received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and the same year was made instructor in German and Greek. He took a very active part in the affairs of the University and endeared himself in the hearts of thousands of students who attended his classes.
Dr. Senger was known as one of the ablest philologists in the country and contributed many articles to the Journal of the Philological Association. Besides being an ardent lover of nature, particularly the mountains, he was also devoted to music and art.
Senger was one of the leading architects of the early movement to recognize the incredible beauty and value of California’s natural wonders. As early as 1886 he conceived the idea of establishing a library of mountaineering literature in Yosemite Valley and using this as a headquarters of mountain exploration. In the early 1890's he worked with John Muir, Joseph LeConte, Warren Olney, William Keith, David Starr Jordan, and others to form the Sierra Club. Senger served as one of the 9 founding directors, the first Corresponding Secretary, and Chair for the first meeting of the club in San Francisco on September 16, 1892.