Sisterna Historic District, Block 106


designated in 2005

Sisterna Historic District, Block 106

2105, 2107 and 2109 Fifth Street
2100, 2104, 2108 and 2110 Sixth Street
800, 814 and 816 Addison Street

Chilean mining prospector and farmer Rosario Sisterna and his wife Carmelita purchased approximately 55 acres of dairy farmland along the southern banks of Strawberry Creek in 1858. When Ocean View was still a small unincorporated village, ranchers watered their horses nearby. As the area began to develop, the Sisterna’s subdivided their land and sold parcels to family members and settlers.

This remaining group of ten largely intact houses constructed between 1877 and 1893 included the homes of the Velasca, Haller, Dowd, and McVay families. They and their neighbors farmed in the area and worked nearby at the Standard Soap Company, the West Berkeley Planing Mill, and Haller’s Carriage and Blacksmith shop. Original architectural details of Italianate, Victorian, Queen Anne, and Carpenter Gothic styles survived renovations over the years.

Contributed by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project, 2003

  • Sisterna District (2011), photo R. Kehlmann.

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society