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Thorsen House

Since 1942, the Sigma Phi Society of California has owned the Thorsen House and has been entrusted with its care and preservation. For generations, the brothers have made historically-sensitive improvements to the house. Saturday mornings in their entirety are devoted to cleaning and restoration projects.


A short list of our accomplishments includes:

  • Restoring the timber balcony of the guest room

  • Installing structural shoring for the lower sun deck

  • Installing new wood flooring

  • Installing new shingles on the southern facade

  • Restoring original finishes to the wood paneling

  • Painting window exteriors to the original color

For the last 40 years, we have been grateful for the support of numerous architects, architectural historians, interior designers, artists, and Arts & Crafts enthusiasts. Restoring the Thorsen House has always been a collaboration between the Society and the experts among the community. The end result is a priceless architectural and artistic treasure in Berkeley.


We welcome you to join us in our restoration efforts, and become a part of the history of the Thorsen House. Currently, we are raising funds for several necessary projects, some of which include:

  • An urgent seismic retrofit

  • Restoration of the timber bridge between the house and garage

  • Reproduction of the perimeter fence and timber gate in the backyard

  • Preserving and restoring portions of the Belgian linen on the ceiling

Support the Thorsen House restoration efforts by making a 100% tax-deductive contribution.

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