Blake House, the regal Northern California manor, which incoming University of California president Mark Yudof will soon inhabit, is in need of between $8 and $9 million of repair.
The home sits on an active geological slide and has electrical problems in addition to structural deficiencies such as an unsound foundation that has made it unsafe for inhabitation, said UC officials in a press release.
The three-story, 13,000 square foot Kensington-area mansion was built in the 1920s and donated to the UC in 1957. The house has views of San Francisco Bay and is surrounded by 10 acres of land, including lush Mediterranean gardens, which are open to the public.
Although former President Robert C. Dynes inhabited Blake House for the past five years, during that time a great deal of maintenance was deferred due to tight budgetary times and the fact that the repairs are so extensive that the house will be uninhabitable during construction.
The transition between presidents was deemed a good time to fix between five and eight inches of settlement and resultant cracks in the walls, among other issues. The University will provide Yudof with interim housing in Oakland, which will be leased at a cost to the UC of an initial $11,360 per month.
While the repairs are expected to be expensive, UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz said funding for repairs would come from private, discretionary endowment funds.
The mansion’s maintenance costs are hovering around $100,000 per year. Providing presidential housing is an academic tradition meant to entice better candidates in markets where housing prices can be high.
Upon hiring, Yudof was issued an $828,084 annual compensation package, which includes a $591,084 base salary and $237,000 in additional pension payments.