History of the Houses

Note: As House Historian in 1980, I wrote this history of the Lothlorien Houses:

History of 2405 and 2415 Prospect Street

By: Enric Teller
Lothlorien House Historian: Fall 1980
corrected: 1/16/1981, 1/9/2020

2405 Prospect Street

Original Owner: George H. Maxwell
Built: 1883
Contractor: Smilie

Architect: Clinton Day
One of the first architects in Berkeley, Clinton Day sited many of the early University of California at Berkeley buildings as early as 1868 (sited the Chemistry Building in 1889.) Mr. Day designed the City of Paris building in San Francisco. And, is noted for various other architectural accomplishments in the Bay Area.

1924: Founded as a fraternity in the Alpha Chapter.
Around 1967: Leased to the One World Family commune probably by Victor Constantine (2415 Prospect Street is included, most likely initially in this lease).

Miscellaneous: 2405 Prospect Street was originally located on around Channing Street or Piedmont Avenue between Channing and Dwight Streets. This building was moved to it's present location (2415 Prospect Street) probably before 1920.
The third floor likely originally consisted of servants quarters. And the facing right hand staircase probably was at one time the servant's staircase.

2415 Prospect Street

Original Owner: undiscovered
Built: undiscovered, before 1920.
Contractor: undiscovered.
Architect: undiscovered.

1919: H. L. Day
1927: Pi Signa Gamma (sorority)
The sorority spent about $5,000 in building changes and/or improvements. The building was then a eight-bedroom house of 2 1/2 stories.
1933: Pi Sigma Gamma. Founded at the University of California on November 23 1919. Alpha Chapter established on November 23rd 1919. Two chapters. The sorority spent an additional $9,500 on house improvements and/or changes. At this time the building consisted of three stories.
1940: Beta Sigma Omicorn (fraternity?).
Founded at the University of Missouri in 1888. Alpha IOTA Chapter established in 1929. Fifty four chapters.

One World Family to 1980

2405 and 2415 Prospect Street

2405 and 2415 Prospect Street was leased to the One World Family commune from about 1968 to spring of 1975 by, most likely, Victor Constantine. The O.W.F. was certain to be leasing the houses from Victor Constantine in the spring of 1975.

Background information on the O.W.F.

Leader: Allen Michael

Philosophy: A mystical, semi religious belief with philosophical precepts and ideas extracted and combined from Christianity, eastern religions and philosophies, capitalism ideas along with communist notions, vegetarianism and apparently these views were centered around a belief in UFO's that are designing a better life on earth.
The O.W.F. constructed the sauna in the basement of 2415 Prospect street.
The O.W.F. is said to have used room 2 as a nursery at one time. Room 7 is believed to have been used for a print shop. The garage of 2415 Prospect street is said to have had wood work done and was used at one time as a bookstore. Room 301 is believed to have been a natural childbirth room. And, the "Infinity" room in the basement of 2415 Prospect street (off of the entrance to the sauna area) was possibly an art room and/or a mushroom growing area in a section behind the room and/or an orgy room (mattresses and Vaseline oil was found in this area supposedly when the U.S.C.A. took possession of the houses).

1974: The following is said to have been true. Drugs were used, especially acid. Nude sunbathing occurred frequently. There was a sauna practically every night. The O.W.F. made tie dye shirts. And, on Friday night's Tantric sex was practiced in the living room of 2405 Prospect street. This is said to have occurred in the following manner: The women formed a circle sitting in the lotus position. Then, the men entered them while the women remained still. It was believed that one could recognize ones "soul partner" in this manner. At one point a group that were practicing Tantric sex contracted a venereal disease, and for some time they refused to treat it in any other manner (such as seeing a doctor or taking medicine) than with herbs and natural remedies.

1975: In the summer of 1975, the U.S.C.A. bought 2405 and 2415 Prospect street from Victor Constantine due partly to the O.W.F. supposedly being unable to continue to pay it's lease. At this writing, according to a source, part or all of the One World Family now lives on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Lastly, paintings, drawings, literature and other remnants of the One World Family residence in 2405 and 2415 prospect street are located in the attic of 2415 Prospect street.


The U.S.C.A. bought 2405 and 2415 Prospect street in the Summer of 1975.
First Quarter: Fall 1975
First House Manager: Garry Martin

Background on "Lothlorien" name

The name ''Lothlorien" for the co-op located at 2405 and 2415 Prospect street originates from J.R.R. Tolkiens' The Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially the the sixth chapter of the Book II in the novel, The Fellowship of the Ring . Lothlorien in J.R.R. Tolkiens' novels, is the den of the elves (the members of the Lothlorien co op are, thus, often referred to as "elves." Previous members are sometimes called "old" and/or "former elves").

First Lothlorien Talent Show: Spring 1978

Note: Further research is open to be filled in, especially in the area of Managers, officers, events, background information, lifestyle and miscellaneous information on the Lothlorien co-op. And, for information previous to 1976, one could start researching through the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Victor Constantine, who was at the original writing, located in the Oakland phone book, and the One World Family, if locatable, on Maui, Hawaii.