Oppenheimer’s former Berkeley rental listed for $1.5 million

Two men in a black-and-white photo.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, right, who is credited with contributing heavily to the development of the atomic bomb, chats with Robert Serber of the University of California’s radiation laboratory at Berkeley in April 1946.
(Associated Press)

Before J. Robert Oppenheimer pulled up stakes for Los Alamos, he was just another physics professor renting a room in the Berkeley Hills.

Now you too can literally follow in his footsteps for the low price of $1.495 million. The property, at 2665 Shasta Road, was first listed on June 27, according to Redfin.

“Located less than one mile north of UC Berkeley campus, the neighborhood of Berkeley Hills offers spacious houses for rent with modern kitchens and stunning views of the hills, valleys, canyons and San Francisco Bay,” the listing reads.


The property, where the man known to history as the “father of the atomic bomb” lived while teaching at UC Berkeley, measures 3,890 square feet. It’s built into the hillside, comprising four units: one two-bedroom, one single-bedroom and two studio layouts, each with its own balcony. Only the property’s two-car garage and carports are visible from the street.

According to 1940 census records shared by, Oppenheimer lived in one of the lower units of the 2665 address. His landlord, Mary Ellen Washburn, lived in the upper part of the house, according to Berkeleyside.

More information and photos of the home can be found on the listing’s website, Alec Matut of The Pinza Group is brokering the deal for the property.