Haus Cramer

Stanford University in Berlin

Haus Cramer


Stanford in Berlin is not only a place where history is taught - it is itself a historical site. Stanford’s Berlin home is a villa designed by architect Hermann Muthesius. It is located in the Berlin district of Dahlem not far away from the Free University and neighboring the guesthouse of the German foreign minister.

Haus Cramer and its gardens are registered as an historical architectural site under the name of the family that built the house in 1912. In 1933, shortly after the Nazis came to power, the family emigrated to the U.S. The villa was largely destroyed by a gas explosion in the 1950s and stood in ruins for many years. Thanks to the architectural historian Julius Posener, the house was not razed in the mid-1970s as planned, but was rebuilt by the Senate of West Berlin for use as Stanford's campus in Berlin.

In 1988, 1996, and 2002, donations by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin and The Stanford Club of Germany allowed for a historically-accurate restoration and modernization of Haus Cramer under the direction of Berlin architect Burckhardt Fischer.  In 1988 the history of the villa came full circle when Charlotte Cramer of New York donated a 1928 painting by Leo von Koenig to Stanford in Berlin from the estate of her parents - a beautiful portrait of her from the time when she lived in the house.

The generosity and vision of Berlin alumnus Hans George Will and of Stanford President Prof. Gerhard Casper enabled the University to purchase Haus Cramer from the city of Berlin in the year 2000. It is the first property the University owns outside the United States. In 2005, the Berlin Will Foundation provided funding to build a multi-purpose sports court in the portion of the garden that had once been a tennis court.