15 September 2016

Friday Outing to BAM/PFA

Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Friday, 7 October 2016
2:00 pm
Center & Oxford streets, Berkeley

(meet at 1:45 at Center Street entrance)
$15

Our popular series of Friday outings, organized by Sally Sachs, returns this fall, opening with a guided tour of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

Having begun its life as the University of California Press Building (Charles F. Masten & Lester W. Hurd, architects, 1939) the original New Deal Moderne structure was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark in 2004.

New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro adapted the building to house galleries, a small theater, art-making lab, and offices, slicing through it with a bold new structure housing a film theater, library, study center, and café.

The tour will be guided by a UC graduate student.

Purchase tickets via PayPal or send a check to:

BAHA
Outings on Fridays
P.O. Box 1137
Berkeley, CA 94701

06 September 2016

Come see us at the Solano Stroll

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, 11 September 2016, at the 42nd annual Solano Stroll. The BAHA booth will be located at 1741 Solano Avenue, on the north side of the street, near Ensenada Avenue.

29 August 2016

Why the PSR/Mather Holy Hill project is bad for Berkeley

Photo: Daniella Thompson

The Mather LifeWays project proposed for the Pacific School of Religion campus and its surroundings has the potential to do great harm to the Northside neighborhood and to Berkeley as a whole.

The overscaled senior housing development would do away with the beloved historic PSR campus, an oasis on the hill. Gone will be the beautiful open space, the western vista, and all but one of the campus’s architecturally significant buildings.

The Mather development would tear the fabric of a residential neighborhood, demolishing an unprecedented number of buildings, constructed mostly in the 1920s, along Virginia Street, Le Conte Avenue, and Arch Street.

The project purports to follow the LEED Gold standard yet would be extremely ungreen, razing 16 perfectly functional buildings. As we all know, the greenest building is the one already built.

Demolition and construction would last for years, disrupting the life of untold residents in this quiet neighborhood.

Building senior housing on top of a steep hill is ill-advised. We can’t imagine the Mather residents huffing and puffing their way uphill or stumbling and falling while descending the precipitous slope of Le Conte Avenue. The Mather residents’ cars (potentially hundreds of them) and the facility’s regular shuttle buses would turn peaceful Holy Hill into a traffic hub.

No affordable housing would be available in this project—only the well-heeled need apply, buying in with an initial payment to the tune of ~$500,000, plus thousands in monthly “care services” fees.

There’s more than one way for PSR to overcome its financial deficit. PSR could sell its buildings individually, or it could rent a limited portion to its shrinking enrollment of seminary students and lease the rest to the general public at market rates. Yet PSR and Mather have devised no fallback plan in case their mammoth building scheme should fail.

In short, the PSR/Mather project favors the few over the many, demonstrating a sense of entitlement so brazen, the likes of which we have not seen for decades, if ever.

Berkeley Historical Society Fall 2016 Walking Tours

Cloyne Court Hotel (photo: Louis L. Stein Jr. collection)

Tours start at 10:00 am and end at approximately 12:00 pm. Pre-paid reservations are required.

Purchase tickets: $10 general; $8 BHS members

Saturday, 10 September
Strawberry Creek on the UC Campus
Led by Bob Charbonneau

In 1860, the College of California (predecessor to Cal) moved from Oakland to its present site in Berkeley, in part because of Strawberry Creek. Its notable start was not always honored during the next century when pollution, concrete channeling, underground piping, and elimination of the middle fork occured. Much of that has changed since the mid-1980s. Learn about Strawberry Creek’s history, its hideaways, and the restoration efforts from Bob Charbonneau, the expert who made Strawberry Creek and its restoration his master’s thesis.

Saturday, 17 September
“Sara’s Song”–Inspired Walk in South Berkeley
Led by Tina Jones Williams

Sara’s Song is a new book set on Julia Street in South Berkeley, from 1943 to 1969. The walk will describe the pride and enthusiasm the “Colored” homeowners felt buying their first homes in this working class all black neighborhood. The Sara’s Song author will share the history of the all black-owned businesses in the neighborhood (including a doctor and a pharmacist), where they were located, and the culture that was embraced by the residents. She will also paint a picture of raising a family in this neighborhood; where the children played and were educated; where they worshipped, studied and grew into adults. An easy, flat walk beginning and ending at the new Byron Rumford statue.

Saturday, 24 September
The 1923 North Berkeley Fire
Led by Phil Gale

BHS board member, local historian, and model railroader Phil Gale will conduct a commemoration of the North Berkeley fire of 17 September 1923, crisscrossing the fire line in five places. He’ll identify the various changes wrought in buildings and landscape, and walk us to a salvaged Maybeck chimney, among other surprising relics, around which a new house was constructed. Phil will share with you his early North Berkeley family photos and reminiscences.

Saturday, 1 October
Northside: Arts & Crafts on the Fire’s Edge
Led by Daniella Thompson

Come and see where Berkeley’s Arts & Crafts tradition began; where Bernard Maybeck designed his first hill houses; where artists established their residence and built their studios; where the Hillside Club was founded; where the Berkeley Brown Shingle was born. On this tour, we will see historic houses that survived the 1923 Berkeley Fire, as well as some notable buildings constructed after the ashes had been cleared. The walk is steep in some parts, and is not wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, 15 October
Marin Avenue North: Early 20th-Century Berkeley Hills
Led by Paul Grunland

Revisit one of Berkeley’s most delightful neighborhoods—charming houses built by famed architects and builders; winding contoured streets; creeks; rock outcroppings; city parks and pathways. Some climbing but generally level. Not wheelchair accessible.

16 August 2016

Women Speak: Four Architects on Design

Berggruen House, designed by Fernau & Hartman

All lectures will begin at 7:30 pm at the Berkeley City Club.

Full series, $50advance purchase only
Individual lectures, $15advance purchase or at the door

The Berkeley City Club Conservancy is presenting an exciting and inspiring lecture series this fall. The four architects featured in the series are leaders in promoting sustainability, historic revitalization, and urban planning.

Thursday, 22 September 2016
Designing Cities, a Global Challenge
Ellen Lou/SOM

Ellen Lou’s lecture will focus on the global challenge in cities, the explosive growth in urbanization, economic contribution of cities, environmental issues, and trends. She will be using domestic and international case studies to discuss these issues. Lou is the Director of Urban Design and Practice at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in San Francisco.

Thursday, 13 October 2016
Inside/Out, Outside/In—Collaboration with Landscape in the Work of Fernau & Hartman Architects
Laura Hartman/Fernau & Hartman

Hartman will unravel one of the threads that runs through her firm’s work: the exploration of the relation between buildings and landscape, at different scales and in difference places. She will focus on what the firm has learned from working with different sites, and on designing to encourage inhabitants to engage with the world around them. Hartman has worked closely in long-term relationships with diverse client groups, including Co-Housing for the Cheesecake Consortium, San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, and CuriOdyssey at Coyote Point in San Mateo, skillfully accommodating and mediating the multiple voices of her clients.

Thursday, 27 October 2016
Architecture as a Catalyst for Change
Marsha Maytum/Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Marsha Maytum will describe her firm’s work in architecture as a catalyst for change. Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco has designed new buildings and the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of existing structures. Projects include the Sweetwater Spectrum Community, a housing project for adults with autism; the conversion of an historic army fort into a resort at Cavallo Point in Sausalito; and the conversion of a former army hospital at the Presidio into the Thoreau Center for Sustainability.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Design Intent
Allison Williams/AECOM

Allison Williams is design director for AECOM’s Bay Area Metro Region. Her projects include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Computational Research Facility; the August Wilson Center, a performing arts center in Pittsburgh PA; CREATE at the National University of Singapore; the new Calexico US Port of Entry; and the Princess Nora Abdulrahman University Health Sciences and Research Campus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (for 40,000 Islamic Women).

02 August 2016

Vintage cars on display at Willard Park

Sunday, 7 August 2016
5 pm to 6 pm
2700 block of Hillegass Avenue
(next to Willard Park)
Berkeley

Following our sold-out Maybeck Afternoon, the two vintage cars featured in the event will be driven by their owners through the streets of Berkeley to the Willard Park neighborhood, where they will be on public display for an hour.

The “Maybeck Packard,” an extremely rare 1929 Packard 640 Dual Cowl Phaeton presented to the architect by his client, business magnate Earle C. Anthony, will be displayed by its current owners, Bill and Mary Jabs of Oregon.

Local vintage car collector and Bay Area historian Donna Huggins will display “Maud,” a 1936 Ford Roadster perfectly preserved in its original condition.

Also on display will be a 1937 Rolls Royce, a 1947 Bentley, and a 1952 MG.

21 July 2016

Gray Brechin lectures on park architecture


Yosemite Museum, designed by Herbert Maier (National Park Service)

The Hillside Club Round Table presents

A New Deal for the Arts & Crafts: Herbert Maier and the California Boys in the National and State Parks

An illustrated lecture by Gray Brechin

Wednesday, 24 August 2016
7:30 pm
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

Donation requested; BHC members free

Now celebrating its centennial, the National Park Service was largely created by graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. Among its most important early designers was architect Herbert Maier, who transmitted the Arts and Crafts ethos and aesthetic so prevalent in the town in 1916 to the myriad of rustic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps twenty years later.


Herbert Maier

For additional information about the Hillside Club Round Table, see the club’s website.

19 July 2016

When Architects and Artists had Big Dreams for BART


An early, unrealized design for the El Cerrito BART station by Vernon DeMars (Vernon DeMars Collection, U.C. Berkeley Environmental Design Archives)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016
7:00 pm
El Cerrito Community Center
7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito

Free admission

Back in the mid-1960s, planners envisioned a rapid transit system that would link the entire Bay Area, with stations in Napa, Fairfield, Santa Rosa, Brentwood, Livermore, Campbell, San Jose, and Los Altos, among other spots. Every station was to have art. BART’s architects hoped that the new system would not only provide transportation but aid in “controlling and directing future urban growth and development, and [...] upgrading economically and physically depressed and stagnant sections of the urban complex.”

What happened to BART’s art and architecture, and to these dreams?

Writer Dave Weinstein will discuss BART’s original artistic and architectural plans. Jennifer Easton, BART’s art program manager, will discuss current plans for art on BART.

Sponsored by the El Cerrito Historical Society. Wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments.

Information: Dave Weinstein, (510) 524-1737, davidsweinstein@yahoo.com

06 July 2016

A Maybeck Afternoon, 7 August 2016


Jacomena Maybeck and her twin daughters, 1931

Sunday, 7 August 2016
2 pm ~ 4 pm
$40, advance purchase only

Sold out!

In the late 1920s, Bernard Maybeck’s most prominent client was Earle C. Anthony (1880–1961), a pioneer of broadcasting, gas stations, and bus lines, as well as the Packard distributor for all of California. Maybeck designed opulent Packard showrooms in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles, as well as Anthony’s famed Los Feliz estate.

In partial payment for architectural services, Anthony had a special-order Packard 640 Dual Cowl Phaeton made for Maybeck. This luxurious and magnificently restored car, one of only three in existence, has its home-base outside California and will be brought to Berkeley for one day only, to serve as the centerpiece of the Maybeck Afternoon reception and open house.

Two of the Maybeck family homes and a third iconic Maybeck-designed house will be open. Light refreshments will be served in a garden.

Capacity is limited to 75 participants! Order your tickets now! Ticket buyers will be notified of the location.

Order tickets online or send a check, made payable to BAHA, to P.O. Box 1137, Berkeley, CA 94701.


The Maybeck Packard (photo courtesy of Bill Jabs)

Call for volunteers

Would you like to attend the event free of charge? Volunteer for 1.5 hours as a docent or refreshment helper, and have half the event’s time free to enjoy the Maybeck Afternoon.

Interested? Please e-mail BAHA, giving your phone number, and indicate whether you prefer to work the 1:30–3:00 shift or the 3:00–4:30 shift.

26 June 2016

2016 BAHA Preservation Awards


UC Theater (photo: Carrie Olson, 2016)

At the BAHA Annual Meeting on 26 May 2016, twelve rehabilitation projects received our Preservation Awards for renewing the life of historic properties in Berkeley.

See the winners and read about them on the BAHA website

18 June 2016

The Berkeley Unitarians and Architectural Innovation


First Unitarian Church (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The Hillside Club Round Table Presents
A lecture by Daniella Thompson

The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
7:30 pm

In the late 19th century, several religious denominations founded vigorous congregations in the neighborhoods around the UC Berkeley campus. Early Berkeley Unitarians, whose membership included the Maybecks, the Keelers, and fellow founders of the Hillside Club, held a progressive view of architecture. Their first church building at Bancroft Way and Dana Street, designed by A.C. Schweinfurth and completed in 1898, incorporates startling architectural features and has been characterized as a “powerhouse.”

In her illustrated lecture, Daniella Thompson will trace the history of the Unitarian community in Berkeley, introduce its cast of leading characters and the significant houses they built, and discuss the links between culture and nature embodied in its church buildings. Many rare images will be shown.

For information about the Hillside Club Round Table, please see this page.

01 June 2016

Visit us at the Bay Area Book Festival


Photo: Steven Finacom

Saturday & Sunday
4 & 5 June 2016
Berkeley Civic Center

Look for the joint BAHA/Berkeley Historical Society booth on Allston Way, in front of the Downtown YMCA and across from the Post Office.

We will offer dozens of titles of history and fiction about Berkeley, including many hard-to-find or out-of-print BAHA and BHS publications.

Authors’ book-signing schedule

Saturday, 4 June 2016

10 am–12 pm

Burl Willes, author of Tales of the Elmwood and lead author of Picturing Berkeley: A Postcard History.

Diane De Pisa, author of Berkeley Then: A Photo Diary of the Sixties Scene, featuring the photographs of her husband, Elio De Pisa, who managed the Cafe Med on Telegraph Avenue.

12 pm–2 pm

Lyndon Comstock, author of On Parker Street: The Evolution of a Berkeley Neighborhood 1855–1965, an in-depth history of the south Berkeley block where he lived.

Sue Austin, author of The Bamboo Garden, a gentle children’s novel about life and interracial friendship in 1923 Berkeley at the time of the great Berkeley Fire.

2 pm–4 pm

Sal Levinson, author of Butterfly Papercrafts, signing her book and also representing her brother, Bill Levinson, whose book, Firecats! is a children’s novel about the 1991 Oakland/Berkeley Hills Firestorm.

2 pm–3 pm

Aleta George, author of Ina Coolbrith: The Bittersweet Song of California’s First Poet Laureate.

3 pm–4 pm

Richard Di Giacomo, author of Historical Gems of the San Francisco Bay Area, a guide to local museums and historical sites.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

10 am–12 pm

Wendy Markel, author of Berkeley, California (Arcadia Postcard History series).

12 pm–2 pm

Alan Bern, career staffer at the Berkeley Public Library and poet, author of Waterwalking in Berkeley.

Harvey Smith, local historian and activist, author of Berkeley and the New Deal.

2 pm–4 pm

Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny, author of Berkeley Landmarks and An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area, and co-author of Picturing Berkeley: A Postcard History.

3 pm–4 pm

Anthony Bruce, executive director of BAHA, signing Home to Berkeley in 1912: A Centennial Remembrance, detailing the story of his family’s life in early 20th-century Berkeley through letters, postcards, and photos.

23 May 2016

2016 House Tour Photo Gallery

19 May 2016

Annual Membership Meeting & Preservation Awards Presentation

Thursday, 26 May 2016
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

6:30 Social Hour — no-host wine bar
7:00 Buffet Dinner ($35 by reservation)*
7:30 Business Meeting and Election of Officers & Directors
Free coffee & dessert for all
8:00 Preservation Awards Presentation

* Dinner will be provided by Mediterraneo Catering. The $35 per-person price includes one glass of wine. Vegetarian option available.

If you wish to order dinner, please purchase tickets online and include the names of your guests.

For further information, call (510) 841-2242 or e-mail to baha@berkeleyheritage.com.

Slate of BAHA Officers and Directors for FY 2016–17

The duly constituted BAHA nominating committee carefully vetted and selected a slate of officers and directors for the 2016–2017 board. At its monthly meeting on 16 May 2016, the current Board of Directors held a hearing and voted to adopt the nominating committee’s recommendation for the following slate. This is the slate that is being presented to the membership at the annual meeting.

President: Steven Finacom
Vice-President: Leila H. Moncharsh
Secretary: Carrie Olson
Treasurer: Stephanie Manning

Directors at Large

  • Christopher Adams
  • Susan Cerny
  • Judith Harris-Frisk
  • Jane Edginton
  • Neysa Garrett
  • James Grandison
  • Glen Jarvis
  • Ann Killebrew
  • Lauren MacDonald
  • Jane McKinne-Mayer
  • Arlene Silk
  • 30 April 2016

    Community Day at the Hillside School

    Sunday, 15 May 2016
    2 to 5 pm
    Free admission
    Performances, music, food, drinks, Hillside 90 exhibition, activities for all ages.

    Come celebrate the 90th anniversary of the historic Hillside School, now owned by the German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV).

    Designed by Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., the landmark building has just undergone extensive restoration and is looking magnificent.

    Learn about the exciting programs that are taking place at the school and meet members of the Hillside School Alumni.

    08 April 2016

    Berkeley! How We Got Our Name

    17 April – 24 September 2016
    Berkeley History Center
    Veterans Memorial Building
    1931 Center Street
    Berkeley

    In 1866, the private College of California, predecessor to the University of California, was getting ready to subdivide and sell some of the land it owned north of Oakland and south of the college site to help pay for building a campus. The college trustees knew that a name was needed if they were to sell home sites. They had turned to Frederick Law Olmsted for guidance. Would we have been better off living in Shelterdue, Havensholme, or even Billingsgate, as Olmsted suggested? How did we end up with Berkeley?

    This new exhibit at the Berkeley Historical Society commemorates the 150th anniversary of the official selection of the name Berkeley on 24 May 1866. Curators Steven Finacom and Phyllis Gale, using documents, manuscripts, diaries, maps, images, and other sources, follow a committee of college trustees as they gathered on Founders’ Rock, an outcropping now found on the corner of Hearst Avenue and Gayley Road, to name the hamlet. It will retell the story of George Berkeley, how his name came to be attached to our campus and town, and who was involved in the naming.

    Admission free; donations welcome; wheelchair accessible. Telephone: (510) 848-0181. Regular hours: Thurs.–Sat., 1 pm–4 pm. berkeleyhistoricalsociety.org

    16 March 2016

    BAHA Spring House Tour, Sunday, 1 May 2016

    Featuring ten open houses designed by Bernard Maybeck; John Galen Howard; William Raymond Yelland; A.H. Broad; Malcolm D. Reynolds; and more.

    Information on the House Tour page.

    27 February 2016

    BAHA Spring House Tour

    BAHA Spring House Tour
    Sunday, 1 May 2016

    Stay tuned for future announcements.

    22 February 2016

    Second Annual Artistic License Lecture

    Thursday, 10 March 2016
    8:00 pm
    Hillside Club
    2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley 94709

    Suggested donation: $10 general; $5 Hillside Club members

    Artistic License presents The Ornamentalist in Florence: Painting, Shoes, and Prosecco, presented by Lynne Rutter. Lynne is a decorative artist, designer, and muralist based in San Francisco. For more than 30 years, she has been decorating, restoring, and gilding the ceilings and walls of beautiful interiors the world over. Her obsession with historic painted ornament has taken her all over Europe and led to the creation of her blog, The Ornamentalist. She is currently working on a book of the same title and recently spent three months in Florence collecting material for it.

    Artistic License is a guild of Bay Area Period Revival Artisans.

    20 February 2016

    Berkeley Historical Society Spring 2016 Walking Tours


    Old Art Gallery, U.C. Berkeley (photo courtesy of Mosaic Spotter)

    Tours start at 10:00 am and end at approximately 12:00 noon. Tours are limited to 30 paying participants unless noted otherwise. Pre-paid reservations are required, and tickets are not refundable. Tours are conducted in rain, shine, or Berkeley fog and are wheelchair-accessible unless otherwise noted.

    Ticket Order Form
    BHS members $8; General $10

    Saturday, 12 March 2016
    Sites and Stories of Berkeley’s Art Museums

    Led by Steven Finacom

    The University of California Berkeley Art Museum reopened in January at its new site in Downtown Berkeley. It’s the second “Berkeley Art Museum” downtown; the first was in the 1920s. In conjunction with the BHS Real and Imagined Art Museums and Galleries in Berkeley exhibit, this walk will visit, on and off campus, several intriguing buildings or sites of early public or private art exhibit facilities dating back to the 19th century.

    Saturday, 9 April 2016
    Our Ocean View Victorian Berkeley

    Led by Stephanie Manning

    The evolution of research is reflected in this walk. We will talk about such things as what scientists used to think about the West Berkeley Shellmound, what historians used to think about the natives who lived here, where white people settled in the mid-19th century, and the gradual formation of what we see there today, including the changing demographics and architecture.

    Saturday, 23 April 2016
    The Ashby BART Neighborhood

    Led by Janet Byron

    The Ashby walk is in the area around the station of an early steam train line that ran from Oakland to Berkeley. There is a wealth of varied historic architecture, as well as culture and history from the Buggy Bank to the Berkeley Bowl, the home of a famous writer, churches and Buddhist temples, a storybook funeral home, and more. The 2.5-to-3-mile walk is fairly flat, mainly on sidewalks along tree-lined streets.

    Saturday, 7 May 2016
    Phoebe Hearst on Campus

    Led by Bill Roberts

    Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842–1919) was “the best friend the University ever had.” On this walk, we will discover her many contributions, intellectual as well as physical, to the Berkeley campus and beyond. There are some hills on the campus, but the walk is wheelchair accessible.

    Saturday, 14 May 2016
    Authors & Artists of the Ina Coolbrith Era

    Led by Aleta George

    Join Aleta George, author of a new biography on California’s first poet laureate Ina Coolbrith, for a loop walk on North Berkeley roads and pathways. On the walk, Aleta will tell stories about Coolbrith and her colleagues Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, George Sterling, Joaquin Miller, and Charles Keeler.