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.

18 December 2015

Julia Morgan’s Paris

Monday, 11 January 2016
7:00 pm
Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue
Berkeley

Karen McNeill, Ph.D., historian, Julia Morgan expert, and Berkeley City Club Conservancy board member, will reprise her popular talk on our favorite architect’s years in Paris and the feminist foundation of her career. Presented by the Berkeley City Club Conservancy.

$15 at the door
Advance tickets at Eventbrite

17 November 2015

BAHA’s Holiday Open House

Photo: Susan Cerny

Thursday, 10 December 2015
3 pm–7 pm
McCreary-Greer House
2318 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

Join us for some holiday cheer at the annual Holiday Open House in our landmark headquarters building.

Refreshments will be served and, of course, BAHA’s own publications—including our bestselling 41 Berkeley Walking Tours—will be available for holiday shopping. The common areas of the house will be festively decorated, and some decorations will be for sale, including poinsettias.

Board members and BAHA staff will be on hand to greet and chat with you. Drop by and see us!

RSVP to baha@berkeleyheritage.com.

17 October 2015

Hillside Club Art Show

30 September 2015

Guided Tour of the SF Conservatory of Flowers

Friday, 6 November 2015
11 am (meet at 10:45 am)
Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F. Kennedy Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco

Admission $15 (advance registration required)
Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
BAHA
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Join BAHA Vice-President Sally Sachs on a guided docent tour of the fabled San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Learn about the Conservatory’s history and visit the five exhibit areas: Lowland Tropics, Highland Tropics, Aquatic Plants, Potted Plants, and the Special Exhibit, where you will “wash up” on an uncharted tropical shore to learn the ins and outs of island survival. Stroll through a living jungle of life-saving plants and discover the best sources of building materials, food and water, even weaponry.

A Frank Lloyd Wright fundraiser on Panoramic Hill


Feldman House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Sunday, 18 October 2015
3 pm – 5 pm
Feldman House
(Frank Lloyd Wright, 1939; 1974)
13 Mosswood Road
Berkeley

Featuring Mark Wilson and Joel Puliatti, author and photographer of Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast.

Tickets: $45
All proceeds go to BAHA’s Sara Holmes Boutelle Fund for architectural research and landmark applications.

Owing to space limitations, attendance is restricted.

Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
BAHA
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Between 1909 and 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a total of 38 structures along the West Coast, from Seattle to Southern California. These include well-known structures such as the Marin County Civic Center and Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, and many lesser-known gems, such as the 1909 Stewart House near Santa Barbara.

For the first time, the great architect’s West Coast buildings have been documented in a single book. At this fundraising reception, Mark A. Wilson and Joel Puliatti, author and photographer of Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast (Gibbs Smith), will present the gamut of Wright’s creations in the West. Signed books will be available for purchase.

The reception will take place at the Feldman House, built in 1974–06 to Wright’s 1939 plans for the Lewis N. Bell residence in Los Angeles (unbuilt). Owned by Jeanne Allen and Marc Grant since 1980, the house boasts furniture designed by Wright.

As a special treat, photographs that were not included in the book will be on digital display.

15 September 2015

Two talks by historian Richard Schwartz

Saturday, 19 September 2015
2:00 pm
San Leandro Historical Society
Little Brown Church (behind Casa Peralta)
384 West Estudillo Avenue
San Leandro

The 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake

Did you ever wonder what it is like to be in largest known historic earthquake unleashed on the Hayward Fault? Richard Schwartz will share first-hand accounts of people who lived through the Hayward Fault Earthquake on 21 October 1868. Their stories are riveting. The severity of the damage caused by the 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake will haunt you and it should. Fissures opened in the earth. Beds flew from one side of a room to the other and back. People in some locations fell and were unable to rise for the duration of the quake. Damage and deaths occurred around the bay. Special attention will be paid to the stories and events that day in San Leadro.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015
7:00 pm
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia Street (near 16th)
San Francisco

$10 donation requested.
No one will be turned away.

The Imperial Diplomacy of Norton I in Oakland & Berkeley

A gathering to celebrate the Bay Area’s Emperor Norton I and his unknown life in the East Bay. and to promote the campaign to name the Bay Bridge after the man who first proposed the idea to build it.

Almost invariably, Emperor Norton is identified solely as a San Francisco figure. In fact, he was a well-known presence in Oakland and Berkeley as well, making weekly visits to both places—and sometimes staying for days or weeks at a time. Berkeley historian Richard Schwartz will help explore an overlooked but importantpart of the Emperor’s story.

08 September 2015

PPIE Centennial lecture series

7 & 22 October, 4 November 2015
7:30 pm
Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

Tickets $15 per lecture
Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
BAHA
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Design, Color, and Light at the Exposition

Wednesday, 7 October, 7:30 pm

Laura Ackley, author of San Francisco’s Jewel City, who holds master’s degrees in architecture and architectural history from Harvard and the University of California, will explore the architecture of the palaces and courts of this most beautiful of world’s fairs. She will speak on the Exposition’s most splendidly realized achievements: color, sculpture, landscape architecture, spectacular lighting, and architectural design. Books will be available for sale.


Panorama

Thursday, 22 October, 7:30 pm

In 1915, San Francisco became a prime destination for American and world travelers, when it hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Lee Bruno’s talk on San Francisco’s first world’s fair will draw from his book, Panorama, the images and stories about the architects, builders, inventors, artists, performers, and celebrities who made the nearly year-long event one of the greatest of its kind. Lee Bruno’s great-grandfather, Reuben Hale (of Hale Bros. department store), envisioned a world’s fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal in 1904. Books will be available for sale.


Berkeley at the Expositions

Wednesday, 4 November, 7:30 pm

Steven Finacom will talk about the many Berkeley connections to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) and the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island (1939). Berkeley people helped shape and build both expositions and flocked to enjoy their glories. We will explore their contributions and experiences, as well as the tangible legacies of the fairs that remain in the East Bay.

05 September 2015

Hull Undertaking Co. complex designated a landmark


Hull Undertaking Co. & Little Chapel of the Flowers (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2015)

On Thursday, 3 September 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Hull Undertaking Co. & Little Chapel of the Flowers complex a City of Berkeley Landmark.

One of the most outstanding examples of Storybook Style architecture in Berkeley, the Hull Undertaking Company complex comprises five interconnected buildings constructed between 1923 and 1942. They include the original Undertaking Building at 3051 Adeline Street (1923); the Little Chapel of the Flowers at 3049 Adeline Street (1928); and three accessory buildings at 1905, 1909, and 1911–1915 Essex Street.

The Undertaking Building is the most notable example in Berkeley of the work of the Oakland architectural firm Hutchison & Mills, which was active in 1921–1928, designing attractive store buildings and apartments that continue to contribute to the character of Berkeley’s built environment. Featuring a rolled-edge, thatch-like roof; half-timbering; stucco walls embedded with stones; leaded-glass windows; and numerous arched French doors, the Undertaking Building embodies the romantic tendency in the 1920s to borrow quaint, rustic elements from English vernacular architecture.

The Little Chapel of the Flowers is the best surviving example (along with its 1933 replica in San Jose) of the work of architect Francis Harvey Slocombe, designer of the legendary Mapes Hotel in Reno. Featuring an organically shaped bell tower; a rolling, thatch-like roof with huge dormers; an abundance of leaded glass, stained glass, and steel sash; and the liberal use of brick and stone combined with rough stucco, this instantly memorable building is unique in Berkeley and has remained essentially unchanged over its 87-year life.

The Hull Undertaking Company represented a continuous chain of ownership from Berkeley’s first mortuary, established by Frank W. Durgin in 1894. Durgin rejoined the business in the late 1920s, and the firm was known as Hull & Durgin until 1941.

The Hull Undertaking complex is the only example of Storybook Style in the Ashby Station district, which comprises a very high percentage of Colonial Revival buildings constructed during the first decade of the 20th century. During the 1940s and ’50s, the Little Chapel of the Flowers was Berkeley’s most beloved wedding venue. Beginning in the mid- 1970s, the Hull Undertaking Co. complex underwent a transformation, becoming a hub for cultural uses. Long-term tenants included the West Coast Print Center, which served the literary community and printed hundreds of poetry books and literary publications; the Fifth String Music Store, an important gathering point for acoustic string players; and Marmot Mountain Works, a world-renowned wilderness equipment store.

The landmark application is accessible online.

02 July 2015

Mountain View Cemetery guided drive-through

Friday, 10 July 2015
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Tickets: $15
Advance registration required

Mountain View Cemetery is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. On July 10 we’ll kick off our new season of Friday Outings with a guided drive-through of this beautiful historic cemetery. The tour will include the architecturally significant mausoleums and graves of the rich and famous.

Register by sending an e-mail to baha@berkeleyheritage.com or calling (510) 841-2242. Registration cutoff is on Thursday, 9 July, at 4 pm.

Payment may be made through the following methods:
  • By check made out to BAHA and sent to BAHA, 2318 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
  • Electronically via PayPal
  • On tour day, handed in person to Sally Sachs (no credit cards)

We will meet at the entrance gate, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland at 10:30 am to arrange carpooling for the tour and parking for the rest of the vehicles. The tour will last an hour to an hour and a half. As always, an optional lunch at a local restaurant is available. Let us know if you’re interested in this option.

05 June 2015

Look for us at the Bay Area Book Festival

Saturday & Sunday
6 & 7 June 2015
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.

The booth will be open from 10 am until 6 pm on both days, offering dozens of titles of history and fiction about Berkeley, including many hard-to-find or out-of-print BAHA and BHS publications.

Author book signings:

  • Burl Willes, author of Tales of the Elmwood and editor of Picturing Berkeley: A Postcard History, 10–11 am, Saturday.
  • Dave Weinstein, author of It Came From Berkeley, 11 am–1 pm, Saturday.
  • Shirley Streshinsky, author of Atomic Love (Robert Oppenheimer and his Berkeley days), 1–3 pm, Saturday.
  • Tonya Staros and Jeanine Castello-Lin, co-authors of Crowden School oral history, 2–4 pm, Saturday.
  • Shelley Rideout, co-author of Berkeley Bohemia, 10 am–1 pm, Sunday.
  • Susan Cerny, author of Berkeley Landmarks and the Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area, 11:30 am–1:30 pm, Sunday.
  • Susan Austin, author of The Bamboo Garden, a children’s novel of interracial friendship against the backdrop of 1923 Berkeley and the Berkeley Fire, 12–2 pm, Sunday.
  • Roy Fisher Doolan, long-time Berkeley resident and author of a new memoir about his life, including World War II experiences, 2–4 pm, Sunday.
  • Sarah Wikander, co-author of Picturing Berkeley: A Postcard History, 2–5 pm, Sunday.
  • Harvey Smith, author of Berkeley and the New Deal, 2–5 pm, Sunday.

14 May 2015

Annual Meeting & Preservation Awards Presentation

Thursday, 28 May 2015
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.

To reserve, please send a check made out to BAHA (to reach us no later than 25 May) to:

BAHA
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

You may also order online. Please include the names of your guests.

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

Sitting in Style: Unabridged Reflections on the Swedenborgian Chair

Sunday, 7 June 2015
5:00 pm
San Francisco Swedenborgian Church
2107 Lyon Street, San Francisco

If you’ve missed Tim Hansen’s fascinating lecture about the birth of the Mission-style chair in our Fall 2013 series, here’s another chance. This free illustrated talk will focus on American Arts & Crafts design; A.J. Forbes & Son, the manufacturers of the Swedenborgian chair; and the question of the chair’s designer and its influence.

07 May 2015

New Landscapes in Preservation

Thursday, 21 May 2015
7:30 pm
Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

Tickets $15 at the door or in advance.

Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne will discuss how the historic preservation movement in California has become slow and reactive, and how it can get back ahead of the curve of public taste. The talk will feature several case studies, including a guest house by Julia Morgan on the Hearst-Davies beachfront estate.

05 May 2015

History of Solano Avenue and environs

Historian Richard Schwartz will deliver an illustrated talk about the early history of the area around Solano Avenue at the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting. The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on 21 May 2015 at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church, 1821 Catalina Avenue (use the side entrance).