10 October 2014

BAHA’s 40th Anniversary and Measure R

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2009

Dear Members,

This year, BAHA is celebrating 40 years since its incorporation (invitations will be sent shortly).

Throughout BAHA’s four decades, we have been closely involved in preserving Berkeley’s historic downtown, which retains one of the few surviving Main Streets in California.

BAHA conducted the first Downtown Survey in the late 1970s. A few years later, we formed the Downtown Steering Committee with local merchants and city government. Out of that committee came the Downtown Design Guidelines, as well as the Downtown Berkeley Association.

In the mid-1980s, BAHA board members Susan Cerny and Arlene Silk drew up the Preservation Element for Berkeley’s Downtown Plan. In 1991, Berkeley joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program. More recently, our members were closely involved in the long deliberations of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC).

Which leads us to Measure R.

BAHA endorses Measure R for the same reasons that led us to oppose the 2010 Measure R.

The current Measure R offers the only avenue for rolling back some of the more harmful elements of the 2010 Measure R, including oversized development that offers no benefits to the community.

Major developers, who stand to be the principal beneficiaries if Measure R loses, are financing the No on R campaign, just as they financed the original Measure R four years ago. The current No on R campaign is as deceitful as the 2010 Yes on R campaign was. The much-ballyhooed “green vision” Berkeleyans voted for in 2010 has turned out to represent nothing more than the color of money that developers stand to reap from 18-story towers full of overpriced apartments.

We urge you to read the arguments for Measure R. It is also highly instructive to read what open-eyed BAHA members like Jacquelyn McCormick and Becky O’Malley have to say about this important issue.

Thank you for your attention.

04 October 2014

Three newly designated landmarks

2503, 2509 & 2511 Regent Street (photo; Daniella Thompson, 2014)

On 2 October 2014, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 2503, 2509, and 2511 Regent Street as City of Berkeley Landmarks, Structures of Merit. All three buildings were designed by the noted architect A. Dodge Coplin (1869–1908) in 1902–1903 and represent his earliest residential work in Berkeley.

The immediate area is rich in history and historic resources. Within a block and a half of the three houses there are nine other designated structures (including Berkeley’s only National Historic Landmark, the First Church of Christ, Scientist) and a designated site (People’s Park). An 11th landmark—the Woolley House—is scheduled to be moved to the parcel directly across the street by the end of 2014.

With the designation of the three Coplin houses, the north end of Regent Street has become a de facto historic district.

Find out more about these new landmarks here.

19 September 2014

BAHA endorses Measure R

08 September 2014

The Blood House on the move

The Blood House makes its way past People’s Park.

For 123 years, the Ellen Blood House, a Queen Anne Victorian and a designated City of Berkeley Structure of Merit, was a fixture at 2526 Durant Avenue. Designed by the architect Robert Gray Frise in 1891, the Blood House was the only 19th-century building—and the only single-family home—remaining on the 2500 bloock of Durant Avenue.

In 2003, developers Ruegg & Ellsworth sought a demolition permit for the Blood House. The Landmarks Preservation Commission denied the permit, and the Zoning Adjustments Board followed suit.

A few years later, John Gordon and Janis Mitchell stepped in, offering to receive the Blood house on an empty lot they own on the corner of Dwight Way and Regent Street and to rehabilitate it. The relocation scheme also includes similar plans for the John Woolley House (1876), a City of Berkeley Landmark currently located at 2509 Haste Street and owned by Ken Sarachan.

After 11 years of negotiations, the Blood House was finally moved to its new Regent Street location on Saturday, 16 August 2014. The Woolley House is still awaiting its move.

See the house moving photo gallery.

04 July 2014

2014 BAHA Preservation Awards

Photo: Carrie Olson, 2014

The 2014 BAHA Preservation Awards are available for viewing online.

Rose Walk House Tour photo gallery

Photo: Anthony Bruce, 2014

Photos from our 2014 House Tour, “Maybeck’s Rose Walk and Surroundings,” are now available for viewing.

06 May 2014

Julia Morgan: An American Architect in Paris

“Julia Morgan: An American Architect in Paris” is the topic of Dr. Karen McNeill’s talk at the Berkeley City Club on 29 May 2014, at 6:30 pm.

Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at the door.

See additional information and purchase tickets at Eventbrite.