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:

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).

04 May 2015

Save the Golden Gate View from Campanile Way

26 March 2015

Berkeley Historical Society Spring 2015 Walking Tours

Regional Parks Botanic Garden (Courtesy Friends of the Regional Parks)

Saturday, 28 March:
Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Regional Park

Led by garden Volunteers

Founded in 1940, the Botanic Garden at Tilden Regional Park is a beautiful 10-acre living museum of California native plants. Explore the Garden’s many habitats and plant communities, from the high sierra to the Coast Range and from the Northern Rain Forests to the Southern Deserts. Not all of the Garden is wheelchair-accessible, but the staff can arrange a modified tour.

Maple Avenue, now Stuart Street, in the Kelsey Ranch, c. 1900
(Illustrated History of the University of California)

Saturday, 11 April
The Kelsey Family

Led by Burl Willes

The influential Kelsey Family settled in the Elmwood in 1860, before there were elm trees. On still bucolic Kelsey street can be seen remnant buildings of their Kelsey Orchard. Nearby, Ishi lived with the Watermans. On College Avenue, we’ll stop to remember the historic “firsts” made by businesses in this pedestrian-friendly two-block commercial district.

Morrison Library (Courtesy UC Berkeley)

Saturday, 25 April
Exploring UC Berkeley’s Libraries

Led by Bill Roberts

NOTE: This walk will begin at 1:00 pm, as some libraries are not open in the morning.

How many libraries are there on the UC Berkeley campus? We’ll take a walk through the campus and find some of the more interesting and unusual ones. Most of the libraries have open stacks where materials may be used without formal affiliation with the university; some require only registration with identification, some require a university affiliation. What is your interest? We’ll see if we can find a collection especially for you.

Berkeley City Hall (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Saturday, 16 May
Berkeley City Beautiful: A Century Later

Led by Steve Finacom

In 1915, German city planning expert Werner Hegemann published a master plan for Berkeley and Oakland. Following “City Beautiful” ideals, the plan called for a grand Berkeley civic center, extensive park development, and public improvements to residential districts and streets. At the same time, the University of California was rapidly building a neo-classical campus. This walk will trace built landmarks and ideals of that era from the 100-year-old Campanile to City Hall, and explore how those ideals could still inform municipal planning in Berkeley today. Wheelchair accessible. The walk will conclude at the Berkeley History Center where, for those who can stay past noon, the guide will give a brief gallery talk on his exhibit on Berkeley’s role in the San Francisco world fairs of 1915 and 1939/40.

The Carbone orchid nursery, late 1930s (McCullagh photo courtesy of Louise Colombatto)

Saturday, 23 May
Berkeley Woods

Led by Paul Grunland

This subdivision became part of Berkeley in 1959, along with the neighboring subdivision of Park Hills, rounding out the north and east boundaries of our city. Starting at the EBMUD reservoir at the top of Spruce Street, we will explore an area once used by plant nurseries and the Pacific Lutheran Seminary at the top of Marin Avenue. The route is uphill, so prepare for an aerobic walk.

For additional information and ticket orders, visit the BHS website.

15 March 2015

BAHA 2015 Spring House Tour

BAHA Spring House Tour
Sunday, 3 May 2015
One to Five o’clock

Featuring 11 open houses designed by Bernard Maybeck; Julia Morgan; Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr.; John Hudson Thomas; Maury I. Diggs; Charles Manning MacGregor; William Porter; and more.

See the House Tour page for information and tickets

13 March 2015

Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration & Reconstruction: What’s the Diff?

Architect Jerri Holan, FAIA, will be exhibiting examples of her preservation work at the Alameda Museum during the month of April, 2015. The exhibit will illustrate the differences between the four fields of preservation architecture through award-winning examples of her historic building projects.

Opening Reception
Saturday, 4 April 2015, 1 to 3 pm
RSVP: info@holanarchitects.com

The Alameda Museum
2324 Alameda Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-1233

26 February 2015

Tour of the Kael-Basart House & Environs

Courtesy of Committee to Preserve the Jess Murals & Kael-Basart House

2419 Oregon Street, Berkeley
Sunday, 15 March 2015
from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Admission $20
(tax deductible)

In 1956, legendary film critic Pauline Kael engaged artist Jess Collins to paint murals in her 1904 brown-shingle house. The murals are a veritable treasure trove (see article by Greil Marcus in ARTFORUM), and the Committee to Preserve the Jess Murals & Kael-Basart House was formed to ensure that both house and murals remain so.

On this benefit house tour, sponsored by BAHA, you will see Jess’s remarkable murals up close and learn about key figures that contributed to Berkeley’s post-WWII artistic renaissance.

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2014

Walking Tour of the Neighborhood

What links Pauline Kael to famed Japanese-American painter Chiura Obata, beat poet Robert Duncan, Max Scheer and his Berkeley Barb newspaper, jazz critic Phil Elwood, 1960s singer Country Joe McDonald, the Jabberwock folk music club, and the pioneering James Leonard family that owned a quarter-square mile of Berkeley in the mid-19th century?

Berkeley historian Steven Finacom will connect the dots as he leads a walking tour on Oregon Street in the immediate vicinity of the Kael-Basart House. The tour will depart at 1:30, 2:45, and 4:00 pm and will last about 40 minutes.

Tickets may be purchased in advance or on tour day (advance reservations required) and will be handed out at the ticket table on site. Advance purchase may be made via PayPal or by check sent to:

P.O. Box 1137
Berkeley CA 94701

Landmark designation for the Channing Apartments

The Channing Apartments (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2014)

The Channing Apartments, 2409 College Avenue, were designated a City of Berkeley Landmark on 5 February 2015. This is the oldest surviving apartment building designed by the important Berkeley architect Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr. The building was constructed in 1913 by the Alameda County Home Investment Company, which was founded by Ratcliff and his partner, Charles Louis McFarland.

The Channing Apartments are distinguished by its graceful façade, which echoes that of the Hearst Memorial Mining Building on the University of California campus. It was featured in the October 1914 issue of The Architect and Engineer as part of a 23-page lead article on Ratcliff’s recent work.

In the mid-1920s, Alameda County Home Investment Co. sold the Channing Apartments to John Weston Havens, a nephew of Francis K. Shattuck and heir to his estate. Following Havens’ death in 1929, the building passed into the possession of his only son, John Weston Havens, Jr., who kept it until his own death in 2001. The Havens estate sold the building in 2005.

When the Channing Apartments were built, the Ellsworth Tract and its neighboring blocks were among the most elegant neighborhoods in Berkeley. Over the decades, campus expansion has brought about the destruction of several residential Southside blocks and the degradation of many surviving buildings. The Channing Apartments now face three institutional blocks that were almost completely cleared of their original buildings for the construction of Unit 1 and Unit 2 residence halls and the Underhill parking structure and athletic field. On its own side of the street, the Channing Apartments building is the only unaltered survivor from the first half of the 20th century.

The landmark application is accessible here.

05 December 2014

Jerry Arthur Sulliger (1 Nov. 1944 – 25 Nov. 2014)

Jerry Sulliger volunteering at BAHA’s Julia Morgan House Tour, 2 May 2010 (photo: Daniella Thompson)

It is with deep sorrow that we report the death of BAHA board member Jerry Sulliger, who passed away after a prolonged illness on Tuesday, 25 November 2014. He had been a BAHA member since 1998 and a director since 2004.

It is hard to overestimate the magnitude of Jerry’s behind-the-scenes contributions to BAHA. The important digital historic databases he created form the backbone of our daily research work. He donated numerous books and photographs, carried out seminal research work, and wrote articles on topics that would have stumped most other writers. In addition, Jerry was the historians’ historian—the person to whom we and all historians turned whenever we needed to separate fact from fiction.

Jerry began the monumental task of scanning the fragile Donogh real estate files of all Berkeley addresses, completing many streets before turning the task over to others. The file had special meaning to Jerry, as his mother had worked for Ormsby Donogh, and he was pleased to find a letter written by her in one of the folders.

Jerry was born in Los Angeles to Arthur and Gladys Sulliger. Both his father and his grandfather were engineers and Cal graduates (the grandfather graduated in 1900, the father in 1938). Jerry attended Bullard High School in Fresno, where he was a member of the California Scholarship Federation and of the student council.

He came to Berkeley as a UC student in the 1960s, majoring in Latin American Studies and History. Here he remained for the rest of his life, living on the Southside, in close proximity to the sites where the tumultuous events of the Free Speech Movement and the People’s Park protests took place.

For many years, Jerry managed the Shattuck Hotel, becoming an expert on its history. This interest grew to encompass all of Berkeley’s history, and as Jerry’s collections grew, so did his expertise. We are all the beneficiaries of his monumental work.

Rest in peace, Jerry. We miss you terribly.

04 November 2014

Harvey L. Smith presents “Berkeley and the New Deal”

Sunday, 9 November 2014
2 pm–4 pm
Berkeley History Center
1931 Center Street, Berkeley

Talk and book signing. Free admission.

Sunday, 16 November 2014
2 pm
Eastwind Books
2066 University Avenue, Berkeley

Book reading.

Berkeley’s 1930s and early 1940s New Deal structures and projects left a lasting legacy of utilitarian and beautiful infrastructure. These public buildings, schools, parks, and artworks helped shape the city and the lives of its residents; it is hard to imagine Berkeley without them.

The artists and architects of these projects mention several themes: working for the community, responsibility, the importance of government support, collaboration, and creating a cultural renaissance. These New Deal projects, however, can be called “hidden history” because their legacies have been mostly ignored and forgotten. Comprehending the impact of the New Deal on one American city is only possible when viewed as a whole.

Harvey L. Smith has been researching this part of Berkeley’s history for more than two decades. The images in his new book have been selected from local and national archives and from the author’s contemporary photographs of the living legacy of the New Deal.


27 October 2014

BAHA’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, 23 November 2014
2 pm–4 pm

First Church of Christ, Scientist
2619 Dwight Way, Berkeley

Free admission

Join us to celebrate 40 years of preservation advocacy, education, and activism.

We welcome the entire community to this free event, which also celebrates the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance and the many struggles to preserve the heritage and texture of Berkeley.

  • Organ Selections — William Ludtke

  • Greetings and Introductions — John McBride

  • Welcome — Fred Porta, Friends of First Church Berkeley

  • Before BAHA — Shirley Dean

  • Drafting the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance — Carl Bunch (introduced by Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny)

  • Early Days of BAHA — Trish Hawthorne

  • BAHA Goes to Washington to Save Ocean View — Stephanie Manning

  • Why Preservation Awards? — Mary Lee Noonan

  • Landmarks Preservation Commission Today —Austene Hall

  • Wins & Losses: Taking Stock of 40 Years — Daniella Thompson

  • Preservation is a Constant Surprise — The Committee to Save the Jess Murals & the Kael/Basart House

  • A Special Tribute to Sara Holmes Boutelle & Julia Morgan — Neale McGoldrick (research associate) along with members of Sara’s family

  • Cutting of the Birthday Cake in the Fireside Room

  • BAHA 40th Anniversary Wish

RSVP by e-mail or by phone (510) 841-2242.

BAHA History, Year by Year

We’re marking BAHA’s 40th anniversary with a new Web series, BAHA History, Year by Year.

The highlights of the first year, 1974–75, are already published on the BAHA website.

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.