08 September 2004

Charles Keeler on Berkeley

Hearst Memorial Mining Building (John Galen Howard, 1902)
on an early postcard

“It is an unfinished place with much about it that might be bettered, particularly in the provincial architecture of its business section,” wrote Charles Keeler about Berkeley in 1902. What would he have thought of the Seagate mammoth?
Wherein lies the charm of Berkeley? It is in the vine-covered cottages and profusion of flowers which at the height of the season make the town seem decked for a carnival? Is it in the glorious prospect of rolling mountains and far-spread sky? Or is it the people, drawn away from near and far by that great magnet, the University? We old timers complain that the town is getting crowded and no longer has the rural tone of a few years ago. But what matter? Ceaselessly the houses go up, new ones springing into existence on every hand, and the only consolation is that on the whole the architecture is steadily becoming simpler and better.

Read Keeler’s ruminations on Berkeley in The Eastern Shore.


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