The changing face of
a South Berkeley block
1920s bungalows on Oregon St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)
Block H in the Blake Tract, just east of the Berkeley Bowl, retains most of its original houses. But these buildings were not all erected at the same time. The first homes were built in the early 1890s, soon after the Shattuck-Blake family offered them at auction.
Among the early houses was the first Berkeley home of Joseph and Mary Tape at 2123 Russell Street. The Tapes would build two additional homes next door in the first decade of the 20th century, and two of their daughters would settle on the same block in homes of their own.
On the northern end of Block H, a long stretch along Oregon Street remained unbuilt until the 1920s. When homes finally went up there, they were not the one-of-a-kind houses of the previous decades but cookie-cutter bungalows possibly put up by one builder.
The story of Block H is told in The changing face of a South Berkeley block.