17 July 2013

Living in the Berkeley Brown-Shingle House

Photos: Daniella Thompson

An illustrated lecture by Lucia Howard:

Living in the Berkeley Brown-Shingle House

Preceded by remarks by architect Christopher Wasney on the award-winning restoration of Alumnae Hall.

Thursday, 8 August 2013
Anna Head Alumnae Hall
2537 Haste Street, Berkeley

Lecture 7:00 pm; pre-lecture tour 6:00 pm

Tickets: $15
Purchase tickets by mail or online

Enjoy a summer evening in the recently restored Alumnae Hall—part of the historic Anna Head School campus and a recipient of a 2013 BAHA Preservation Award.

The evening is dedicated to celebrating Berkeley’s renowned brown-shingle architecture, of which the Anna Head School (1892) is one of the earliest exemples.

The Bay Area Shingle Style is as distinct from the East Coast version as San Francisco is from New York. In no place did Brown Shingle architecture, and all it represented, flourish and multiply so gloriously and exuberantly as in Berkeley. Architecturally adventurous clients—including scores of artists, writers, and professors—encouraged an extravagantly talented group of architects and designers to create houses designed around ideas that have come to define Berkeley. Environmentalism and passion for nature, freedom from social and institutional conventions, and belief in the value of expression and artistic pursuits—Brown Shingles represented these ideas both literally and conceptually. They were the “party houses” of their day. Social events and performances, readings and recitals, political and religious gatherings, animated and filled these houses. Though small by contemporary standards, Brown Shingles abound with built-in seats and easily spill outdoors, comfortably accommodating sizable groups. More than a century on, Berkeley’s Brown Shingles continue to embody the spirit of the place, its genius loci, far more clearly than any other architecture.

In her lecture, architect Lucia Howard, a partner in the innovative firm Ace Architects and co-author of the new book Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles (Rizzoli, 2013), will elaborate on the unique traits of Berkeley’s beloved Brown Shingles, their history and variety.

Prior to the lecture, local historian Steven Finacom will lead a tour through the Anna Head campus, including an inside look of the old Study Hall and one of the classrooms. This tour is free of charge with a lecture ticket and requires advance reservation. The evening will conclude with a book signing.

Click the thumbnail to download the flier.


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