30 January 2004

California Preservation Conference

The 29th Annual California Preservation Conference will take place at the Presidio of San Francisco/Golden Gate National Recreation Area from 28 April to 1 May 2004.

Themed Building Bridges, the event will explore the park’s beautiful architecture and landscapes, while examining how historic preservation can enhance quality of life and economic development in communities—big and small, urban and rural—throughout California.

More than 500 representatives from all walks of California’s preservation community will attend the conference workshops and tours, listen to experts on historical, cultural, and architectural preservation, and enjoy special events in historic venues. This four-day event is a highlight of the year for government officials, planners, architects, engineers, entrepreneurs, representatives of preservation organizations, and interested individuals.

Tracks will feature architecture, cultural landscapes, heritage tourism, and law and planning.

Register for the entire conference, for just for a single day! Educational credits and volunteer opportunities are available.

To receive a registration brochure, call (415) 495-0349
or e-mail cpf@californiapreservation.org.

Register online at www.californiapreservation.org.

Early Bird Registration by 22 March!

Sponsored by the California Preservation Foundation, the Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, the Fort Point and Presidio Historical Association, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

27 January 2004

A new direction for the
Howard Automobile showroom

Photo: BAHA archives

The Howard Automobile Co. showroom at 2140 Durant Avenue and Fulton Street—a City of Berkeley Landmark—was acquired by the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), which is in the process of designing an adaptation of the space, to include teaching facilities, offices, a bookstore, and a two-story residential addition above the Fulton Street car-shop wing.

A delegation from BCA and its architects presented the plans to the BAHA Preservation Action Committee on 15 January 2004. The committee was favorably impressed with the plan’s sensitive treatment of both the landmark structure and its next-door Victorian neighbors on Fulton Street.

The two-story residential addition will be well set back from the Fulton St. façade and the southern elevation adjacent to the Victorians. Its design will complement that of the original structure. Most of the parking will be located underground, Freeing up space in the parking lot for a garden at the entrance gate.

If the plans are carried out as presented, the 1930 landmark could become a model of creatively adaptive reuse.

Read Susan Cerny’s article about the Howard Automobile Co. showroom.

25 January 2004

Faculty Club garners another distinction

U.C. Faculty Club (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The U.C. Berkeley Faculty Club (Bernard Maybeck, 1902), a City and State Landmark also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, can now go down in history as the place where Guinga slept on the night of 24 January 2004.

Who is Guinga? He’s one of Brazil’s great virtuoso guitarists and its most important living popular composer.

The musician, who was here yesterday to perform at the sold-out International Guitar Night at the Freight & Salvage, was accompanied by his wife Fátima. Most likely they were registered at the hotel as Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Althier de Souza Lemos Escobar—this being the composer’s legal name.

Who knows? One day there may be a plaque at the Faculty Club stating: “Guinga slept here.”

Tales of McCreary-Greer house

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

The McCreary-Greer house is an outstanding example of turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival style and a City of Berkeley Landmark. But the origins of the house that serves as BAHA’s headquarters are still shrouded in mystery.

The tales of the McCreary-Greer house have just been republished in our newly redesigned website. They tell the fascinating story of a Berkeley gone by.

24 January 2004

Kenney cottage on the move

Leaving 1725 University Ave. (photo: Jerry Sulliger)

If you didn’t get out at the crack of dawn on Sunday, 24 August 2003, to watch the historic Kenney cottage make its way five blocks down University Avenue, take this virtual tour.

BAHA member Jerry Sulliger documented the cottage’s trip from 1725 to 1275 University Ave.

The cottage is being temporarily housed on a city lot that won’t be available indefinitely.

Get involved in helping find a new location for this historic cottage.
Call the BAHA office: 841-2242.

23 January 2004

Madge Robinson & the Hillside Problem

Going to the “Big Game”

Few living Berkeleyans have heard of Margaret (“Madge”) Robinson, yet she was an influential person in her day, having been one of the original founders of the Berkeley Hillside Club. For 15 years or so, she also was Oscar Maurer’s wife.

Madge had strong opinions on all matters esthetic. In June 1899—five years before Charle Keeler would publish The Simple Home and seven years before Bernard Maybeck would come out with Hillside Building—Madge Robinson’s illustrated article, espousing what would become known as the Hillside Club’s principles, appeared in The House Beautiful.

Find out a little more about Madge and read her article offering solutions to the problem of hillside building.

22 January 2004

Shedding light on Oscar Maurer

Portrait of Mrs. Rollin Brown
by Oscar Maurer, 1918

What do you know about Oscar Maurer?

Everyone in Berkeley (or almost everyone) knows the Oscar Maurer photography studio designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1907.

Maurer was one of the most important of the California Pictorialists, widely exhibited and praied in the early years of the 20th century. Yet his work is now largely inaccessible and his life shrouded in mystery.

Want to find out more about Maurer?

Go to the Oscar Maurer Studio page in Berkeley Landmarks.

Historic streetcars of Berkeley, CA

BAHA member Jerry Sulliger scanned this and other period photographs from Early Day Trolleys of the East Bay (The Western Railroader, Vol. 22, No. 4; February 1959).

Look for a selection of these photos in the upcoming BAHA newsletter.

You can see three Berkeley streetcars in our Photo Gallery.

21 January 2004

A preservation alternative
for the Blood house

The preservation alternative allows the historic Blood house to coexist
with 40 new housing units.

The Zoning Adjustment Board’s public hearing on the Blood house has been continued again—this time to 26 February. At that hearing (if indeed it occurs on that date), a preservation alternative will be presented that could help save the historic house from demolition.

Prepared by Mark L. Gillem, AIA, AICP, the preservation plan calls for 40 residential units instead of the 44 proposed by the project’s developers, Ruegg & Ellsworth.

Read BAHA’s letter to the Planning Department.

Background information on the Blood house and its historic neighborhood is available in the articles Give the Blood house a transfusion and Yes, the Blood house is a rare survivor in its neighborhood.

Call for entries

BAHA is now accepting nominations for the 2004 Preservation Awards, which will be presented to winning projects at our Annual Meeting in the summer.

Nominations may be submitted by e-mail to baha at rcn dot com
or by fax: (510) 841-7421.

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