25 March 2005

Actors Reading Writers at the BCC

Berkeley City Club (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The Berkeley City Club and the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts are offering a new performance series: Actors Reading Writers. Popular local actors will read modern and classic short stories every first Monday of the month at the Club. These events are free.

Monday, 4 April at 7:30pm
Russian Masters 
• “Lady with Lapdog” by Anton Chekhov, read by John Mercer.
• “Hodel” by Shalom Aleichem, read by Larry le Paule.

Book Exchange: bring a book and/or take a book.

22 March 2005

Harris House receives preservation award

Harris house (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The Art Deco Society of California will bestow a Preservation Award on the Joseph W. Harris house (John B. Anthony, 1936), a Berkeley landmark located at 2300 Le Conte Avenue.

The ADSC award will be given on 30 April at the annual Art Deco Preservation Ball, to be held at Historic Sweet’s Ballroom, 1933 Broadway in Oakland, one block from the Paramount Theatre and the 19th Street BART station.

16 March 2005

How Berkeley stacks up in
the architectural sweepstakes

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

In its 11 March News, ArchVoices.org reproduced the list below from the illustrated article “25 Buildings Every Man Should Know: A Guide to the Most Important and Beautiful Structures in America,” published in the March issue of GQ. See a familiar name?

01. Oak Alley Plantation (Gilbert Joseph Pile)
02. University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson)
03. The Rookery (Daniel Burnham and John Root)
04. Gamble House (Charles & Henry Greene)
05. Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright)
06. First Church of Christ, Scientist (Bernard Maybeck)
07. Schindler House (Rudolph Schindler)
08. Lovell Health House (Richard Neutra)
09. Philadelphia Saving Fund Society (George Howe & William Lescaze)
10. Gropius House (Walter Gropius)
11. Eames House (Charles & Ray Eames)
12. Fallingwater (Frank Lloyd Wright)
13. Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)
14. Lever House (SOM)
15. Eden Roc Hotel (Morris Lapidus)
16. Case Study House #22 (Pierre Koenig)
17. TWA Terminal (Eero Saarinen)
18. Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Le Corbusier)
19. Salk Institute (Louis Kahn)
20. Whitney Museum of American Art (Marcel Breuer)
21. Douglas House (Richard Meier)
22. Thorncrown Chapel (Fay Jones)
23. Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts (Tadao Ando)
24. Walt Disney Concert Hall (Frank Gehry)
25. Seattle Public Library (Rem Koolhaas & Joshua Ramus)

As many of you know, the church desperately needs a new roof. Leaks in the hall next to the Fireplace Room caused rot and staining to the beams below. Friends of First Church established a Roof Fund with the goal of replacing the leaking hall and Fireplace Room roofs and repairing the damaged beams below. Before they re-roof, they must conduct an engineering study to aid in the roof design. The following objective is to re-roof the auditorium.

You can join Friends of First Church here.

12 March 2005

Our 30th Spring House Tour:
Panoramic Hill, 1 May 2005

(photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Step into a world of quiet beauty in the heart of the city.

On Sunday, 1 May 2005, from 1 to 5 pm, tourgoers will have a rare opportunity to explore a very special Berkeley neighborhood: Panoramic Hill.

Not only is this an area of great architectural significance, but the intimate relationship between houses, paths, and landscaping—all perched on the hillside, with narrow, circuitous Panoramic Way as their common bond—has resulted in a most charming and scenic district.

Featured on the tour are a dozen homes by Bernard Maybeck, A.H. Broad, Ernest Coxhead, John Hudson Thomas, Walter Ratcliff, Walter Steilberg, Mabel Baird, Frank Lloyd Wright, and William Wurster.

Among the tour’s many highlights, visitors will be able to see the Weston Havens House (Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1941), a masterpiece of mid-20th century architecture recently bequeathed to the University of California.

Tour information and reservations are available online.

05 March 2005

Bishop Berkeley Day at BHS

George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne

When was George Berkeley born? An account of his life published in 1776 by Joseph Stock sets down his year of birth at 1684. According to all other sources, including the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the eminent thinker and mathematician was born in 1685, which is also Johann Sebastian Bach’s birth year.

Whether in 1684 or 1685, all agree that our fair city’s namesake (see Berkeley’s City Charter) was born on 12 March. How a California city came to be named after an Irish philosopher is told in BAHA’s article on Founders’ Rock.

Bishop Berkeley Day will be observed this coming Saturday, 12 March, at the Berkeley Historical Society Museum. From 1 to 4 pm, volunteers will be on hand to answer general Berkeley history questions and specific questions about Bishop Berkeley’s philosophy and history. A presentation will be made at 3 pm.

Birthday cake, tea, and other little treats will be served.

This is also a chance to see the exhibition “Celebrating the Berkeley Fire Department’s Centennial,” which ends on Saturday, 26 March.