28 December 2011

2012 California Preservation Conference



Old Roots, New Growth—Cultivating Communities

Thursday, 3 May – Sunday, 6 May 2012
Oakland Marriott City Center


More than 30 sessions, tours, and workshops on issues facing California’s historic, cultural, and natural resources—taught by over 100 expert speakers, plus continuing education units are available for AIA, ASLA, USGBC, MCLE, and AICP.

Exclusive Tours that highlight Oakland’s architecture, landscapes, history, culture, and more.

Special Events at some of Oakland’s most historic and architecturally significant venues—including CPF’s signature event, the Three-Minute Success Stories.

For complete information, see the CPF website.

29 November 2011

BAHA’s Holiday Open House


Photo: Susan Cerny

Thursday, 8 December 2011
4 pm–7 pm
McCreary-Greer House
2318 Durant Avenue, Berkeley


Join us for some holiday cheer at BAHA’s annual December Open House. Meet your fellow BAHA members, find out what’s new at McCreary-Greer House, and enjoy light refreshments. Our gift shop will be open for your holiday shopping.

22 November 2011

Letter to the owners of the Sequoia Apartments


Sequoia Apartments (photo: Steven Finacom)

BAHA sent a letter today to the owners of the Sequoia Apartments building, 2441 Haste Street, which suffered a five-alarm fire on the night of 18 November 2011. Read the letter here.

08 October 2011

Members’ reception at the Harris House


Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2011

The Joseph W. Harris House at 2300 Le Conte Avenue is Berkeley’s premier Streamline Moderne residence. Designed by John B. Anthony in 1936, it was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark in 1976.

Harris was the flamboynant haberdasher of “Call Me Joe” fame. His Berkeley Square store was also designed by Anthony.

The Harris House is on the market for the first time in decades, and BAHA members had a private champagne reception and early viewing of it today. We’ve posted some more photos on BAHA’s Facebook page.

24 September 2011

The Lueders House is Tom Roe’s masterpiece


The Lueders House, 1330 Albina Avenue (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

The biggest news in Berkeley real estate circles this week is the listing of the Lueders House at 1330 Albina Avenue. The house had been owned since 1972 by the late Thomas E. Roe (1943–2011), an artistically gifted contractor who devoted almost 40 years to restoring the 1889 Victorian.

I first wrote about the history of the Lueders House in 2006 for the Berkeley Daily Planet. My memoir of Tom Roe was published two days ago in Berkeley Patch.

Adding to our knowledge of this exceptional house, Tom Roe’s neighbor, Donna DeDiemar, documented the chronology of his restoration work in meticulous detail and published it in a Mixbook. It is an invaluable source of information and well worth reading.

11 September 2011

In branch libraries settlement, losers outnumber winners


West Berkeley Branch Library before the 1973–74 remodel that obscured its Beaux-Arts façade (courtesy of the Berkeley Public Library)

The recent Branch Libraries lawsuit settlement between plaintiff Concerned Library Users (CLU) and the City of Berkeley has sealed the fate of the South and West Berkeley branch libraries.

Few Berkeley residents, within or without the affected neighborhoods, have fought to preserve the library buildings, and few are mourning their imminent loss. And who can blame them? Both libraries, in their current state, are not beloved civic monuments that could galvanize a mass preservation movement.

Indifference aside, most Berkeleyans probably believe that a beautiful building is an asset to its neighborhood, and that a beautiful civic building is an asset to its city. Yet after decades of neglect, compounded by unsympathetic additions and “improvements,” both South and West Berkeley branch libraries are ugly in the eyes of most beholders. Nobody fights to save ugly buildings.

But most Berkeleyans were never made aware that behind the 1970s façade marring the West Berkeley Library lies the original handsome Beaux-Arts building of 1923, or that above the incompatible light fixtures in the South Berkeley Library’s reading room hides a magnificent ceiling.


The adult reading room in the South Berkeley Branch Library, mid-1960s (Donald P. Reay & Peter Paret: “John Hans Ostwald, Architect”)

The West Berkeley library was the first Berkeley building built as a branch library and the first library to be funded entirely by the city. Previous libraries had received donations from Andrew Carnegie, who gave away more than $40 million between 1886 and 1919, paying for 1,679 new library buildings across the United States.

The West Berkeley Branch Library emulated the elegant style of the Carnegie libraries. Its architect was Berkeley resident William K. Bartges (1894–1970), who was active here in the 1920s before moving to Sacramento, where he spent 30 years working for the State of California’s Department of Architecture. He retired in 1961 as Supervising Architect.

One of the West Berkeley Branch Library photos included here was taken in the early 1970s, shortly before the remodel that obscured the façade. At that time, the building was already 50 years old and in need of sprucing up, but its elegant lines were still apparent.


The 2004 renovation plan for the West Berkeley Branch Library (courtesy of the Berkeley Public Library)

In 2003, the West Berkeley Branch Library was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark, Structure of Merit. The following year, a renovation plan that would have restored it to its former appearance failed to receive a state grant.


New design for the West Berkeley Branch Library by Harley Ellis Devereaux (courtesy of the Berkeley Public Library)

As late as 2008, when the citizens of Berkeley voted to approve $26 million in library bonds for the renovation of the four branch libraries, the Branch Libraries Facilities Master Plan called for retaining the existing library building. Since then, the renovation was judged too expensive, and in 2010, a new boxy design by Harley Ellis Devereaux was unveiled.


South Berkeley Branch Library in the mid-1960s (Donald P. Reay & Peter Paret: “John Hans Ostwald, Architect”)

The South Berkeley Branch Library, designed by John Hans Ostwald in 1960, is one of Berkeley’s Mid-Century Modern gems (see additional information). Although not a designated landmark, it was identified as architecturally significant and underwent CEQA review (see the Initial Study). This building received the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission Community Award in 1965 and the American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Award of Merit in 1966.


New design for the South Berkeley Branch Library by Field Paoli (courtesy of the Berkeley Public Library)

This library, too, was deemed too costly to preserve, and is to be demolished and replaced with a new building designed by Field Paoli.

By the time CLU brought in architect Todd Jersey to design affordable alternative plans that would include the restored original buildings, it was too late. Nobody was willing to listen. Jersey was hounded into throwing in the towel with a public apology, which left CLU little choice but to settle.


West Berkeley Branch Library renovation design proposed by Todd Jersey Architecture


South Berkeley Branch Library renovation design proposed by Todd Jersey Architecture

While the residents of West and South Berkeley will receive functional new libraries, everyone in Berkeley will lose two fine examples of distinctive civic architecture. The new designs are not in the same caliber as their predecessors, and will not make up for their loss.

The lawsuit settlement calls for a $100,000 preservation fund, to be used for the physical restoration and preservation of other city buildings and some private structures.

One wonders what $100,000 can do for a single building, let alone a number of them. I would award the entire sum to the South Berkeley Community Church, a City of Berkeley Landmark located at the intersection of Fairview and Ellis streets. This very distinctive building, designed by Hugo Storch in 1912, is sorely in need of restoration, and the congregation has limited means.


South Berkeley Community Church (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Let the loss of two distinctive buildings be compensated for in part by saving a third.

In branch library settlement, losers outnumber winners

The recent Branch Library lawsuit settlement between plaintiff Concerned Library Users (CLU) and the City of Berkeley has sealed the fate of the South and West Berkeley branch libraries.

Few Berkeley residents, within or without the affected neighborhoods, have fought to preserve the library buildings, and few are mourning their imminent loss. And who can blame them? Both libraries, in their current state, are not beloved civic monuments that could galvanize a mass preservation movement.

Indifference aside, most Berkeleyans probably believe that a beautiful building is an asset to its neighborhood, and that a beautiful civic building is an asset to its city. Yet after decades of neglect, compounded by unsympathetic additions and “improvements,” both South and West Berkeley branch libraries are ugly in the eyes of most beholders. Nobody fights to save ugly buildings.

But most Berkeleyans were never made aware that behind the 1970s façade marring the West Berkeley Library lies the original handsome Beaux-Arts building of 1923, or that above the incompatible light fixtures in the South Berkeley Library’s reading room hides a magnificent ceiling.

The West Berkeley library was the first Berkeley building built as a branch library and the first library to be funded entirely by the city. Previous libraries had received donations from Andrew Carnegie, who gave away more than $40 million between 1886 and 1919, paying for 1,679 new library buildings across the United States.

The West Berkeley Branch Library emulated the elegant style of the Carnegie libraries. Its architect was Berkeley resident William K. Bartges (1894–1970), who was active here in the 1920s before moving to Sacramento, where he spent 30 years working for the State of California’s Department of Architecture. He retired in 1961 as Supervising Architect.

One of the West Berkeley Branch Library photos included here was taken in the early 1970s, shortly before the remodel that obscured the façade. At that time, the building was already 50 years old and in need of sprucing up, but its elegant lines were still apparent.

In 2003, the West Berkeley Branch Library was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark, Structure of Merit. The following year, a renovation plan (see photo) that would have restored it to its former appearance failed to receive a state grant.

As late as 2008, when the citizens of Berkeley voted to approve $26 million in library bonds for the renovation of the four branch libraries, the Branch Libraries Facilities Master Plan called for retaining the existing library building. Since then, the renovation was judged too expensive, and in 2010, a new boxy design by Harley Ellis Devereaux was unveiled.

The South Berkeley Branch Library, designed by John Hans Ostwald in 1960, is one of Berkeley’s Mid-Century Modern gems (see additional information). Although not a designated landmark, it was identified as architecturally significant and underwent CEQA review (see the Initial Study). This building received the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission Community Award in 1965 and the American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Award of Merit in 1966.

This library, too, was deemed too costly to preserve, and is to be demolished and replaced with a new building designed by Field Paoli.

By the time CLU brought in architect Todd Jersey to design affordable alternative plans that would include the restored original buildings, it was too late. Nobody was willing to listen. Jersey was hounded into throwing in the towel with a public apology, which left CLU no choice but to settle.

While the residents of West and South Berkeley will receive functional new libraries, everyone in Berkeley will lose two fine examples of distinctive civic architecture. The new designs are not in the same caliber as their predecessors, and will not make up for their loss.

The lawsuit settlement calls for a $100,000 preservation fund, to be used for the physical restoration and preservation of other city buildings and some private structures.

One wonders what $100,000 can do for a single building, let alone a number of them. I would award the entire sum to the South Berkeley Community Church, a City of Berkeley Landmark located at the intersection of Fairview and Ellis streets. This very distinctive building, designed by Hugo Storch in 1912, is sorely in need of restoration, and the congregation has limited means.

Let the loss of two distinctive buildings be compensated for in part by saving a third.

05 September 2011

Thousand Oaks urn dedication ceremony



Saturday, 10 September, 3 to 5 pm
Great Stone Face Park


BAHA members are invited to celebrate the installation of two new urns, which are the latest street ornaments in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood.
 
A ceremonial dedication will be performed at Great Stone Face Park (Yosemite Road and San Fernando Ave.), followed by a party in the nearby garden of the historic Mark Daniels House, featuring a historical exhibit, music, and refreshments. There is no charge.
 
For those who wish to tour the area earlier that afternoon, Keith Skinner of the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association is planning a walk focusing on the urn sites and neighborhood history. The walk begins at 1 pm at Great Stone Face Park. See additional information here.
 
Thousand Oaks, the focus of BAHA house tours in 1997 and 2007, is a residential tract subdivided in 1909. Large monumental urns, in the style of Maxfield Parrish, were placed by the developers to mark streets and walking paths. This sort of civic art, like the pillars of Northbrae and Claremont, the Marin Circle fountain, and the gates of Claremont Court, was popular in the first decade of the last century and gave a distinct identity to each area. 
 
Originally there were twenty or more urns around Thousand Oaks, but only one urn, at Indian Trail and The Alameda, remains today.
 
The installation of the new urns and the restoration of the existing urn is the culmination of eight years of effort by residents of the area. The project was awarded a 2009 UC Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund grant that included professional support from UC landscape architect Jim Horner. BAHA is a Community Partner of this historic restoration project.
 
Trish Hawthorne, a veteran BAHA member, and Elizabeth Sklut, former president of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association, are the project coordinators.

29 July 2011

Fall 2011 Lecture Series


First Church of Christ, Scientist (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

Tickets: $15

Saturday, 24 September 2011
7:30 pm
First Church of Christ, Scientist
2619 Dwight Way, Berkeley


Mark A. Wilson :: Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance
Mark A. Wilson, author of the new book Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2011), will discuss Maybeck’s legacy and photographer Joel Puliatti will screen slides from the book. Maybeck’s granddaughter, Cherry Maybeck Nitler, will describe some of the most interesting anecdotes from her memories of growing up with “Ben.” A reception and book signing will follow. Co-sponsored by the Friends of First Church.



Thursday, 13 October 2011
7:30 pm
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley


Christopher Grampp :: From Yard to Garden: The Domestication of America’s Home Grounds
Christopher Grampp, author of From Yard to Garden: The Domestication of America’s Home Grounds, examines the history of the American home garden and tracks the evolution of front and back yards as the nation evolved from an agrarian to an industrial economy. He connects the emergence of the modern home garden to the rise of suburbanization, the growth of city services, and the post–World War II baby boom, which established the single-family home and its grounds as the ideal American dwelling. Grampp argues that the home garden is best understood as an expression of habitability, or the ways in which Americans have collectively and individually transformed their home grounds into functional outdoor living areas. A reception will follow.


First Unitarian Church (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Friday, 18 November 2011
7:30 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
1 Lawson Road, Kensington


Daniella Thompson :: The Berkeley Unitarians and Architectural Innovation
Early Berkeley Unitarians, whose membership included the Maybecks, the Keelers, and fellow founders of the Hillside Club, held a progressive view of architecture. Their first church building at Bancroft Way and Dana Street, designed by A.C. Schweinfurth and completed in 1898, incorporates startling architectural features and has been characterized as a “powerhouse.” Daniella Thompson will trace the history of the Unitarian community in Berkeley, introduce its cast of leading characters, and discuss the links between culture and nature embodied in its church buildings. A reception will follow. Co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley.

Directions to the church (please note: venue has changed)..

To order tickets, print, fill out, and mail the ticket order form.

You can also pay for tickets by credit card via PayPal. Please specify number of tickets and lecture date[s] in the Description line.

24 July 2011

Alameda Legacy Home Tour



Sunday, 25 September 2011
11 am– 5 pm
Advance tickets $30; day of tour $35


Open on this self-guided tour will be seven historic houses in central and east Alameda, including the oldest house in town. The tour benefits the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS) and the Alameda Museum.

Advance tickets are available online. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available at Franklin Park (at the intersection of Morton Street and San Antonio Avenue). For more information, see the event’s website.

20 July 2011

What’s Out There Weekend



17 & 18 September 2011
Various locations

Free


The Cultural Landscape Foundation will host a series of guided tours of 25 Modernist designed landscapes in the Bay Area. Tour sites include the Kaiser Center Roof Garden (Ted Osmundson) in Oakland, Levi’s Plaza (Lawrence Halprin) in San Francisco, and Santa Clara Central Park (Robert Royston).

See the event page for additional information.

13 July 2011

AIA East Bay Home Tours 2011



13 August 2011
10 am–4:30 pm
Advance tickets $40; day of tour $50


The American Institute of Architects, East Bay, will hold its inaugural Home Tours of the East Bay this summer. Eight architect-designed houses a variety of architectural styles will be open in Berkeley, Oakland, Lafayette, and Orinda.

Sustainability, open floor plans, connection of indoors to outdoors, abundant light, and a mixture of modern and traditional materials are key features of the tour houses. Ranging in size from 768 sf to 8,500 sf, these houses demonstrate that excellence in design is not limited by size or budget.

The architect of each house will be on site to answer questions. The tour is self-guided.

Tickets may be purchased online; at the AIA office, 1405 Clay Street, in downtown Oakland (after 24 July); or on the day of the tour at either of these will-call stations: Table 24 restaurant, 2 Theatre Square, Orinda, or 2237 10th Street, Berkeley.

For additional information, see aiaeb.org.

09 July 2011

2011 Preservation Awards Winners


Bertin Properties (photo: Carrie Olson, 2011)

At its Annual Meeting on 26 May 2011, BAHA recognized eight restoration and rehabilitation projects for their part in preserving Berkeley’s architectural heritage.

Read about the winning projects and see their photos in our Awards Gallery.

03 July 2011

Fall lecture series to be announced

Our fall lectures series promises to be interesting. We’ll have talks on Maybeck, the evolution of domestic gardens, and the fascinating history of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley. More details soon.

01 July 2011

Two authors sign books



Wednesday, 6 July 2011, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
David Chu
, author of  Frozen Music, will give a presentation and sign copies of his book at the AIA SF, 130 Sutter St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104.
$10 AIA SF members; $20 non-members.
Info: AIA calendar.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011, 5:30–7:30 pm
John King
, author of Cityscapes, will give a presentation and sign copies of his book as part of AIA SF and WIlliam Stout Architectural Books’ Summer Book Club Lecture and Signing Series.
AIA SF, 130 Sutter St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104.
$10 members; $20 non-members.
Info: AIA calendar.

Thursday, 21 July 2011, 6:00 pm
John King
, author of Cityscapes, will give a presentation and sign copies of his book at the San Francisco Architectural Heritage Lecture Series.
Pier 1, The Embarcadero, Port of San Francisco.
$8 Heritage members & students (with ID); $12 general.
Info: sfheritage.org.

Thursday, 2 August 2011, 7:30 pm
John King
, author of Cityscapes, will participate in a panel discussion with John Kriken on the subject of City planning in conjunction with resource management at the Mechanics’ Institute Library, 57 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94104.
Free for members; $12 general.
Info: milibrary.org/events.

Thursday, 2 August 2011, 7:30 pm
John King
, author of Cityscapes, will sign copies of his book at Mrs. Dalloway’s, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705.
Free and open to the public.
Info: mrsdalloways.com.

18 June 2011

Oakland Heritage Alliance summer walking tours



9 July–28 August 2011
OHA members $10; general $15


These guided walks in various Oakland neighborhoods take place every Saturday and Sunday. To view the full schedule, visit OHA’s events calendar.

11 May 2011

Annual Membership Meeting & Preservation Awards Presentation


Downtown YMCA, one of the 2010 winners (photo: Carrie Olson, 2010)

Thursday, 26 May 2011
6:30 pm–9:00 pm
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709


To reserve, call (510) 841-2242 or e-mail baha@berkeleyheritage.com.

30 April 2011

In-person House Tour ticket sales

This week, House Tour tickets are available for in-person purchase (check and cash only) at the following locations:

BAHA, 2318 Durant Ave. (rear)
Tue, 2:00–5:00 pm
Wed, 2:00–5:00 pm
Fri, 2:00–6:00 pm
Sat, 2:00–5:00 pm
Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St.
Thur, at lecture, 7:00–9:00 pm
On Friday and Saturday, tickets buyers will be able to pick up their tour guidebook at the BAHA office.

Tour-day ticket booth will open at 12:00 pm near the eastern gate of the Spring Mansion, 1960 San Antonio Avenue. The street will be closed to vehicles.

26 April 2011

House tour volunteers needed


Moskowitz House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2011)

We need some more volunteers for the House Tour on Sunday, 8 May. Volunteers work for two hours as house docents and have two hours free to tour the other houses. If you are interested, contact the BAHA office, baha@berkeleyheritage.com, ASAP.

25 March 2011

Historic Branch Libraries could be saved

by Gale Garcia


West Berkeley Branch Library renovation design proposed by Todd Jersey Architecture (click here to see the plans.)

Measure FF was approved by Berkeley voters in 2008, providing $26 million in bond funding to “renovate, expand, and make seismic and access improvements” at Berkeley’s four branch libraries.

While the letter and intent of Measure FF are being honored with respect to the Claremont and the North Branch Libraries, Berkeley’s Board of Library Trustees (BOLT) has decided to demolish the South and West Berkeley Libraries and replace them with brand new buildings.

A group called Concerned Library Users (CLU), who were concerned not only about the needless loss of historic resources but also about the injustice of using bond funding for a purpose that was in neither the language of Measure FF nor the campaign literature for the Measure, filed a suit against the City.

The first part of the lawsuit, about a hasty zoning amendment affecting libraries without review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), was settled rapidly. The City agreed about the need for review. The second part of the lawsuit about the misuse of Measure FF funding remains to be heard in Superior Court, at a date yet to be determined.


The South Berkeley Branch Library (John Hans Ostwald, 1960)


Todd Jersey’s proposed renovation design for the South Berkeley Branch Library

CLU hired Todd Jersey, the architect whose talent and ingenuity led to the preservation of the Richmond Plunge, to draw plans for both the South and West Branch Libraries. Everyone interested in the branch libraries should take a look at the plans to see the many advantages they offer.

For each library, Mr. Jersey’s design would preserve the historic portion and accommodate all the same programs as the BOLT plan—in a larger building than provided by the BOLT plan.

For the South Branch, this could be done at significantly lower cost—a larger library for less money. And the stunning reading room seen in the historic photo below could be restored.


Adult Reading Room, South Berkeley Branch Library

For the West Branch Library, Mr. Jersey’s plan would restore the 1923 reading room and Classical Revival façade, most of which remains intact under its blocky 1970s additions. For the children’s room, Mr. Jersey has designed a truly magical space, a circular room looking out at the redwood trees behind the library. Under his plan, the redwoods would be saved, while the BOLT plan calls for some of these trees to be destroyed.


First-floor plan for the West Berkeley Branch Library. The circular kids’ room is shown at the top.

The Todd Jersey plans for the South and West Branch Libraries are the environmentally superior preservation alternative—and they meet the mandate of Measure FF. Since CEQA allows for consideration of alternatives, these designs were submitted as part of the environmental review process. The City Council could choose these plans rather than the demolition-dependent plans, but sadly, preservation is not the focus of the current Council.



There will be a special joint meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) at 6:00 pm on Thursday, 14 April 2011. The LPC will consider the demolitions of the South and West Branch Libraries, and the ZAB will consider Use Permits for the demolition-dependent projects for the South and West Branch Libraries.

Letters to the LPC can be sent to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, c/o Jay Claiborne, Acting LPC Secretary, Land Use Planning Division, 2120 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, or to JClaiborne@CityofBerkeley.info. Letters to ZAB can be sent to the Zoning Adjustments Board, c/o Steven Buckley, Secretary, Land Use Planning Division, 2120 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA  94704, or to SBuckley@CityofBerkeley.info.

The City Council returns from spring recess on 26 April and will probably consider the alternative designs, the EIR, and the Use Permits at this meeting. Letters to the City Council can be sent to the City Clerk, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, or to clerk@cityofberkeley.info.

In order for LPC, ZAB, or Councilmembers to receive letters before the meetings, they should arrive eight days ahead of the scheduled date. However, letters submitted up to and including the meeting time will become part of the record. You may also voice your opinion at each of these meetings. For more information, as it becomes available, please see this website or call the BAHA office. Your participation can make a difference.

Laurie Bright Memorial



The family of Laurie Bright will be celebrating his life in memorial. Join Laurie’s relatives and friends in paying tribute to this exemplary preservation activist.

Sunday, 22 May 2011
1:30 pm–4:30 pm
The Hillside Club
286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709

13 March 2011

Pre-House Tour Lecture


Stoodley House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2011)

5 May 2011, 7:30 pm at the Hillside Club
Storybook Style
Speaker: Daniella Thompson
$15


Berkeley is a treasure trove of buildings that look as if they’d stepped out of a Mother Goose fairy tale. In the course of this illustrated talk, we’ll pay a visit to and marvel at the fanciful work of specialists in the whimsical genre that manifested itself during the 1920s.

Architects and builders who left their mark on Berkeley’s “Hansel & Gretel” architecture include William Raymond Yelland, Jack Thornburg, Francis Harvey Slocombe, Carr Jones, Sidney & Noble Newsom, and the Fox Brothers.

Editor of the BAHA website and author of the article series East Bay: Then and Now, Daniella Thompson will showcase both well-known and obscure examples of Storybook Style in Berkeley.


Tickets may be purchased via the ticket order form or online. See instructions for using PayPal (a handling charge will be added).

02 March 2011

Alternatives to Branch Libraries demolitions


Todd Jersey Architecture

Todd Jersey is the architect responsible for the much publicized restoration of the Richmond Plunge. Now he offers innovative and practical designs for restoring and expanding the South Berkeley and West Berkeley Branch Libraries, which the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT) proposes to demolish.

Todd Jersey submitted his designs to the City of Berkeley in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Branch Libraries. BAHA has asked the City Council, BOLT, and key commissions to consider these designs carefully, since they offer many advantages. They:
  • meet or exceed the libraries’ programmatic & space requirements
  • are cost-effective and well within the budget
  • comply with Measure FF
  • preserve two important historic resources
  • provide much-needed civic street presence
  • meet green construction standards
  • comply with CEQA requirements
For additional information, read Judith Epstein’s article, “How a Public Process Led to New Designs for the South and West Branch Libraries.”

01 March 2011

Outings on Fridays

Our popular series of guided tours, organized by Sally Sachs, returns this spring and summer. The tours take place on the first Friday of the month. Lunch is optional and not included in tour price. Lunch reservation must be made at least 5 days prior to each tour.
$15 per tour or $40 for the series



Friday, 1 April 2011
11 am

John Muir National Historic Site
Martinez


Visit both the Italianate Strentzel-Muir home of the renowned naturalist John Muir and his family (Wolfe & Son, architects, 1882) and the Vicente Martinez Adobe (1849), set amid the family’s orchards. Congress created this hostoric site in 1964.
Bring a picnic lunch to eat on the grounds.



Friday, 3 June 2011
11 am

Fox Theater
Oakland


The fate of this grand movie palace (Maury Diggs and Weeks & Day, architects, 1927) was a cause for concern from the time it closed in1966 until its recent picture-perfect restoration. View the ornate interior reflecting an eclectic mix of historical styles and hear the success story of its preservation. Lunch in an uptown restaurant.



Friday, 8 July 2011
11:00 am

McCreary-Greer House
Berkeley


This elaborate 1901 Colonial Revival house serves as BAHA’s headquarters. A City of Berkeley Landmark, it is a remnant of an elegant turn-of-the-century Southside neighborhood. Learn how BAHA acquired this special house, tour its interior, and survey the historic block on which it stands. Lunch at a nearby restaurant.

To order tickets, print and fill out the ticket order form and mail it with made out to BAHA and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:

BAHA
Outings on Fridays
P.O. Box 1137
Berkeley, CA 94701


You can also pay for tickets by credit card via PayPal. Please specify your outing date[s] and number of tickets in the Description line.

17 February 2011

AIA East Bay Endangered Buildings List

Submission deadline: 31 March 2011
 
Do you pass a neglected, old building on your way to work every day? 
Do you see a historic garden becoming a barely-recognizable weed patch?

AIA East Bay just inaugurated its Endangered Historic Places Program and needs your help to compile a list of endangered historic places in Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties. The goal of compiling the endangered places list is to call attention to their history and plight, raising the awareness on a regional level.
 
On 25 May 2011, AIA East Bay will present the region’s endangered places, followed by a wine and cheese reception.This event will be held at 6 pm at the AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay Street in Oakland. Registration will open on 1 April 2011.

All submissions will be listed unless they are incomplete; this is not a juried listing. 
 
For more information e-mail endangered@aiaeb.org or call (510) 464-3600.

01 February 2011

Imaginarium: Drawings by Bernard Maybeck



24 February–6 June 2011
Flora Lamson Hewlett Library
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709


This exhibition features original drawings that Maybeck created for his colleague Julia Morgan’s Western Hills cemetery project in Lawndale (now Colma). Although the cemetery was never built, the drawings themselves stand as a monument to Maybeck’s imagination and artistry. Included are these works from the private collection of Foster Goldstrom, as well as documents, photographs, and books from the GTU archives and other Bay Area collections.

The exhibition is free of charge and open to the public during library hours. It formally opens at 6:00 pm on 24 February 2011, with a lecture by Daniella Thompson on Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan’s collaborations. A reception in the Dinner Board Room will follow. For further information, please call (510) 649-2500 or visit http://www.gtu.edu/library/news/art-exhibitions/.

22 January 2011

Preservation Awards call for entries


Berkeley YMCA (photo: Carrie Olson)

BAHA invites the nomination of outstanding projects that have renewed the life of historic properties and neighborhoods in the city of Berkeley. Entries will be judged according to such criteria as aesthetic quality, historic significance, and contribution to the fabric of the city.

The deadline for submitting nominations is 1 April 2011. See instructions in our Call for entries page.

19 January 2011

Fireside Lectures sold out

All three of our February Fireside Lectures are sold out.

The Storybook Style lecture is oversubscribed; if you reserved but did not send payment, we regret that we won’t be able to accommodate you this time.

If demand warrants, we may repeat these lectures in the future.

Thank you for your understanding.

11 January 2011

February Fireside Lectures

Join us for a series of illustrated talks on Thursdays in February 2011. All lectures will be presented at BAHA’s McCreary-Greer House, 2318 Durant Avenue, and will begin at 7:30 pm.

Attendance is limited to 30, and advance registration is required. Admission $5. Call (510) 841-2242 or e-mail baha@berkeleyheritage.com to register. Pay via PayPal to expedite your order. See instructions for using PayPal (a handling charge will be added).


Classic Boxes (photo: Susan Cerny)

10 Feb. 2011  Sold Out
Susan Cerny on Colonial Revival “Classic Boxes”


In central Berkeley, on or very near the earliest streetcar lines, the rows of simple, box-shaped, two-story houses with hipped roofs are so numerous that they are hardly noticed or considered. These houses are of a style known variously as Colonial Revival, Classic Box, Rectilinear, Four-Square, and Prairie. They are found throughout the country, in large cities as well as in small towns. In Berkeley they were built between 1895 and 1909.

Author of Berkeley Landmarks and An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area, Susan Cerny will discuss the origins of this vernacular style, including examples of its wide dissemination, its many variations, and the reason why many Classic Boxes are now threatened.


Webb Block (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

17 Feb. 2011  Sold Out
Will King and Gail Lombardi on Charles W. McCall


Oakland architect Charles W. McCall (1878–1948) achieved recognition as the designer of Berkeley’s landmark Webb Block (1905) at Ashby Avenue and Adeline Street; the Livermore-McCall houses (1915) in the Russian Hill-Vallejo Street Crest Historic District, San Francisco; the Robert Dollar Building at 311 California Street, SF (1919); and the Wakefield Building (1924) at 426 17th Street, Oakland.

McCall was prolific and versatile. He designed over 250 residential, commercial, and public buildings, employing a variety of styles, including Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Beaux Arts, Craftsman, Mediterranean, Prairie, and Art Deco. McCall applied a continuously evolving but unique personal approach to his work.

Authors of Designing for a Purpose: The Life and Works of Charles W. McCall, Will King and Gail Lombardi will share their research on McCall’s Berkeley legacy of at least 27 buildings (15 of which survive), including historic and contemporary images, newspaper accounts, and family photographs.


Thornburg Village (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

24 Feb. 2011  Sold Out
Daniella Thompson on Storybook Style


Berkeley is a treasure trove of buildings that look as if they’d stepped out of a Mother Goose fairy tale. In the course of this illustrated talk, we’ll pay a visit to and marvel at the fanciful work of specialists in the whimsical genre that manifested itself during the 1920s.

Architects and builders who left their mark on Berkeley’s “Hansel & Gretel” architecture include William Raymond Yelland, Jack Thornburg, Francis Harvey Slocombe, Carr Jones, Sidney & Noble Newsom, and the Fox Brothers.

Editor of the BAHA website and author of the article series East Bay: Then and Now, Daniella Thompson will showcase both well-known and obscure examples of Storybook Style in Berkeley.

10 January 2011

Robert Judson Clark


Robert Judson Clark at work on his Thorsen House
manuscript, Berkeley, 1982 (photo: Anthony Bruce)


With the death of architectural historian Robert Judson Clark on 4 January 2011, BAHA lost a friend and a mentor. Robert’s abiding love for Berkeley and its architectural heritage was an inspiration for all of us through the years.

Robert was an international authority on the Arts and Crafts Movement and considered the father of the Arts and Crafts revival. Our tribute to him is published here.