28 December 2012

Old City Hall in the SF Chronicle

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

The San Francisco Chronicle just published Carolyn Jones’s article, Berkeley struggles to retrofit City Hall.

For historic information on the building, see Berkeley’s City Hall Was Inspired by a Mairie on the Loire.

30 November 2012

Julia Morgan, Architect to Town and Gown

The Maybeck house in 1902 (Dimitri Shipounoff collection, BAHA archives)

At U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, women currently make up 57% of the undergraduates majoring in architecture, and about half of the graduate architecture students.

In the spring of 1894, when Julia Morgan (1872–1957) graduated from Cal with a degree in civil engineering, she was the only woman in her class. The university did not offer architecture courses at that time (the College of Architecture would not be founded until 1903, under John Galen Howard), and the only option open to engineering students who were interested in following an architectural career was to take an independent course in architectural design offered by Bernard Maybeck and held in his house.

Maybeck was selective. His design students were the crème de la crème and included an impressive array of future luminaries: Harvey Wiley Corbett (co-designer of New York’s Rockefeller Center); Edward H. Bennett (co-author of the Chicago city plan with Daniel H. Burnham); Lewis P. Hobart (architect of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and Bohemian Club); John Bakewell, Jr. and Arthur Brown, Jr. (who would collaborate on the city halls of San Francisco and Berkeley); G. Albert Lansburgh (designer of many theatres, including the Warfield and Golden Gate in San Francisco, the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and, with Arthur Brown, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House); and Loring P. Rixford (architect of the Sacramento City Library). Bakewell described the course as combining design theory and a period of practical application, during which the students worked on the additions to Maybeck’s house.

Continue reading this article here.

21 November 2012

Honoring Jane Powell

Jane Powell on a BAHA House Tour (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2008)

On 11 November 2012, Jane Elizabeth Powell of Oakland, California, passed away in her beloved Bunga-Mansion, surrounded by her loving caregivers, friends, and her sister Mary. Her three devoted cats Maya, Tasha, and Piper were there with her through this courageous battle, and it was amazing to see their close bond and how they were present for her every day.

Jane was born in Detroit, Michigan. The second of three strong sisters, she learned from her mother Peg to embrace her family, “adopted’ family, and many friends, and make each person feel special and well loved. Jane touched many people’s lives in a profound way and had an amazing group of loyal friends who were with her through this long journey. Her father Nelson taught Jane the power of laughter and love of bad puns. Thanks to her quick wit and ability to make puns about almost anything, she was labeled the “bad girl of bungalow writing.”

She was a restoration consultant, house restorer, lecturer, color consultant, and the author of six books that read as if she were talking to you in person. Her books titles are Bungalow Kitchens; Bungalow Bathrooms; Bungalow Details: Exterior; Bungalow Details: Interior; Bungalow: The Ultimate Arts and Crafts Home; and Linoleum.

Jane was a preservationist exraordinaire and a favorite BAHA lecturer. Never afraid to speak her mind, she will be remembered for her funny, smart, energetic, edifying, and highly opinionated talks.

As a hands-on restorer and perfectionist, she brought ten vintage houses back to life with help from family and friends. The practical experience of restoring houses armed her with the concrete knowledge that can only be gained by screwing up, and thus she was uniquely qualified to help her clients avoid many of the pitfalls that go along with restoring an older house. She left behind a vision for the restoration of her own home, the 1905 Jesse Matteson House, and her family is currently working on an offer from one of Jane’s former clients to buy the Bunga-Mansion and finish her restoration dream.

Jane is survived by her cats, Maya, Tasha, and Piper; her sisters, Nancy Klapak and Mary Enderle; her niece Karin Klapak and nephew Brian Klapak; and many interesting and loyal friends. A memorial service will be announced for some time in January 2013. Sympathy cards may be sent to Mary Enderle, 389 Photinia Lane, San Jose, CA 95127.

Ideas for honoring Jane’s legacy are offered on her website.

The Berkeley Daily Planet published Robert Brokl’s eulogy of Jane on 4 January 2013.

Your comments are invited below.

20 November 2012

Houses that Work, Houses that Grow: Learning from Julia Morgan

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2010

Lecture by Sandhya Sood, AIA

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
AIA San Francisco
130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
San Francisco

$10 general admission. Information & tickets

California’s first woman architect, Julia Morgan led a proficient practice in San Francisco for almost half a century from 1904 onwards, with over 700 buildings to her credit. She also designed many houses in the regional tradition of the San Francisco Bay Area that have endured a century of habitation, absorbing changing lifestyles and culture over the decades. Presenting slides of photographs and drawings that have rarely been seen or published, this lecture will evaluate Morgan’s successful house designs to examine their timeless qualities and spatial attributes that make them so livable, usable and sustainable over time.

This lecture is given in conjunction with Landmark California’s Julia Morgan 2012 celebration and is co-sponsored by the Center of Architecture and Design. Architectural historian Betty Marvin will make a special appearance as “Julia Morgan.”

05 November 2012

Karen McNeill lectures on Julia Morgan

8 November 2012
6:30 pm
Wurster Hall, Room 112
U.C. Berkeley
See additional information

Karen McNeill is a historian based in Oakland. She has been researching and writing about Julia Morgan since 2000 and has published multiple articles on the subject, including most recently, “‘Women Who Build’: Julia Morgan & Women’s Institutions,” in the Summer 2012 issue of California History. Her work focuses on women and gender in the architectural profession as well as how Progressive Era women used the built environment to expand their roles in society as consumers, reformers, educators, and professionals. Dr. McNeill is currently completing a book manuscript on Julia Morgan. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Autry National Center, the Bancroft Library, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Beyond her work on Julia Morgan, Dr. McNeill teaches history and architectural history at colleges and universities in the Bay Area and has been involved in historic preservation, authoring several context statements for major surveys and successfully nominating a range of buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.

25 October 2012

Free outing to the U.S. Court of Appeals

Photo: Allen Stross, 2006
The tour is full. No more reservations, please.
Thursday, 15 November 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals Building
Seventh & Mission streets
San Francisco
This imposing granite edifice was designed in the 1890s by James Knox Taylor, chief architect for the U.S. Treasury Department, to house the federal courts and the main San Francisco post office. When it opened in 1905, Sunset magazine called it the Versailles of the West.
The tour, arranged by BAHA board member Sally Sachs, is an opportunity to view this opulent building, discover its history and architecture, and learn about the functioning of the court. Senior Circuit Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. will receive tour goers in his chambers, rarely seen by the public.
See some photos from our 2006 tour of the building.
The tour is free of charge. To reserve your place, please contact BAHA by e-mail.

18 October 2012

Julia Morgan, Architect to Town & Gown

Swimming pool, Berkeley City Club (photo: Daniella Thompson)

In conjunction with the statewide Julia Morgan 2012 Festival, BAHA presents a tour of the architect’s houses designed for Berkeley’s professional and intellectual society, as well as buildings for Berkeley institutions and organizations.

Sunday, 18 November 2012
Noon to 4 pm
$25 general admission; $20 BAHA members

Order tickets online or use the ticket order form to order by mail.

Call (510) 841-2242 or e-mail BAHA to volunteer at the tour or the reception.

Although Julia Morgan grew up in Oakland and lived most of her adult life in San Francisco, Berkeley may justly claim her as an adopted daughter. She attended the University of California, graduating with a Civil Engineering degree in the class of 1894. She was the only woman who attended Bernard Maybeck’s independent course in architectural design, which also included future luminaries Harvey Wiley Corbett, Edward H. Bennett, Lewis P. Hobart, John Bakewell, Jr., Arthur Brown, Jr., G. Albert Lansburgh, and Loring P. Rixford. After four years of studying at the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris and becoming the first woman to earn a certificate there, Miss Morgan returned to the Bay Area, working first for John Galen Howard, the new Supervising Architect for the University of California. In 1904, she opened her own architectural firm, eventually executing some 700 commissions, making her one of the leading designers of her era and California’s first great woman architect.

Much of her work—both residential and institutional—is concentrated in Berkeley. There are clusters of distinguished Julia Morgan residences throughout town and some of her best non-residential commissions, from clubhouses to churches, are on or near the University of California campus.

In coordination with the statewide Julia Morgan 2012 celebration, U.C. Berkeley, and the Landmark Heritage Foundation, BAHA presents a special Fall tour that will sample several Julia Morgan buildings in different styles and uses.

The tour will include several private residences designed by Miss Morgan—now student living groups or utilized for offices, but all retaining much of their original interior and exterior character. There will be an opportunity to view the interior of two of the architect’s buildings on the Berkeley campus, including portions of the large and lavish Hearst Gymnasium for Women (a collaboration with Maybeck) and Girton Hall (Senior Women’s Hall), a small, rustic, lodge that she designed gratis for the women students of the campus a century ago.

Off campus, the Berkeley City Club, Julia Morgan’s local masterpiece, will be open to tour-goers. A reception will be held at tour headquarters, BAHA’s McCreary-Greer House, where a Julia Morgan-designed library table will be on view.

The tour also provides a convenient opportunity to view a special exhibit on Julia Morgan, displayed on campus and organized by the Environmental Design Archives. The tour booklet will include a list of other Julia Morgan designs that remain in the South Campus neighborhood, from modest speculative homes to lavish residences, to a grand religious seminary, a notable brown-shingle church, one of the architect’s rare commercial buildings, and even an apartment house of her design. As a bonus for tourgoers, a gem of a building designed by Walter T. Steilberg, an early associate of Julia Morgan, will be open on the tour.

03 October 2012

Dinner & talk by Richard Schwartz: The 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake

Saturday, 27 October 2012
5:30–7:30 pm
Spenger’s Fish Grotto
1919 Fourth Street, Berkeley
Price: $30
Reserve no later than Sunday, 21 October: (510) 845-6874
Did you ever wonder what it is like to be in largest earthquake unleashed by the Hayward Fault? Historian Richard Schwartz will offer first-hand accounts of people who lived through the Hayward Fault Earthquake of 21 October 1868. Their stories are riveting. Schwartz will show many photos and illustrations to accompany the story of happening in the Bay Area before, during, and after the earthquake. As the USGS predicts that these maximum eruptions occur on the Hayward Fault, on average, every 140 years, this talk is a must-see, must-hear event for anyone who wants to know what may be in store for us at any moment.
For additional information, See the Builders Booksource website.

27 September 2012

Hidden Engineer: The Designs of Julia Morgan

Exhibit currently on display at the Wurster Hall library

Julia Morgan was a pioneer throughout her professional life. The first woman to enter and complete an education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she later designed Hearst Castle, and left more than 700 buildings throughout California and the West. Among other reasons, she is notable for having designed so many women-commissioned projects. This exhibit is mounted in conjunction with the Landmarks California Commission’s Julia Morgan 2012 celebration, and re-examines some of Julia Morgan’s most influential designs, using material from the Environmental Design Archives, Visual Resources Collection, and Environmental Design Library.

23 August 2012

Vote for Charlie Bowen & Path Wanderers

Charlie Bowen, path-building head of the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, is one of three finalists in the 2012 Bay Area Cox Conserves Heroes contest, sponsored by the Trust for Public Land and KTVI Channel 2.
The finalist who receives the most online votes by 24 Sept. will be awarded $10,000 for her chosen non-profit. Click here to see a short video on Charlie’s work and vote for her.

Julia Morgan photo contest

In conjunction with this year’s statewide Julia Morgan 2012 Festival, the Landmark Heritage Foundation is sponsoring a Julia Morgan Photo Contest.
Submit your favorite photograph (taken by you) of a Julia Morgan Building anywhere in California.
Winners will receive a two-night stay, a dinner for two, or a lunch for two at Julia Morgan’s Little Castle, the Berkeley City Club in Berkeley, CA.
Open to residents of the United States. Submissions accepted now through 12 October 2012. There is a submission fee of $15.

The Temple of Wings & Isadora Duncan–style dance

Screening & dance performance
Thursday, 6 September 2012
7:30 pm
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

Nestled in the foothills of Berkeley, the Temple of Wings, inspired by Greek architecture and aesthetic, was for decades the epicenter of Isadora Duncan–style dance.

The Berkeley Historical Society is sponsoring an evening dedicated to the culture fostered in this landmark. Featured will be photographer and historian Margaretta Mitchell, who will screen her elegiac documentary about Temple of Wings dance. Her presentation will be followed by a performance by Lois Flood, a Duncan dance specialist.

The event is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free, though donations will be appreciated. 

Reception and refreshments will follow.

The BHS exhibit Early Days of Dance of the East Bay continues through 29 September at the History Center, 1931 Center Street, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

11 August 2012

Watch for our booth at the Solano Stroll

BAHA returns to the Solano Stroll on 9 September 2012. Our booth will be located near Ensenada Avenue. Come by and say hello.

Third West Berkeley cultural tour with Richard Schwartz

Historian Richard Schwartz continues his triumphant Magical History Walking Tours of West Berkeley with the third ramble, which will take place on Saturday, 25 August 2012 at 11:00 am. Meet at Builders Booksource, 1817 4th Street.

On this tour, Richard will reveal the story of an early West Berkeley eccentric and how he attempted to make part of West Berkeley into a sanatorium and beach destination, utilizing indoor baths and spas rivaling Sutro Baths in San Francisco. Richard will take us to the site of Berkeley’s first town hall in the west end; Berkeley’s first school from 1856; show more images and details of the terrific French Quarter that occupied so many sites in West Berkeley; the giant French brewery; some 1906 earthquake relief camps; and the largest attempted industrial endeavor in 1875, which was meant to change the entire northwest end of the undeveloped and sleepy ranchland. If there is time, Richard may tell us the many thrilling tales from the old dynamite factories of West Berkeley.

$10 tour charge (kids free). Reservations required (510) 845-6874.

30 July 2012

Two brown-shingle houses for sale at $1 each

The houses on Walnut Street at Berkeley Way (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2009)

Two historic brown-shingle residential buildings, located at 1930 and 1922–24 Walnut Street, between University Avenue and Berkeley Way (read an article about their historic background), are being offered for sale at $1 each.

Both buildings are two stories tall. They were constructed in 1905 as duplex residences and have since been converted to apartments. Their current site is slated for the planned Acheson Commons development.

Seller will pay the costs of moving the structures to the buyer’s site.

Buyer must:
  • relocate the buildings within Berkeley’s municipal borders;
  • provide a lot that can accommodate both structures in compliance with City of Berkeley zoning requirements;
  • undertake all subsequent costs.

Interested parties must demonstrate the ability to accept the structures on the new site by May 2013. Inquiries should be directed to Mia Perkins at mperkins@citycentric.net.

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2009

26 July 2012

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project has new website

If you are a Berkeleyan, you will have noticed the growing number of historical plaques adorning the façades of our city’s landmarks. They are the work of the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project, which has been putting them up since 1997. Fifteen years later, the Project has more than 100 plaques installed, and an interesting, well-illustrated new website that documents them.

There’s also a section devoted to e-plaques, which the Project hopes to expand with readers’ texts and images. Take a look.

14 July 2012

Second West Berkeley cultural tour with Richard Schwartz

Northeast corner of University & San Pablo aves., c. 1894

Historian Richard Schwartz’s first “Berkeley Magical History Tour” around the Ocean View district was wildly successful. By popular demand, Part Two will take place on Saturday, 28 July 2012, at 11:00 am. Meet at Builders Booksource, 1817 4th Street.

Learn about Berkeley’s first fire house; its first jail; the amazing general store and Bay Area horse racing attractions in West Berkeley; Berkeley’s first City Hall in the west-end area; the first school in the 1850s; the history of San Pablo Avenue from early Spanish times and before, and much more.

$10 tour charge (kids free). Reservations (510) 845-6874.

13 July 2012

Let’s do something about our Post Office

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

Come to the Hillside Club for a discussion of options with Dr. Gray Brechin

Friday, 20 July 2012, at 7:30 pm
Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street

Donation requested

A giant real estate company contracted by the U.S. Postal Service to sell America’s post offices is doing so without user input and with no consideration for their aesthetic or historic merit let alone their vital community functions.

Now it’s Berkeley’s turn. Built in 1914 and modeled on Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital in Florence to harmonize with the nearby University buildings, the downtown post office is one of the nation’s most beautiful and hosts two New Deal art works. It belongs to all of us.

Dr. Gray Brechin will discuss the actual reasons for the fire sale of what the National Trust for Historic Preservation has categorically named among America’s most endangered treasures and what we can do to stop it. The Berkeley City Council will consider a resolution to formally appeal the sale at its July 24 meeting.

03 July 2012

Oakland Heritage Alliance summer walking tours

7 July–26 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.

25 June 2012

West Berkeley cultural tour with Richard Schwartz

Contra Costa Road (now San Pablo Avenue), looking north from University Avenue, 1861

Berkeley historian Richard Schwartz will lead a “Berkeley Magical History Tour” around the Ocean View district on Saturday, 30 June 2012, at 11:00 am. Meet at Builders Booksource, 1817 4th Street.

Tourgoers will learn about the gigantic Native American shellmound; the old French Quarter that wowed the Bay Area’s chefs; the famous Bath Beach, where Bay Area residents came to vacation; the enormous Standard Soap Works; Berkeley’s first jail and firehouse; and the public halls, parks, and businesses where the community was brought together. Discover Berkeley’s past through unique and thrilling stories and old photographs. You will never see West Berkeley the same way again.

$10 tour charge (kids free). Reservations (510) 845-6874.

24 June 2012

Berkeley’s Main Post Office to close

Photo: Daniella Thompson

Berkeley’s Main Post Office at 2000 Allston Way will be closed and put up for sale in four months. The elegant building, designed by Oscar Wenderoth and completed in 1915, was modeled on Filippo Brunelleschi’s Italian Renaissance masterpiece, the Ospedale degli Innocenti (1419–1424) in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, Florence.

The post office features two New Deal works of art: the mural “Incidents in California History” by Suzanne Scheuer and the bas-relief “Post Office Activities” by David Slivka.

The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is an important component of the Civic Center Historic District, which is now threatened on several fronts, with the uncertain future of Old City Hall and Veterans Memorial Building, both badly in need of seismic retrofitting.

23 May 2012

Annual Membership Meeting & Preservation Awards

Thursday, 31 May 2012
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley 94709

6:00 Social Hour—Appetizers & No-Host Wine Bar

6:30 Buffet Dinner ($20 by reservation)
Mixed Green Salad
Roast Chicken, Brown Jasmine Rice, Grilled Vegetables
Cheese Platter

7:00 Business Meeting & Election of Directors
Carrie Olson, President
Steven Finacom, Vice-President
Susan Cerny, Corporate Secretary
Stephanie Manning, Treasurer
Carl Bunch
Jane Edginton
Neysa Garrett
James Grandison
Glen Jarvis
Michael Kelly
Ann Killebrew
John McBride
Leila Moncharsh
Sally Sachs
Arlene Silk
Jerry Sulliger
Daniella Thompson
Kelly Wong
Michael Yovino-Young

7:30 Preservation Awards Presentation

8:30 Remarks by Kirk E. Peterson, Architect

Complimentary Coffee & Dessert

To reserve dinner (catered by the Bread Workshop), please send a check for $20 per person to BAHA, P.O. Box 1137, Berkeley, CA 94701. Checks must be received by Saturday, 26 May (please include names of guests).

You can also pay for dinner by credit card via PayPal (see instructions).

03 May 2012

Outings on Fridays

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

Friday, 1 June 2012
11 am

Mission Dolores
San Francisco

The Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded on 29 June 1776. The settlement was named for St. Francis of Assisi but was also commonly known as “Mission Dolores” owing to the presence of a nearby creek named Arroyo de los Dolores. The mission is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Junipero Serra. Lunch in a nearby restaurant.

Friday, 13 July 2012
11 am

The McElroy Octagon House
San Francisco

Inspired by the writings of phrenologist Orson Squire Fowler, who advocated a new “Cheap, Convenient, and Superior Mode of Building” in 1848, William McElroy built this octagonal house in 1861. San Francisco Landmark No. 36 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the McElroy House is one of two octagon houses surviving in San Francisco. Lunch in a nearby restaurant.

Friday, 3 August 2012
11:00 am

Marin County Civic Center
San Rafael

The Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Marin County Civic Center is both a national and state-designated historic landmark. Wright’s 770th commission, the Civic Center is the last and one of the most important works by this internationally acclaimed architect who has been described as “one of the most creative architectural geniuses of all time” and “the most original architect the United States has ever produced.” Lunch in a nearby restaurant.

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

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

You can also pay for tickets by credit card via PayPal (see instructions).

02 May 2012

Tour-day ticket booth

Tour-day Ticket Booth & Will Call open at 12:30 pm in front of Emerson School, 2800 Forest Avenue.

17 April 2012

Friends of First Church annual meeting

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

Sunday, 22 April 2012
2:30 pm
First Church of Christ, Scientist
2619 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Friends of First Church, Berkeley, will hold its 2012 annual meeting at the church. The public is invited.
  • Preview Paul Bockhorst’s new documentary, An American Masterpiece
  • William Ludtke — Organ Prelude
  • Brief remarks by:
    Foster Goldstrom — Maybeck as Artist
    Bill Marquand, AIA — Message of the Architecture
    Mel Owen, Esq. — Observations of a loyal and enthusiastic donor
  • Reception

13 April 2012

An American Masterpiece: The First Church of Christ, Scientist

A new film by Paul Bockhorst.

06 March 2012

Announcing our 2012 Spring House Tour

25 February 2012

Free Preservation Lectures

Community Preservation:
Preserving the Past to Build the Future

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF), in partnership with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and the City of Berkeley, is pleased to present the three-part Berkeley Community Historic Preservation lecture series.

All presentations are FREE to the public.

Historic Preservation—What It Is and Is Not
Tuesday, 27 March 2012, 7:00 pm
Council Chamber, Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr., Way

Join us in learning more about historic preservation in the 21st century, from its beginnings to its future. Learn the fundamentals of preservation: what it is and is not, and how it can benefit the Berkeley Community.

Secretary of Interior’s Standards & Sustainability
Tuesday, 19 June 2012, 7:00 pm
Council Chamber, Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr., Way

Find out what the Secretary of Interior’s Standards are, and why they are important. Discover what the new 2011 Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings can offer you, and learn about the various sustainability tools used for historic buildings and properties.

Preservation Incentives
Tuesday, 25 September 2012, 7:00 pm
Location TBA

Explore the economic tools and incentives for historic preservation. We will discuss the benefits to property owners, local communities, and the region.

07 February 2012

Vote for Berkeley’s Old City Hall In Dwell’s Rethinking Preservation contest

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004

Dwell magazine is holding a contest to select the endangered structure worthiest of preservation. Readers vote online for their favorite structure, and a panel of judges selects the winner from the top ten vote getters.

Help BAHA win $10,000 and vote for  
 Old City Hall

This elegant Beaux-Arts structure, designed by Bakewell and Brown and completed in 1909, was one of the first eight buildings designated City of Berkeley Landmarks in 1975. Occupied by the Berkeley Unified School District administration since 1977, the building is soon to be vacated and possibly boarded up. It requires a seismic retrofit that could cost between $30 million and $40 million, and its future is uncertain.

Please vote now!

Bernard Maybeck’s 150th birthday

The great architect was born on 7 February 1862. City Hall should have thrown a big party in his honor.

20 January 2012

BAHA Preservation Awards call for entries


Now is the time to submit your nominations for the 2012 BAHA Preservation Awards. The deadline for submissions is 1 April. See the nominating instructions for submission requirements.

07 January 2012

February 2012 Fireside Lectures

Join us for a series of illustrated talks on three successive Thursdays in February 2012. All lectures will be presented at BAHA’s McCreary-Greer House, 2318 Durant Avenue, and will begin at 7:30 pm.

Seating is limited to 30, and advance ticket purchase is required. Admission $10 per lecture. Call (510) 841-2242 or e-mail baha@berkeleyheritage.com to reserve your seats. Mail check to BAHA, P.O. Box 1137, Berkeley, CA 94701, or pay via PayPal to expedite your order. See instructions for using PayPal (a handling charge will be added).

Western Hills cemetery (courtesy of Foster Goldstrom)

9 Feb. 2012   Sold Out
Maybeck & Morgan: An Enduring Association

Speaker: Daniella Thompson

The two titans of Bay Area architecture maintained a career-long friendship and collaborated on various projects—including several financed by the Hearst family—over a period that spanned 45 years.

Editor of the BAHA website and author of the article series East Bay: Then and Now, Daniella Thompson will review the history of Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan’s association and collaborations from the mid-1890s until 1940. The talk will be illustrated with rarely seen images.

Webb Block
Ruth House by Donald Olsen (photo: Dave Weinstein)

16 Feb. 2012   Sold Out
Berkeley: A Modern Mecca

Speaker: Dave Weinstein

Berkeley may be better known for brown-shingle bungalows than for flat-roofed, glass-walled, open-planned houses, but few cities anywhere boast an equal wealth of modern dwellings.

Dave Weinstein, author of Signature Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area, It Came from Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World, and the text for Berkeley Rocks, and senior writer for CA Modern magazine, will conduct an informal pictorial tour of the greatest modern residences in and around Berkeley.

We’ll see houses by Richard Neutra, Roger Lee, Henry Hill, and other masters, both well-known and little-known. We’ll see how many of these buildings pay homage to Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, and other Bay Area innovators from an earlier generation. As a bonus, we’ll see some of the great, though often neglected and sometimes vilified, modern buildings on the Cal campus.

Normandy Village
50 Poppy Lane, designed by Katharine Gibbs Underhill (courtesy of Ann K.U. Tussing)

23 Feb. 2012   Sold Out
Family Stories: Living the Arts and Crafts Life in Berkeley

Speaker: Ann K. Underhill Tussing

Ann K. Underhill Tussing was born and raised in Berkeley, living her childhood in a house designed by her mother, Katharine Gibbs Underhill, a graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts. Ann’s Gibbs and Underhill grandparents settled in the Berkeley Hills in houses designed, wholly or in part, by Bernard Maybeck, a family friend. Architectural plans of Maybeck’s Underhill House #2, Rose Walk, and two of Katharine Gibbs Underhill’s houses will be shown, as well as some exterior and interior photos.

Ann’s childhood was full of beauty and creativity, the natural setting of her home on a hillside lot with its redwood groves, dance lessons at the Temple of Wings, neighborhood theatrics, parties with the C.S. Forester family, learning to swim at the Berkeley Women’s City Club. There will be photos shown of these and other important parts of her families’ lives. Now she lives “East of Eden” in Syracuse, NY, where she has given this illustrated talk several times to the Arts & Crafts Society of Central New York. She is delighted to give it here, where it all began.