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 fa├žades 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.