30 September 2015

Guided Tour of the SF Conservatory of Flowers

Friday, 6 November 2015
11 am (meet at 10:45 am)
Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F. Kennedy Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco

Admission $15 (advance registration required)
Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Join BAHA Vice-President Sally Sachs on a guided docent tour of the fabled San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Learn about the Conservatory’s history and visit the five exhibit areas: Lowland Tropics, Highland Tropics, Aquatic Plants, Potted Plants, and the Special Exhibit, where you will “wash up” on an uncharted tropical shore to learn the ins and outs of island survival. Stroll through a living jungle of life-saving plants and discover the best sources of building materials, food and water, even weaponry.

A Frank Lloyd Wright fundraiser on Panoramic Hill

Feldman House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Sunday, 18 October 2015
3 pm – 5 pm
Feldman House
(Frank Lloyd Wright, 1939; 1974)
13 Mosswood Road

Featuring Mark Wilson and Joel Puliatti, author and photographer of Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast.

Tickets: $45
All proceeds go to BAHA’s Sara Holmes Boutelle Fund for architectural research and landmark applications.

Owing to space limitations, attendance is restricted.

Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Between 1909 and 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a total of 38 structures along the West Coast, from Seattle to Southern California. These include well-known structures such as the Marin County Civic Center and Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, and many lesser-known gems, such as the 1909 Stewart House near Santa Barbara.

For the first time, the great architect’s West Coast buildings have been documented in a single book. At this fundraising reception, Mark A. Wilson and Joel Puliatti, author and photographer of Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast (Gibbs Smith), will present the gamut of Wright’s creations in the West. Signed books will be available for purchase.

The reception will take place at the Feldman House, built in 1974–06 to Wright’s 1939 plans for the Lewis N. Bell residence in Los Angeles (unbuilt). Owned by Jeanne Allen and Marc Grant since 1980, the house boasts furniture designed by Wright.

As a special treat, photographs that were not included in the book will be on digital display.

15 September 2015

Two talks by historian Richard Schwartz

Saturday, 19 September 2015
2:00 pm
San Leandro Historical Society
Little Brown Church (behind Casa Peralta)
384 West Estudillo Avenue
San Leandro

The 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake

Did you ever wonder what it is like to be in largest known historic earthquake unleashed on the Hayward Fault? Richard Schwartz will share first-hand accounts of people who lived through the Hayward Fault Earthquake on 21 October 1868. Their stories are riveting. The severity of the damage caused by the 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake will haunt you and it should. Fissures opened in the earth. Beds flew from one side of a room to the other and back. People in some locations fell and were unable to rise for the duration of the quake. Damage and deaths occurred around the bay. Special attention will be paid to the stories and events that day in San Leadro.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015
7:00 pm
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia Street (near 16th)
San Francisco

$10 donation requested.
No one will be turned away.

The Imperial Diplomacy of Norton I in Oakland & Berkeley

A gathering to celebrate the Bay Area’s Emperor Norton I and his unknown life in the East Bay. and to promote the campaign to name the Bay Bridge after the man who first proposed the idea to build it.

Almost invariably, Emperor Norton is identified solely as a San Francisco figure. In fact, he was a well-known presence in Oakland and Berkeley as well, making weekly visits to both places—and sometimes staying for days or weeks at a time. Berkeley historian Richard Schwartz will help explore an overlooked but importantpart of the Emperor’s story.

08 September 2015

PPIE Centennial lecture series

7 & 22 October, 4 November 2015
7:30 pm
Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley

Tickets $15 per lecture
Please send a check, payable to BAHA, to:
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or order tickets online.

Design, Color, and Light at the Exposition

Wednesday, 7 October, 7:30 pm

Laura Ackley, author of San Francisco’s Jewel City, who holds master’s degrees in architecture and architectural history from Harvard and the University of California, will explore the architecture of the palaces and courts of this most beautiful of world’s fairs. She will speak on the Exposition’s most splendidly realized achievements: color, sculpture, landscape architecture, spectacular lighting, and architectural design. Books will be available for sale.


Thursday, 22 October, 7:30 pm

In 1915, San Francisco became a prime destination for American and world travelers, when it hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Lee Bruno’s talk on San Francisco’s first world’s fair will draw from his book, Panorama, the images and stories about the architects, builders, inventors, artists, performers, and celebrities who made the nearly year-long event one of the greatest of its kind. Lee Bruno’s great-grandfather, Reuben Hale (of Hale Bros. department store), envisioned a world’s fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal in 1904. Books will be available for sale.

Berkeley at the Expositions

Wednesday, 4 November, 7:30 pm

Steven Finacom will talk about the many Berkeley connections to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) and the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island (1939). Berkeley people helped shape and build both expositions and flocked to enjoy their glories. We will explore their contributions and experiences, as well as the tangible legacies of the fairs that remain in the East Bay.

05 September 2015

Hull Undertaking Co. complex designated a landmark

Hull Undertaking Co. & Little Chapel of the Flowers (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2015)

On Thursday, 3 September 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Hull Undertaking Co. & Little Chapel of the Flowers complex a City of Berkeley Landmark.

One of the most outstanding examples of Storybook Style architecture in Berkeley, the Hull Undertaking Company complex comprises five interconnected buildings constructed between 1923 and 1942. They include the original Undertaking Building at 3051 Adeline Street (1923); the Little Chapel of the Flowers at 3049 Adeline Street (1928); and three accessory buildings at 1905, 1909, and 1911–1915 Essex Street.

The Undertaking Building is the most notable example in Berkeley of the work of the Oakland architectural firm Hutchison & Mills, which was active in 1921–1928, designing attractive store buildings and apartments that continue to contribute to the character of Berkeley’s built environment. Featuring a rolled-edge, thatch-like roof; half-timbering; stucco walls embedded with stones; leaded-glass windows; and numerous arched French doors, the Undertaking Building embodies the romantic tendency in the 1920s to borrow quaint, rustic elements from English vernacular architecture.

The Little Chapel of the Flowers is the best surviving example (along with its 1933 replica in San Jose) of the work of architect Francis Harvey Slocombe, designer of the legendary Mapes Hotel in Reno. Featuring an organically shaped bell tower; a rolling, thatch-like roof with huge dormers; an abundance of leaded glass, stained glass, and steel sash; and the liberal use of brick and stone combined with rough stucco, this instantly memorable building is unique in Berkeley and has remained essentially unchanged over its 87-year life.

The Hull Undertaking Company represented a continuous chain of ownership from Berkeley’s first mortuary, established by Frank W. Durgin in 1894. Durgin rejoined the business in the late 1920s, and the firm was known as Hull & Durgin until 1941.

The Hull Undertaking complex is the only example of Storybook Style in the Ashby Station district, which comprises a very high percentage of Colonial Revival buildings constructed during the first decade of the 20th century. During the 1940s and ’50s, the Little Chapel of the Flowers was Berkeley’s most beloved wedding venue. Beginning in the mid- 1970s, the Hull Undertaking Co. complex underwent a transformation, becoming a hub for cultural uses. Long-term tenants included the West Coast Print Center, which served the literary community and printed hundreds of poetry books and literary publications; the Fifth String Music Store, an important gathering point for acoustic string players; and Marmot Mountain Works, a world-renowned wilderness equipment store.

The landmark application is accessible online.