27 January 2017

Winter 2017 Lecture Series

All lectures will take place at the Hillside Club,
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley.

Tickets: $15 per lecture, $40 for the series
Purchase tickets by mail or online

Telegraph Avenue north of Bancroft Way, 1938

Telegraph Avenue: Past, Present, and Is There a Future?

Thursday, 16 February 2017
7:30 pm

Speaker: Tom Dalzell

Telegraph Avenue is Berkeley’s most storied street, an iconic district that goes back to the dedication of the Berkeley campus in the 1860s and that gained international attention in the 1960s. The businesses, buildings, people, and events associated with Telegraph Avenue are a fundamental part of Berkeley history. But much of that legacy is threatened and endangered.

Join us for an illustrated talk looking back at the rich, and quirky, history of Telegraph Avenue, from the “lost block” that once extended north from Bancroft Way to Sather Gate and housed a horde of collegiate businesses to “The Village” at Blake and Telegraph, a “Hippie modern” restaurant and shop complex that still survives, albeit precariously.

Your energetic guide will be Tom Dalzell, creator of the popular Quirky Berkeley website, author, labor lawyer, and internationally known expert on slang. BAHA President Steven Finacom will also provide a brief perspective on the preservation and development challenges facing Telegraph Avenue in the present.

Copies of Dalzell’s most recent book, Quirky Berkeley, will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

Wedding chapel for the Claremont Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW Archive)

Frank Lloyd Wright in the Bay Area

Thursday, 9 March 2017
7:30 pm

Speaker: Paul V. Turner

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) often spent time in San Francisco, which he called “the most charming city in America.” Between about 1900 and 1959, Wright designed roughly 30 projects in the Bay Area, a third of which were built. They included houses, a gift shop, a civic center, a skyscraper, a church, an industrial building, a mortuary, a bridge across the San Francisco Bay, and a wedding chapel for the Claremont Hotel. The unbuilt structures are among Wright’s most innovative, and the diverse reasons for their failure counter long-held stereotypes about the architect.

Paul V. Turner is Wattis Professor of Art, Emeritus, at Stanford University, and author of Frank Lloyd Wright and San Francisco (Yale University Press, 2016). Turner trained as an architect and art historian, and has written extensively on architecture, including the book Campus, an American Planning Tradition (M.I.T. Press, 1984).

Copies of Frank Lloyd Wright and San Francisco will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

An early, unrealized design for the El Cerrito BART station by Vernon DeMars (Vernon DeMars Collection, U.C. Berkeley Environmental Design Archives)

When Architects and Artists Had Big Dreams for BART

Thursday, 30 March 2017
7:30 pm

Speaker: Dave Weinstein

Back in the mid-1960s, planners envisioned a rapid transit system that would link the entire Bay Area, with stations in Napa, Fairfield, Santa Rosa, Brentwood, Livermore, Campbell, San Jose, and Los Altos, among other spots. Every station was to have art. BART’s architects hoped that the new system would not only provide transportation but aid in “controlling and directing future urban growth and development, and [...] upgrading economically and physically depressed and stagnant sections of the urban complex.”

What happened to BART’s art and architecture, and to those dreams?

Dave Weinstein has researched and written extensively about Bay Area architecture, design and history, including the books Signature Architects of the Bay Area, It Came From Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World, and the text for Berkeley Rocks: Building With Nature. He is a leader in historic preservation and history projects in El Cerrito.

18 January 2017

Allen Stross passes away

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2008

We are saddened to learn that Allen Stross, one of Berkeley’s iconic residents and a longtime friend of BAHA and the Berkeley Historical Society, passed away this afternoon. He was 93 years old.

For many years, Allen was a regular fixture at BAHA’s house tours, and until a decade ago he acted as our tour photographer.

According to an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle three years ago, “Allen Stross of Berkeley started working at age 13. He’s been a delivery boy, a sign painter, a Navy sailor and a photographer for the Detroit Free Press. Now, at age 90, he and his wife live on about $21,000 a year. After they pay for rent and medications, they're left with just $416 a month.”

While living in Detroit in the 1960s and ’70s, Allen taught photography courses and contributed photographs to the Historic American Buildings Survey, housed in the Library of Congress.

The photo above shows Allen on a BHS walking tour of the McGee-Spaulding-Hardy District.

13 January 2017

Building Berkeley: a lecture at the Berkeley City Club

The Berkeley City Club Presents

Building Berkeley: Bernard Maybeck, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan, and the U.C. Berkeley Campus.

An illustrated lecture by Prof. Margaretta Lovell

Tuesday, 7 February 2017
6 pm
Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

Members $5; general $10; tickets via Eventbrite

Margaretta Lovell, Professor of American Art and Architecture at U.C. Berkeley, will discuss the history of the major Berkeley campus buildings. Among other topics, her lecture will cover the origins of college campuses; how the Berkeley campus location was determined; the Organic Act of 1868 that created the University of California; how the Stanford campus influenced Phoebe Apperson Hearst; the Hearst International Competition for the design of the U.C. campus and the architects who submitted plans; how the Hearst Memorial Mining Building survived the 1906 earthquake; original plan for the Campanile; and Julia Morgan’s campus designs.