08 February 2018

A new Structure of Merit designated


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The George A. Mattern Building, 2500 Shattuck Avenue at Dwight Way, was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark, Structure of Merit on 1 February 2018.

The building’s architect, Louis Maylon Upton (1879–1943), made his name by designing elegant Pacific Heights mansions in San Francisco. Although he lived in Berkeley, Upton is known to have designed only four buildings here. Three of those projects, including this handsome, mixed-use corner building, were commissioned by the knitwear manufacturer George Alfred Mattern (1864–1945).

Constructed in 1923, the Mattern Building was originally clad entirely in buff-colored pressed brick on its street façades, and its corner storefront was designed to house a branch of the Berkeley Bank of Savings and Trust Company. When Bank of America took over the space in 1936, its exterior was clad in stucco. Today, the unpainted brick face remains on the second floor, on the southernmost Shattuck Avenue storefront, and on the western part of the Dwight Way façade.

Among the Mattern Building’s notable features are a cornice undermounted with dentils; horizontal bands of decorative brickwork below the cornice, above and below the second-floor windows; six fluted pilasters with four capitals incorporating a stylized BA motif; a cutoff corner with a balcony on the second story; double casement windows along the upper-level fa├žades; and a five-part clerestory with turned-wood mullions above the entrance to the southernmost Shattuck Avenue storefront.

The Mattern Building anchors the northern end of a largely intact block of late 19th- and early 20th-century commercial structures. It is also a relatively rare surviving example in Berkeley of a multistory, brick-clad, mixed-use building that retains much of its original design and its original unpainted brickwork.

The landmark application is accessible online.

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