29 June 2022

Help save three Berkeley treasures

Berkeley is about to lose three iconic structures that represent pinnacles of architectural design and are associated with pioneering California women. We are petitioning the Governor and key state legislators in a last-ditch effort to secure and direct funding in the next state budget to ensure their existence for future generations of Californians. The first step is to direct that funds already allocated for the University of California in the current draft budget be applied to secure these buildings immediately.

The buildings, which are owned by UC Berkeley, are:

  • The magnificent Hearst Memorial Gymnasium (Bernard Maybeck & Julia Morgan, architects, 1925–27).

  • The Anna Head School, built for pioneering women’s educator Anna Head, is one of Berkeley’s oldest Shingle Style buildings and the most famous among them.

  • The historic William H. Smyth House/Fernwald is the oldest structure in Berkeley (c. 1867) and was remodeled by Julia Morgan in 1911.

Our plea for money in this year’s state budget is due to the acute situation caused by UC’s failure to protect these important state properties from squatters and the effects of the elements. The cost to secure them immediately and then renovate them for future generations of Californians is minuscule in comparison to the millions being spent on less worthy projects.

Please go here to watch the video, read more about the endangered buildings, and sign the petition today.

For additional information on the endangered landmarks, please see Three Desperate Monuments.

Photo of Hearst pool courtesy of Noll & Tam Architects. Photo of Anna Head School by Daniella Thompson.


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