BAHA Preservation Awards 2007

Part One


Alpha Delta Phi Chapter House, 1957 (courtesy of John Merchant)

Easton Hall (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

Alpha Delta Phi Chapter House (now Easton Hall)
2401 Ridge Road
(Stafford Lelean Jory, 1924)

The Alpha Delta Phi fraternity came to the University of California, Berkeley in 1908 with the help of alumnus brother Benjamin Ide Wheeler, whose house was located at 1820 Scenic Avenue. It was fitting, then, that when the California Chapter decided to build a new house following the 1923 Berkeley Fire, it selected a site at the top of Holy Hill, a stone’s throw from Wheeler’s former residence, which was one of the few Northside structures to have survived the fire. Prior to building this house, the chapter was located at 2401 Channing Way. In the 1960s, it would return to the Southside, and its Ridge Road house would be acquired by the neighboring Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

The building was designed by Stafford Jory, a collaborator of John Galen Howard’s on Wheeler Hall, Hilgard Hall, and Doe Library, the designer of the decorative elements of Edwards Stadium, and a longtime professor who taught design and lectured on the Classical Period in the History of Architecture.

Built in 1924, this stately English manor was clad in brick veneer and cast stone caps, with numerous multi-paned windows and parapets on two levels. Flashing, however, was minimal.

The fašade in early 2004, with no stone caps or roof parapet. Plywood replaced brick on the second floor walls after the latter collapsed in a storm. (courtesy of CDSP)

Over the years, rain water seeped in between the wood frame and the brick cladding. The two layers separated, the cast-stone trim cracked, and in December 2003, a long section of the second-floor brick veneer on the west fašade collapsed. As a seismic precaution, the roof parapets had been removed years ago along with the upper part of the chimney.

The repair work entailed removal of the unsafe brick cladding; seismic strengthening of the wood framing; modernizing the building's systems while preserving historic appearance; and providing accessible entry. When it was discovered that the original bricks could not be reused, a matching brick was found. Custom double-glazed wood windows were locally built to replicate the original windows. The long-missing stone caps and the parapets were rebuilt, albeit with a somewhat different ornamental element on the upper parapets.

The library (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

The Great Hall was restored to its original, three-bay layout. The library gained modern electronic systems and cabinetry that blends seamlessly with the historic space.

The School community held a brick cleaning party and was able to salvage some of the original bricks, which were used to pave the lovely patio created in the rear. Christened Easton Hall, the building once again takes its place as an important Northside marker.


King Bldg., before (photo: Daniella Thompson, January 2005)

King Bldg., after (photo: Carrie Olson, 2007)

Mrs. Edmund P. King Building
2502 Dwight Way/2501 Telegraph Avenue
(Albert Dodge Coplin, 1901)

City of Berkeley Landmark No. 267 (2004)

Stella King had been running a dry-goods store at the southwest corner of Dwight Way and Telegraph Ave. for over ten years when she commissioned A. Dodge Coplin to design a mixed commercial-residential building across the intersection. Maintaining its classic period integrity on the upper floor, the structure is a nearly perfectly preserved example of Colonial Revival corner-store building, as well as being one of only a handful of surviving commercial buildings by a leading turn-of-the-century local architect.

This Colonial Revival building had suffered extensive termite damage and winter leaks. In addition, it was structurally unsound. The restoration work included adding a great deal of steel to shore up the building, new slab floors, new electrical wiring, repair to interior water damage, and even some pigeon removal upstairs.

At the same time, the owners restored the Soda Works Building next door, designated the same year and equally in need of much work.

The four upstairs apartments were carefully restored, with attention paid to preserving all the remaining original details and fixtures. With the addition of a Peet’s Coffee store in the corner space, the King Building adds vibrancy to this busy corner.

Koerber Bldg., before (photo: Anthony Bruce, c. 1980)

Koerber Bldg., after (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

Fred C. & Sarah E. Koerber Building
2659 College Avenue
(architect unknown, 1907)

Purportedly the first commercial building in the Elmwood, the Koerber Building opened for business in 1907 at the junction of the newly completed Ashby Avenue streetcar line and the College Avenue Key Route lines. Fred Charles Koerber (1876–1953), the son of a German-born wood dealer, came to Berkeley from San Jose, where he had run a grocery with his older brother. He opened a grocery in the new building and lived above the store.

By 1930, the building was valued at $125,000. At century’s end, having been passed down to Koerber heirs then living in Idaho, it was quite in need of major repair and dangerously lacking in seismic stability.

Fortunately, the current owners pursued it and immediately took on the huge structural challenge. Carefully, thoroughly, and faithfully they restored this Elmwood landmark in time for for its 100th anniversary.

Elmwood historian Burl Willes adds: “As you pass by to admire, do not fail to note the gleaming restored 1950s rooftop air-raid siren.”


Kueffer House, before (photo: Gale Garcia)

Kueffer House, restored (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

John L. and Emily Kueffer House
2430 Fulton Street
(architect unknown, 1891)

City of Berkeley Landmark No. 256 (2003)

The Kueffer house is an intact Queen Anne raised-basement cottage built in 1891. John L. Kueffer, who built the house, was a Swiss-born cabinetmaker. The Kueffer family remained in this house only three years or so. By 1895, the Berkeley directory listed Kueffer as having moved to Los Gatos.

Kueffer, his wife Emily, and their three sons were back in Berkeley by 1899, this time at 1312 Louisa Street (later renamed Bonita Avenue), which continued to be their home for many years.

Eventually divided into multiple rental units, the two main floors have returned to their original configuration as a single family home, while the raised basement contains a separate apartment. As a craftsman, Mr. Kueffer would have appreciated the fine condition of the carefully turned spindles framing the central staircase and the porch, as well as other architectural ornaments such as the fans, the pediments, the brackets and dentils that are once again at their Victorian best. The old roses blooming behind the wrought iron fence would also make the Kueffers smile.

Part Two
Awards 2007

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