Berkeley Landmarks :: 2005 Designations

Berkeley Landmarks designated in 2005

Standard Die & Specialty Company (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Standard Die & Specialty Company
The Austin Company (1924)
2701 Eighth Street at Carleton Street
Designated: 7 March 2005

A group of industrial buildings, built over time for various owners on one large parcel. They include the Standard Die & Specialty Company Building (Austin Company of California, architect, 1924), Roll-Away Window Screen Company Building (Michel & Pfeffer Iron Works, architect, 1937), and Rudiger-Lang Company Building (Soule Steel Co., architect, 1942). The two earlier buildings feature patterned brick fašades, with the Standard Die & Specialty Company Building being the larger, extending east along Carleton Street with window walls. The 1942 structure (not included in the designation) is distinguished by its corrugated sheet-metal cladding and gable roof. Owned by the Humane Society, the buildings have housed the Nexus Gallery and Collective for the past three decades.

Bertha Newell House

Piano Club gate

Berkeley Piano Club (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Berkeley Piano Club
William Woollett (1912); Junk-Riddell Investment Co., designer (1913)
2724 & 2726 Haste Street
Designated: 7 March 2005

Founded in 1893 and still active, the Berkeley Piano Club is one of the nation’s few musical clubs with a private performance space. The club has played host to a wide range of performers and is internationally known. It’s also the venue for aspiring pianists in search of a venue to study and play. Nicolas Slonimsky lectured here in 1971. The landmark designation also includes the Bertha Newell house at the front of the property, final residence of John Galen Howard, where his widow continued to live. In an upstairs workshop, a Manhattan Project scientist designed a triggering mechanism for the Atom bomb.

The Squires Block (left) at Shattuck Avenue and Vine Street (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Squires Block
Edwin Squires, designer-builder (1895)
2100 Vine Street at Shattuck Avenue
Structure of Merit
Designated: 9 May 2005

Edwin Squires built this Queen Anne Victorian for his brothers Harry and William, who ran a successful drugstore and Post Office Substation No. 4 near Berryman Station. It was one of four similar corner buildings anchoring the Shattuck & Vine commercial center. The new Squires store was named Squires & Cherrington and enlarged in 1902. Beginning in 1903, the drugstore changed hands several times. Between 1915 and 1919, the upper floor was used as overflow classrooms for the public schools. The building has been altered more than once since 1902. In 1979, the current owners, Christine and Allen Connolly, restored it to a semblance of its original appearance. It remains an important element of the North Shattuck Gourmet Ghetto and one of a handful of Victorians in a neighborhood where they used to predominate.

Claremont Court’s main gate (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Claremont Court Gate and Street Markers
John Galen Howard (1907)
Claremont Blvd. at Russell St.; Claremont Ave. at Avalon Ave.; 2000 block of Forest Ave.; 2000 block of Derby St.; 2900 block of Russell St. at Oak Knoll Path
Designated: 9 May 2005

The Claremont Court Company was incorporated on 24 December 1906, with attorney Louis Titus as president and Duncan McDuffie as secretary. In February 1907, they signed a contract for the construction of the formal brick and terra-cotta gates that mark each entry to the Claremont Court tract. The gates had been built by the end of that summer. McDuffie also retained John Galen Howard to design the Claremont District Public Improvements (1905) and the Northbrae Public Improvements (1907–11), both City of Berkeley Landmarks.

Wallace W. Clark Building (photo: Robert Johnson, 2005)

Wallace W. Clark Building
Wallace W. Clark, builder (1894)
2375–2377 Shattuck Avenue
Designated: 11 July 2005

This building, known since the 1970s as the Yellow House, is the last wooden Victorian false-front commercial building in downtown Berkeley. It is situated on land that had been part of the Blake Tract but was transferred to the College Homestead Tract in 1864. On 12 July 1894, the Berkeley Weekly Herald reported that W.W. Clarke [sic] was “erecting a large warehouse on Shattuck avenue between Bancroft way and Channing way. It is rumored that the front portion will be used for a cheap cash grocery.” By 1904, the property was owned by James Sterling Bunnell (1843–1906) and his wife Catherine Tylie Mapes Bunnell (d. 1918), who also owned a theater designed by John Hudson Thomas. Their daughter, Louise Mapes Bunnell (1872–1907), married Charles Keeler in 1893, and their son, Sterling Bunnell, M.D. (1882–1957), revolutionized hand surgery, pioneering many of the techniques still in use today. The Bunnell family donated to the city much of the land for Berkeley High School. Later owners of the Clark Building (1960s–1997) were the Magginis of Maggini Chevrolet. In 1997, the building became the first home of the Jazz School and continues to house the popular La Note restaurant.

2201 Blake St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

2205 Blake St. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Alfred Bartlett Houses
(1877 & 1892)
2201 & 2205 Blake Street
Designated: 5 December 2005

The first Bartlett house is probably the most unspoiled Victorian Italianate dwelling in Berkeley. Its owner was an English-born book seller residing in San Francisco, who built it “for the sake of the health of my wife and two daughters,” then three and five years old. The same year, Bartlett joined four other prominent businessmen in forming the Berkeley Land and Building Company. The surrounding Blake Tract, which had been subdivided in 1876, was still mostly farmland. The Berkeley Advocate of 24 November 1877 called for “a separate incorporation of Berkeley, like Cambridge, (Mass.), or any other university town.” The second Bartlett House is in the Queen Anne style. Built in 1892, it was probably used as rental property. Situated in their original setting with virtually no exterior alterations, no structures added to the site since 1892, and with some of the earliest accessory buildings that have survived in the city, the Bartlett houses are probably the most pristine representation of Victorian Berkeley remaining.


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