Berkeley Landmarks :: 2006 Designations

Berkeley Landmarks designated in 2006

The Oaks Theatre in 1941
(photo courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Photo: Adam Martin Collection

Oaks Theatre
Reid Brothers (1925)
1861 Solano Avenue
Designated: 2 February 2006

The tenth cinema built for the Blumenfeld Theaters chain, the Oaks Theatre is the oldest surviving building along upper Solano Avenue. It cost $200,000 to build, not counting the $25,000 Geneva organ. The architects were responsible for 25 other movie theaters, including the Alexandria and Balboa in San Francisco and the Grand Lake in Oakland. Like many early movie palaces, the Oaks was designed in the Spanish Colonial style. At the time, it was labeled “modified Moorish,” which meant much grillwork and pointed arches, as well as “Moorish figured tile work” around the lower walls. In the mid-1930s the façade, marquee, and vertical 30-foot-high sign were remodeled in the Art Deco style.

Kluegel House, west façade (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Kluegel House, south façade, in 1972 (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

Kluegel House, viewed from northwest in 1923 (published in The Berkeley Fire, Memoirs and Mementos)

Laura Belle Marsh Kluegel House
John Hudson Thomas (1911)
2667–2669 Le Conte Avenue
Designated: 6 April 2006

Built as a duplex, this large Northside residence is the only fully shingled original design by John Hudson Thomas executed during his solo practice (1910–1945). Mrs. Kluegel (1863–1928) was the younger sister of Jessie Katherine Freeman, in whose house, Allanoke, she lived for eight years until her own residence was built around the corner. Mrs. Kluegel owned the Agnes Meeker Gift Shop at 2310 Telegraph Avenue and was a member of the Cooper Ornithological Club. Around 1919, she moved to Carmel, and her house was occupied by Robert Sibley (1881–1958), professor of mechanical engineering, executive manager of the California Alumni Association, and leader of the movement to establish the East Bay Regional Park District. The Sibley family was living here on 17 September 1923, when the Berkeley Fire decimated the Northside. The Kluegel House survived on the very edge of the fire. Following WWII, two notable academics, Charles Richard “Dick” Grau (1920–2002) and Sigurd Burckhardt (1916–1966) owned the duplex units. In 1950, the building was turned into a rooming house, and from 1976 until 1996 it served as a Sikh ashram. [Landmark application]

Postcard from the Anthony Bruce collection

California Memorial Stadium
John Galen Howard (1921–23)
Between Piedmont Avenue and Stadium Rim Way
Designated: 1 June 2006

California Memorial Stadium is a 72,662-seat giant perched at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon, at the base of the Berkeley hills. Built “in thankful memory of those Californians who in the War of Nations gave their all that we might live,” it was completed in November 1923 just in time for the Big Game between Stanford and Berkeley (Cal won 9-0). The dimensions of this grand Beaux-Arts structure were said by U.C. president David Barrows to “slightly exceed the great Coliseum of Rome.” The siting of the stadium has been controversial from the start and continues to be so today.

Elmwood Hardware Bldg. (photo: JBM Construction)

Elmwood Hardware Building
William H. Weeks (1923)
2947–2953 College Avenue
Designated: 6 July 2006

The Elmwood Hardware Building was constructed during a period of great building activity on College Avenue. It is one of only four structures designed by architect William H. Weeks in Berkeley (the other three are the Professor Hoss house, 1896, the Bishop Berkeley Apartments, 1928, and the Durant Hotel, 1928). In its early days, the Elmwood Hardware Building variously housed a produce merchant, a grocer, and a jeweler in addition to Walter and Ada Gompertz’s hardware store. By 1933, the hardware store had been acquired by Charles T. Bolfing, who also purchased the entire building. Since then, store and building passed in succession to store employees—first to Bob Gilmore, who began working for Bolfing in 1945 and took over in the early 1970s, then to the current owner, Tad Laird, who first worked there as a high-school student.

The Hoffman Bldg. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Marie & Frederick A. Hoffman Building
Henry Ahnefeld (1905)
2988–2992 Adeline Street
Structure of Merit
Designated: 6 July 2006

This small Colonial Revival building was constructed shortly after the adjacent Webb Block. The owners, Frederick and Marie Hoffman, were both born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in the 1880s. Henry Ahnefeld, an established Berkeley builder, was also German-born. Frederick Hoffman first apeared in the Berkeley directory in 1894, listed variously as sailor, mariner, longshoreman, stevedore, and seaman. The ground floor originally contained a coal store and a barber shop. At various times, a produce store, a hardware store, and a cigar store were located here. The second floor has always been residential. The Colonial Revival style was often used for smaller commercial buildings (which usually contained residential quarters above the stores), giving them a somewhat residential character. The Hoffman Building is notable for the Palladian window on its second floor.

The Bevatron in 1955 (source: LBL)

Edwin McMillan, left, and Edward Lofgren on the shielding of the Bevatron (source: LBL)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Bevatron Site
Masten & Hurd (1949–1954)
One Cyclotron Road
Designated: 3 August 2006

When it opened in 1954, the Bevatron at the Berkeley Rad Lab was the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. In the ’50s, it accelerated protons to an energy of six billion electron volts. The following year, it was used in the discovery of the antiproton by Emilio Segrè, Owen Chamberlain, Clyde Wiegand, and Tom Ypsilantis. For this discovery, Segrè and Chamberlain were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1959. They were followed by Luis Alvarez, who received the 1968 Nobel Prize “for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis.” [Landmark application]

Phi Kappa Psi House (U.C. Blue & Gold, 1908)

In the 1970s (photo: Elizabeth Crews)

In 2006 (photo: Daniella Thompson)

Phi Kappa Psi Chapter House
Harris C. Allen (1901)
1770 La Loma Avenue at Ridge Road
Designated: 3 August 2006

The second-oldest fraternity house on the Northside and one of the earliest buildings in this part of town, the chapter house was built just a few years after Bernard Maybeck had erected a cluster of four seminal brown-shingle houses a block to the east at Ridge Road and Highland Place. This was the first building designed by 24-year old Harris C. Allen, who would become a notable architect and the editor of Pacific Coast Architect. A Stanford graduate, Allen organized the Berkeley chapter of Phi Kappa Psi. The house survived the 1923 Berkeley Fire and is the last building designed by Allen still standing on the Northside. It is an excellent example of the Simple Home advocated by the Hillside Club and of the First Bay Region Tradition, right in the neighborhood where that Tradition had its first major expression. [Landmark application]

Martin House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

Annie & Fred J. Martin House
2411 Fifth Street
Structure of Merit
Designated: 3 August 2006

The Martin House is associated with a second wave of West Berkeley development that followed the opening of two major factories in the area: the Standard Soap Factory and the Niehaus Brothers West Berkeley Planing Mill. This wave of Queen Anne building conformed with what was known as the “Ralston Idea”—that workers should be able to live close to their work. Fred J. Martin was employed by the Niehaus Brothers West Berkeley Planing Mill at Second Street and Hearst Avenue, while his wife, Annie, worked as a soap packer at the Standard Soap Company at Second Street and Allston Way. The Martins lived only a block away from the Edward Niehaus House at 839 Channing Way (City of Berkeley Landmark no. 11). Today it would be quite extraordinary for employer and employee to live in such close proximity.

Clephane Building, Ashby Station (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Clephane Building
C.M. Cook (1905)
3027 Adeline Street at Emerson Street
Designated: 7 September 2006

The Colonial Revival Clephane Building, better known as the Black & White Liquor Store, forms part of a row of delightful shop buildings erected between 1901 and 1905 at the Ashby-Adeline intersection. The adjacent buildings are 3021 Adeline Street (A.E. Hargraves, 1901 & 1902), occupied by Jack’s Antiques for over fifty years, and the Gustav Möller Building at 3025 Adeline (1902–1903). These and the cluster of commercial buildings across the street, anchored by the Webb Block, form the nucleus of the historic Ashby Station district. The Ashby “Dinky” and the Key System’s F train have long since been replaced by BART, but the buildings stand as reminders of the streetcar suburb that sprang up here early in the 20th century and that retains a remarkably cohesive appearance to this day. See Ashby Station photo essay.

Westenberg House shortly after completion (photo courtesy of Bethany Westenberg, BAHA archives)

and in 1990 (photo: Anthony Bruce)

Charles A. Westenberg House
Albert Dodge Coplin (1903)
2811 Benvenue Avenue
Designated: 7 September 2006

Oakland architect A. Dodge Coplin designed a number of residences in Berkeley, including the unusual Adolphus Barnicott House and two of Berkeley’s Colonial Revival commercial landmarks, the E.P. King Building (1901) and the Morgan Building (1904). This grand brown-shingle home is Coplin’s Berkeley masterpiece. It was built on a triple lot for minister-turned-businessman Charles A. Westenberg, who was forever flitting from one enterprise to another. In 1907, Westenberg was one of a group of Berkeley capitalists who formed the San Francisco Motor Car Company. In their planned West Berkeley factory, they intended to build “high-grade delivery wagons and motor vehicles of all types used in freight transportation.” During the following few years, Westenberg was president or general manager of two Mexican rubber plantations, two gold dredging companies, and a sheet-metal company. Later he turned to real estate and construction.

Wallace-Sauer House

Photos: Daniella Thompson, 2005

Wallace-Sauer House
John White (1905)
1340 Arch Street at Rose Street
Designated: 2 November 2006

Commonly known as “Rose ’n Arch,” this imposing Swiss chalet near Live Oak Park was built for Frederick William Wallace, a manufacturer’s purchasing agent. Originally clad in shingles, the house was designed by Bernard Maybeck’s brother-in-law, a Berkeley resident and prolific architect best known for the Le Conte Memorial Lodge (1904) in Yosemite Valley and for the Hillside Club (1924) on Cedar Street. The house appears to be the only Berkeley residence designed by John White to have survived the 1923 fire. From 1932 until 1975, this house was the home of world-renowned geographer Carl Ortwin Sauer. From 1978 until 1997, the house was owned by Amy Wallace, daughter of Irving Wallace and co-author of The People’s Almanac and several editions of The Book of Lists.

Ennor’s Restaurant Bldg. (BAHA archives)

Ennor’s Restaurant Building
James W. Plachek (1923)
2128–2130 Center Streeet
Designated: 2 November 2006

In 1918, Harvey W. and Marie Edith Ennor opened their first eatery at 2148–50 Center Street. The establishment was so popular that within five years it relocated to a new building next door. Constructed at the cost of $55,000, the new location housed “a restaurant, banquet hall, bakery, confectionery, ice cream factory, ice plant, heating and steam plants, grocery, butcher shop, and the necessary places to dispense the many foods manufactured on the premises,” according to the Chamber of Commerce periodical The Courier. Ennor’s remained it this building only a few years. It was eventually folowed by True Blue Cafeteria (1934–1941), Breuner’s Furniture & Appliances (1945–mid-’60s), Barker-Tilton Furniture Co. (mid-’60s), Attic Baby News Store (1967–1970), and the Act One & Two Cinema (1970–2006). The building’s general contractor was John Pierce Brennan, who 36 years later would build a restaurant of his own—the famous Brennan’s at the foot of University Avenue.


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