Berkeley Landmarks :: 2008 Designations

Berkeley Landmarks designated in 2008

Hezlett Silk Store Building (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2008)

Hezlett’s Silk Store Building
Charles F. Masten & Lester W. Hurd (1925)
2277 Shattuck Avenue
Designated: 6 March 2008

This site housed an early telephone exchange, but in 1925 Pacific Telephone & Telegraph moved to Bancroft Way. The site’s new owners, San Francisco cardiologist Harry Spiro and his wife Ada, commissioned Mason-McDuffie Company’s architecture department to design a one-story building with basement and mezzanine, utilizing the latest ideas of storefront construction. At the time, Masten & Hurd were under contract to provide Mason-McDuffie’s architectural designs.

Terrazzo floor at the entrance

(photos: Daniella Thompson, 2008)

The first tenant, Hezlett Silk Store, remained on the premises for 35 years. In 1960, the Tupper & Reed music store, located next door since September 1925, moved into this building, remaining until 2005. The building’s Mediterranean style, with beautiful tilework adorning the three mezzanine windows, nicely complements the Storybook-style Tupper & Reed building, creating an intimate, village-like cluster on busy Shattuck Avenue.

The Brower houses c. 1939 (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

2232 Haste St. and the David Brower redwood (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

Brower Houses and David Brower Redwood
A.H. Broad (1887); unknown (1904)
2232–2234 Haste Street
Designated: 7 August 2008

These two buildings housed three generations of the Brower family. David R. Brower—internationally famed environmentalist, mountaineer, long-time executive director of the Sierra Club, and founder of other environmental organizations—grew up on this property that had been bought by his grandmother, Susan Brower, in 1902.

The front house, a Queen Anne-Eastlake Victorian, was built in 1887 by the notable builder, artist, and civic pioneer A.H. Broad (1851–1930). The rear house, a Berkeley Brown Shingle, was added in 1904. The two houses were altered early on for apartment use, and David Brower’s father, Ross Brower, made many additional modifications to them over the years. Ross Brower moved his family into part of the front house in 1916, when David Brower was four years old, and David lived here until joining the Army in 1942.

While living here, David Brower developed his love of nature through hiking in the Berkeley Hills and exploring Strawberry Creek. Here he began his career as a mountain climber, joined the Sierra Club, and became the first editor of its member newsletter, the Yodeler. In 1941, David Brower planted the now-towering coastal redwood that stands at the front of the property.


Copyright © 2008–2015 Daniella Thompson & BAHA. All rights reserved.