Berkeley Landmarks :: 2016 Designations

Berkeley Landmarks designated in 2016

Bennington Apartments (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2016)

Bennington Apartments
1892; 1915
2508 Ridge Road
Designated: 4 February 2016

The Bennington Apartments were created in 1915 from the joining of two adjacent 19th-century single-family homes that had originally stood at 1801 and 1805 Euclid Avenue and were moved to the rear of their lots, reoriented, and placed end-to-end. The resulting building is the only extant relic of 19th-century Euclid Avenue.

Constructed circa 1892, the two houses were among the earliest built in the newly subdivided (1889) Daley’s Scenic Park tract. Joined, these houses represent the oldest surviving Shingle Style building on the Northside and—alongside the Anna Head School’s Channing Hall and Maybeck House No. 1—one of the three oldest known original brown-shingle buildings in Berkeley.

The first owner of 1801 Euclid Avenue was Frank M. Wilson, the Chicago banker who acquired the entire Daley’s Scenic Park tract in 1891. Wilson quickly established himself as a Berkeley VIP, a civic and business leader, and a patron of charities, the arts, and the university. He was closely associated with U.C. president Benjamin Ide Wheeler, U.C. regent Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and U.C. campus architect John Galen Howard, all of whom became his immediate neighbors.

Arts & Crafts details on the west façade (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2015)

About 1910, the two Euclid Avenue houses were acquired by William W. and Mary Henry, proprietors of the adjacent Northgate Hotel and parents of Aurelia Henry Reinhardt, future president of Mills College. Dr. Reinhardt resided in the Bennington Apartments from the time the building opened in 1915 until she moved to the Mills College campus in 1916.

The Bennington Apartments combine a rare 19th-century Shingle Style street façade with Arts & Crafts elements along the west elevation. The latter include notable architectural details such as a circular stucco wall, handsome glazed doors and arched windows, and robust tapered columns. This highly unusual hybrid style is unique on the Northside and possibly in all of Berkeley.

The landmark application is accessible online.

The Yazdi Bulding in 1967 (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

The Yazdi Bulding in 2016 (photo: Steven Finacom)

Ali & Marion Yazdi Building
William I. Garren (1933)
2910–2912 Telegraph Avenue
Designated: 7 July 2016

The Ali & Marion Yazdi Building is the only Storybook Style building on Berkeley’s stretch of Telegraph Avenue. Notable for its complex massing, steep gable roofs, dormer gables, picturesque brick chimneys, and multi-paned steel-sash windows, it is one of only two solo projects in Berkeley by the notable architect William I. Garren, the other one being his own home (1927) at 2573 Buena Vista Way.

The building was designed as the home and business of Ali M. Yazdi and his wife, Marion Carpenter Yazdi, who owned a Persian carpet and gift shop. Ali M. Yazdi was a well-known Bahá’í lecturer and writer, served on many national committees of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and was, for thirty years, chairman of the Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly of Berkeley. Marion Carpenter Yazdi was the first Bahá’í student at the University of California and a noted speaker and writer in her own right. Together, they are important figures in the development of ethnic and religious multiculturalism in 20th-century Berkeley.

The building also served as the home of Margery Carpenter, a leading Berkeley social worker who was for many years the executive secretary of the City of Berkeley’s Commission of Public Charities.

The Yazdi Building is also notable for having been home to an almost continuous succession of design-oriented businesses over a period of nearly eight decades, from 1933 to 2015.

The landmark application is accessible online.


Copyright © 2016–2021 Daniella Thompson & BAHA. All rights reserved.