Berkeley Landmarks :: Berkeley City Club, Part 3


Berkeley City Club

Part 3: “A little tour of the clubhouse”

Daniella Thompson

Main staircase, 1930 (Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives)

Louise Marks, chair of the Berkeley Women’s City Club building committee, introduced the new building in the November 1930 inaugural issue of the monthly Berkeley Women’s City Club Record. Her article, “A little tour of the clubhouse,” began in Part Two and continues here:

Now we ascend the splendid stairway on our tour to the second floor where we shall find the many features devoted to the use of the members and their friends. How easy it would be to specify dining room, card room, members’ lounge, auditorium, dressing rooms, and kitchen, all of which as we know embrace the essentials for practical use; but how difficult to visualize the beauties which are brought out in the planning of these essentials!

Second-floor gallery, overlooking the east court
(photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Second-floor public lounge. In the photo on the right, the door straight ahead leads to the Venetian room and the one at the end of the corridor, to the ballroom. (Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives)

Second-floor public lounge. Left: looking north toward Venetian room. Above: looking south toward main staircase and Julia Morgan dining room. (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The beautiful lounge opening upon the charming patio fully awninged and protected from the west wind, the great auditorium to be used for large gatherings, special banquets, and dances, the fine dining room and card room, the generous reception hall with its splendid columns and tall windows, all possess refinement and show discriminating taste, and yet none of the practical aspects of a real home have been overlooked.

Members’ lounge, looking east (Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives)

Members’ lounge, looking north (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Garden terrace on top of the swimming pool, looking south from the ballroom toward the members’ lounge
(photos: left, Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives, 1930; right, Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Ballroom-auditorium, 1950s (Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives)

This is the only room with a wooden ceiling; all others are cast concrete (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Adjoining the ballroom on the west side, the Venetian room, so called for its painted ceiling, was formerly a private dining room and now serves as a bar room. Left: looking south. Right: looking north. (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

The culinary section has been carefully studied and no detail that might interfere with the successful carrying on of this very important department has been neglected. Here again the masterly planning of our architect has made it possible to supply the needs of throngs and yet she has also so arranged for a service to smaller numbers without needless expenditure of space and service.

The Julia Morgan dining room, formerly the card room, connects to the main dining room via a pair of doors on the west side. (photos: left, Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives, 1930s; right, Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Main dining room, looking east (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Julia Morgan dining room, looking east (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

This sketch would not be complete without a few words about the bed rooms situated upon the third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors. So we ascend the modern elevator and ride to the upper stories where we find the comfortable and fully equipped bed rooms, fifty-two in number, many of them already rented, and all ready for occupancy. The dimensions and locations of these quarters have been carefuly considered, and from the largest suite to the smallest room, the comfort and pleasure of the tentants have been carefully planned. Large closets, beautiful bath rooms with fine modern equipment and full sized windows, harmonized colorings, beautiful views, balconies and out door spaces will contribute to the joy of the occupants, and to those who will have the privilege of serving them.

Bedroom suite, 1930s (Landmark Heritage Foundation/Berkeley City Club archives)

Part One
Part Two
Part Four


The Berkeley City Club was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark on 15 December 1975. It is California Historic Landmark No. 908 and #77000282 on the National Register of Historic Places (added in 1977)



Copyright © 2004–2012 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.