Berkeley Landmarks :: Haste St. Annex of McKinley School


Haste St. Annex of McKinley School

2407 Dana Street, Berkeley, CA

Daniella Thompson

The reconstructed McKinley Hall (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2006)

26 August 2006

This school building, originally located at 2419 Haste Street, served as an annex for McKinley School, which stood across the street and faced onto Dwight Way (now site of the USCA’s Rochdale Apartments). The annex was used for classes until 1944, when it was converted to twelve apartments for World War II housing. In 1983, the building was acquired by the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and four years later, it was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark, Structure of Merit.

McKinley School annex on an early postcard (BAHA archives)

The McKinley School annex was designed and built in 1906 by prominent Berkeley contractor, builder, pioneer civic figure, and amateur artist A.H. Broad (1851–1930). Alphonso Herman Broad was born in Maine to a farming family. He came to Berkeley in 1877 and immediately took an active part in the town’s civic life. In 1878, he was elected Berkeley’s first board of trustees, serving for two years. In 1887 and ’88 he served as town marshal and ex-officio Superintendent of Streets.

Having started out as a carpenter, A.H. Broad went into business as a building contractor and designer in 1880. Within five years, he became well-known throughout Berkeley and Oakland for his Eastlake cottages. For five decades, Broad not only supervised construction of a large number of structures in all parts of Berkeley but also designed many of them.

The oldest surviving buildings designed by Broad are the George Edwards House (2530 Dwight Way, 1886) and the former Seventh Street School in West Berkeley, dating from 1887 and later to become an artist’s studio. In 1892, A.H. Broad built the Whittier School, the Le Conte School, and the Columbus School. He also built the Odd Fellows Hall (demolished in the 1920s) on Addison Street and Shattuck Avenue. After the San Francisco fire, Mr. Broad became “superintendent of reconstruction of Berkeley Schools injured by the earthquake,” rebuilding various sections of Berkeley High School and other academic buildings, including the Haste Street annex of McKinley School. It was at this time that he gained the distinction of being the first city official ever to seek a reduction in salary, on the grounds that reconstruction work was almost complete.

A.H. Broad (photo courtesy of the Berkeley Historical Society)   A.H. Broad kept up with the changing styles in home design, and his work ranges from the early Stick-Eastlake to the rustic Brown Shingle of the early 1900s. Broad often worked as Bernard Maybeck’s contractor, and his later work reflects the influence of the First Bay Tradition architects. Four other Berkeley Landmarks built or altered by A.H. Broad are the George Edwards house (2530 Dwight Way, 1886); Broad’s own house (2115–2117 Kittredge Street, 1894); the Haste Street annex of McKinley School (2419 Haste Street, 1906); and the Town and Gown Club (2401 Dwight Way, alterations circa 1909).

Awaiting renovation (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

First Presbyterian Church planned to raze the building as part of its campus expansion project. The City of Berkeley denied the demolition permit, and the case was litigated. The court decided the case in favor of the city.

The church then hired preservation architect Mark Gillem, who devised a plan to renovate the school building and turn it 180 degrees, allowing it to form part of a new inner courtyard plaza.

Construction crews lifted the old building, set it down in a corner of the lot, built an undreground garage, then lifted the building again and placed it on top of the garage. Work included a new foundation, seismic upgrades, and a return to the original 13-foot ceilings. The building was renamed McKinley Hall and is used for counseling services and youth rooms.

In 2006, BAHA awarded the McKinley Hall renovation project a special commendation.



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