BAHA Summer 2019 Walking Tours
These four eclectic walking tours will explore the history and architecture of our community from the U.C. campus to a district of literary landmarks, and from People’s Park to the Hayward Fault. Our knowledgable guides include U.C. students and librarians, authors, and community historians.
Admission $15 per tour
Purchase tickets online (attendance limited to 25 persons per tour). Ticket holders will be notified of the starting place[s].
The late 19th-century campus of the Deaf and Blind Schools featured an array of brick buildings and a clock tower. (Edward H. Mitchell postcard)
Berkeley’s First Public Institution and Its Neighborhood: The Deaf School and the Clark Kerr Campus
Sunday, 14 July 2019
1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Led by Steven Finacom
The first State of California institution to come to Berkeley was not the University of California but the California State Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind—later the California Schools for the Deaf and Blind. In 1866, the Schools acquired a new, expansive, campus site at the undeveloped base of the Berkeley Hills. They remained in Berkeley for well over a century, but the land is now the University of California’s Clark Kerr campus. We’ll walk through the handsome and extensive grounds, view the architectural reminders, and hear the stories of six eras of development and use, from the 1870s onwards. We’ll also cross the Hayward Fault and see telltale evidence of it, and look “next door” to the Kerr Campus at what is one of Berkeley’s very oldest surviving residential buildings, an 1860s country house.
This walk is not wheelchair accessible, and will include stairs, steep sidewalks, and some dirt pathways.
Mystery and science fiction notable Anthony Boucher in his study at home on Dana Street, where he did most of his writing and editing. (California Monthly, 1947)
A Walk Through Literary South Berkeley, Featuring Anthony Boucher
Sunday, 21 July 2019
1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Led by Randal Brandt
Berkeley has an astonishing number of literary associations, and this walk will explore some of the most intriguing. We’ll wend our way through the pleasant south-of-campus Le Conte neighborhood and nearby, seeing interesting buildings and sites connected to important writers and their works, hearing the stories behind them, and sharing literary excerpts and anecdotes.
The walk will feature places associated with William Anthony Parker White (aka Anthony Boucher), the highly influential mid-century mystery and science fiction writer and editor, who was a Cal alumnus. He made his home in this neighborhood from 1942 onward, and set several of his stories in Berkeley. We’ll also see places associated with Boucher’s fellow mystery writer Mary Collins, the California Writer’s Club, pioneering film critic Pauline Kael, and others.
Our guide is a U.C. Berkeley librarian who curates the Bancroft Library’s California Detective Fiction Collection, which includes over 2,000 mystery, crime, and detective novels with Bay Area connections.
This walk is on mostly level sidewalks and city streets.
John Galen Howard shaped the early-20th-century Berkeley campus with numerous buildings, starting with the Hearst Memorial Mining Building. (Associated Students’ Store postcard)
New Views of the U.C. Berkeley Campus
Sunday, 28 July 2019
1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Led by Conrad Brenneman & Cole Phelps
This past Spring, Professor Margaretta M. Lovell focused her History of Art 190G class on intensive study of the architecture, buildings, and history of the U.C. Berkeley campus. Two of her students will lead for BAHA an eclectic walking tour across the eastern portion of the campus, highlighting stories and history of a variety of buildings, and the character of the campus as a built environment representing the diverse work of John Galen Howard, the university’s first Supervising Architect, and others. From the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium to Hearst Avenue, explore and hear insights about the nearly 150-year-old campus through the eyes of some of its newest users.
This walk will cross the campus primarily on paved pathways and sidewalks, but may include some stairs.
2550, 2552 & 2554 Haste Street, three of the houses that once stood on Assessor’s Block 1875, now People’s Park. (Daily Cal, 15 February 1968)
Around People’s Park
Sunday, 11 August 2019
1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Led by Steven Finacom & Tom Dalzell
Before it became one of the flash points of the 1960s, the block where People’s Park is located was a neighborhood of old Berkeley homes, many of them architecturally significant. In 1968, the University of California abruptly demolished about two dozen of those buildings. Community activists created People’s Park on the vacant ground the next year, half a century ago. Our walk will observe the park itself and talk about its history, legacy, and possible futures. We’ll also walk along the surrounding blocks, which are literally lined with landmarks, including several of Berkeley’s most architecturally and historically important buildings, and where we’ll see how the park acts as a commons, with architectural history as a backdrop.
Co-led by BAHA President Steven Finacom and Tom Dalzell, well known “Quirky Berkeley” raconteur and author of the newly published The Battle of People’s Park (Heyday Press).
This walk will be on largely level sidewalks, but may include some short excursions onto lawn areas.
The organization and presentation of each walking tour is the creative property of the volunteer tour leader[s], unless otherwise indicated. Attendees agree not to record the tour presentation or take photographs of the tour leader for use on social media or elsewhere without explicit permission of the tour leader.
Photo: Steven Finacom, 2009
Old Houses, Old Gardens, Old Roses: How to Tend Living History
Sunday, 4 August 2019
11:00 am–12:30 pm or 1:30 pm–3:00 pm
2318 Durant Avenue, Berkeley
Admission $25 per session (sessions are identical)
Purchase tickets online (limit: 20 persons per session)
$15 lunch option also available*
Join us for a special summer exploration of rose care, culture, and history.
BAHA’s garden—perhaps the last estate garden remaining in Berkeley’s original 1860s College Homestead Tract—surrounds the historic McCreary-Greer House and includes several dozen roses, from small tea rose shrubs to giant climbers Most had a spectacular bloom this spring, and we hope to see some coming into re-bloom by late summer.
This special event will bring renowned rose expert Gregg Lowery to BAHA to give two informal talks in our garden on the care, culture, and history of roses. He’ll use BAHA’s plantings to illustrate growth habits, pruning, and cultivation tips.
Lowery was the co-founder of Vintage Gardens Nursery in Sebastapol and is currently the curator of the extensive collection of old roses managed by the Friends of Vintage Roses. He has spent a lifetime rescuing, growing, and researching roses, particularly those brought to the western United States in the early days of American-era settlement. Lowery is a sought-after speaker for conferences and events around the world, talking about old roses, their history, and the gardens they inhabit.
The morning talk will be repeated in the afternoon. You may buy separate tickets for both sessions, if you wish, but they will have similar focus and facts. There will be opportunity for questions and answers.
* We will provide an optional lunch in the garden between the two talks. You may stay for the lunch ($15 additional charge) or attend only the talk. We will send details about the lunch to attendees prior to the event.
Photo: Daniella Thompson
Berkeley Historical Society Events
Visit the Berkeley Historical Society website for BHS’s schedule of events.
Oakland Heritage Alliance Events
Visit the Oakland Heritage Alliance website OHA’s schedule of events.
Free Guided Tours of the Oakland Museum
Founded in 1971, the Council on Architecture at the Oakland Museum of California supports the museum and celebrates its exceptional architecture. Its members are interested in promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the built environment through architectural tours, exhibits, and lectures.
On the first Sunday of each month, at 1 pm, members of the Council on Architecture lead tours featuring the museum’s architecture and gardens. There’s much to talk about with the exciting enhancements to the building by Mark Cavagnero Associates.
For additional information, call Sandra Coleman, (510) 451-6796.
Guided Tours of the Paramount Theatre
Public tours of the Paramount Theatre are given on the first and third Saturdays of each month, excluding holidays and holiday weekends. No reservations are necessary. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am at the Box Office entrance on 21st Street near Broadway. The tour lasts about 2 hours and provides a full and informative view of the Theatre. Cameras are allowed. Admission is $5.00 per person. Children must be at least 10 years old, and adult chaperones are required. Please note that some areas of the tour are not wheelchair accessible.
Your donations to BAHA
Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
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