Three Fall Lectures
The Berkeley Shellmound
Ohlone Indians in a Tule Boat on San Francisco Bay, by Louis Choris, 1816, published 1822
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
All lectures begin at 7:00 pm
Tickets $15; $40 for the series
Advance ticket orders. Tickets also available at the door.
There is evidence of human habitation in Berkeley as long as 5,700 years ago. The Berkeley area’s first residents were Ohlone Lisjan native people; their descendants still live in this area. The West Berkeley Shellmound—a City of Berkeley Landmark—is the oldest known of hundreds of shellmound sites around San Francisco Bay. For nearly six thousand years, people have chosen Berkeley as a place to live.
In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, the above-ground portions of the Berkeley Shellmound were demolished, and streets and developments were laid over a good part of the site. However, much history and culture remains underground; previously unknown native burials were discovered as recently as 2016 along Fourth Street. One square block remains undeveloped, bounded by Fourth Street, Hearst Avenue, University Avenue, and the railroad tracks. A major commercial/housing/parking garage project is currently proposed for that block, and going through the City’s review processes.
Thursday, 26 October 2017, 7:00 pm
Archaeology and the Mounds' Importance in Early Mapping
Brian F. Byrd, Ph.D., a prehistorian and archaeologist specializing in the Bay Area shellmounds, and R. Scott Byram, P.h.D., an archaeologist and the author of Triangulating Archaeological Landscapes, will talk about the importance of the shellmounds in the mapmaking efforts of the U.S. Coast Survey more than a century-and-a-half ago. John Blanchard, chief mapmaker for the San Francisco Chronicle, will discuss modern mapmaking techniques using the latest in mapmaking programs, and how he would make a map of the shellmounds for the newspaper. Robin Grossinger of the San Francisco Estuary Institute will be commentator.
Thursday, 2 November 2017, 7:00 pm
The Native Perspective
Ohlone leaders Corrina Gould, Ruth Orta, and Vincent Medina will present a panel discussion on the ancient ancestral West Berkeley Shellmound site.
Thursday, 9 November 2017, 7:00 pm
Land Trusts, Conservancies and Cultural Easements as Tools for Preservation
This panel will include Johnella LaRose and Corrina Gould from Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, speaking on their experience with cultural easements. Cory Wilkins will describe the work of The Archaeological Conservancy. We have also invited the Trust for Public Land.
Photo courtesy of the Nels Nelson Archive, American Museum of Natural History
The series is sponsored by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, Indian People Organizing for Change, California Institute for Community, Art and Nature & Earth Island Institute’s Sacred Land Film Project.
Richard Schwartz launches new book
Historian Richard Schwartz is marking the release of his latest book, The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis (RSB Books, April 2017), with a presebtation and book signing of his latest volume, a biography of Maurice B. Curtis, the actor who made his name as “Sam’l of Posen” and who built the fabled Peralta Park Hotel.
Thursday, 16 November 2017
7:00 pm Oakland Heritage Alliance
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Thursday, 21 December 2017
7:00 pm Congregation Beth El
1301 Oxford Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
Theta Delta Chi House, 2647 Durant Avenue (Google Street View)
Berkeley Historical Society
Fall 2017 Walking Tours
Tickets: $8 BHS members; $10 general
For information and tickets, visit the BHS website.
Saturday, 7 October 2017, 10 am
Led by Bob Johnson
While exploring a segment of the Ohlone Greenway, we will learn a little about the history of the Santa Fe Railway, BART, and establishment of the Greenway, as well as the rich history of Spanish land grants, farming, founding of community gardens, creek restoration, murals, and more. Easy walking over flat terrain. Option to have lunch and chat at the Westbrae Biergarten afterward.
Saturday, 14 October 2017, 10 am
Led by Ann Harlow
Despite being across the county line, Kensington was developed in the early 20th century as an extension of the Berkeley hills’ tracts. Among its subdivision names were Berkeley Park, Berkeley Highlands, and Berkeley Woods. Learn about an early Kensington landowner, “Potato King” George Shima; William R. Yelland, architect of several Kensington homes and a long-lost storybook style village center complex; pharmacist/local historian Louis Stein, Robert Oppenheimer and other notable residents, and more. Some steep sections and stairs; not wheelchair accessible.
Saturday, 4 November 2017, 10 am
Berkeley Rep’s Harrison Street Campus
Led by Susan Medak
We will tour the building (originally the North Face headquarters) where the Berkeley Repertory Theatre rehearses and constructs all its productions. The tour will visit scenic, paint, prop, and costume shops as well as costume and prop storage and the rehearsal halls.
Saturday, 11 November 2017, 10 am
The Story of The Graduate Movie
Led by Steven Finacom
In 1967, Berkeley became a popular movie setting with the release of the hit The Graduate, a film that came to define the zeitgeist of a generation. Even though 50 years have passed since then, most of the local sites and backdrops used for the film still exist in the south of campus area. We’ll visit them, and other Sixties sites on or near Telegraph Avenue, and consider whether any can survive another 50 years. Steven Finacom, our guide, is a past president of BHS and is also authoring a City of Berkeley Landmark application for the Victorian house that served as Dustin Hoffman’s boarding house in the film. Largely level walk, mainly on sidewalks.
Oakland Heritage Alliance Events
Visit the Oakland Heritage Alliance website for the fall 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.
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Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
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