Events Calendar

BAHA Events

2014 Spring House Tour & Garden Reception

Sunday, 4 May 2014, One to Five o’clock

[See House Tour page]


Berkeley History Chats

The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and the Berkeley Historical Society present a new series of informal lectures, featuring local experts, each talking about a topic of local historic and/or cultural interest.

Berkeley History Center
Veterans Memorial Building
1931 Center Street, Berkeley

Fortnightly on Thursdays
13 March–24 April 2014
7:00–8:30 pm

Admission: $10 per talk by reservation. Space is limited! Order in advance to assure your seat.

You may also order tickets online via PayPal (see instructions).

Photo: Daniella Thompson
13 March 2014
7:00 pm

Daniella Thompson: The Berkeley Unitarians and Architectural Innovation

In the late 19th century, several religious denominations founded vigorous congregations in the neighborhoods around the U.C. Berkeley campus. Early Berkeley Unitarians, whose membership included the Maybecks, the Keelers, and fellow founders of the Hillside Club, held a progressive view of architecture. Their first church building at Bancroft Way and Dana Street, designed by A.C. Schweinfurth and completed in 1898, incorporates startling architectural features and has been characterized as a “powerhouse” (it is now the Dance Facility on the U.C. Berkeley campus).

Daniella Thompson will trace the history of the Unitarian community in Berkeley, introduce its cast of leading characters and the significant houses they built, and discuss the links between culture and nature embodied in its church buildings.

Photo: Tom Dalzell
27 March 2014
7:00 pm

Sold Out!

Tom Dalzell: Quirky Berkeley

Many Berkeley front yards and gardens contain unusual, eccentric, and curiously alluring displays of art, landscape, and artifacts. Walk down a Berkeley residential street, and you never know what you’ll see from the sidewalk: A giant chicken? A miniature landscape of plastic toys? A panda in a speedboat? An elaborate spiritual shrine? “Art cars” at home? All those, and more, are being catalogued by urban explorer Tom Dalzell, who walks through Berkeley, documenting our “oddball, whimsical, eccentric, and the near-rhyme quirky material culture.”

Tom Dalzell’s illustrated talk will cover this evolving work, looking at Berkeley and environs from out-of-the-way corners of the hills to hot dog stands, the now-vanished driftwood sculpture of the Emeryville mudflats, and the history and stories he’s discovering behind the art.

Thursday, 10 April 2014
7:00 pm

Karin Sveen: The Immigrant and the University: Peder Sather and Gold Rush California

When Norwegian poet and writer Karin Sveen first arrived at the Berkeley campus as a visiting scholar, she saw the dedicatory inscription to Peder Sather on Sather Gate. “Who was this man with a Norwegian last name, and why was he so prominently honored in Berkeley?,” she wondered. Her research over several years has made her the expert on a remarkable man who left his Norwegian family farm in the 1830s to travel to the New World, where he started as a clerk and became a successful businessman, banker, and trustee of the College of California. Sather was a fervent promoter of education on both East and West coasts, and his fortune later paid for two of Berkeley’s most iconic structures, Sather Tower and Sather Gate, as well as for enduring academic programs.

Karin Sveen’s biography of Sather, The Immigrant and the University: Peder Sather and Gold Rush California, has just been revised and published in English by U.C. Press. It will be the focus of her talk about Sather’s life. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

Courtesy of Stephen Barton
24 April 2014
7:00 pm

Stephen Barton: Stitt Wilson, Berkeley's First and Only Socialist Party Mayor

In 1911, in the midst of an era of local, state, and national progressive reform, Berkeley voters elected Berkeley”s first (and, to date, only) Socialist Party mayor. Canadian born Jackson Stitt Wilson was an energetic California immigrant via Chicago, a Methodist minister who preached a Gospel of social justice and service to the poor, and a stalwart evangelist for a society based on cooperation rather than competition. As mayor for two years, he championed public utilities, labor, women’s rights and civic improvements, and opposed alcohol, tobacco, and mandatory vaccination. Family tragedy ended his elected service after one term, but he continued to be a popular speaker and later ran unsuccessfully for mayor and Congress before his 1942 death at his Berkeley home. Wilson’s children had deep connections to the California theater and film scene.

Stephen Barton, Ph.D. has extensively researched Wilson, his life, and his political philosophy and era. His talk will illuminate this largely forgotten figure from Berkeley’s activist past, including both his political activism and family life.


Outings on Fridays

Our popular series of guided tours, organized by Sally Sachs, returns this spring. A post-tour group lunch at a restaurant close to the tour venue is optional and not included in the tour price. Lunch reservation must be made at least 5 days prior to each tour.

Tickets: $15 per tour or $40 for the series

  Friday, 7 March 2014
11:00 am

The Gardens at Lake Merritt

A hidden jewel in the city of Oakland, The Gardens at Lake Merritt is a seven-acre collection of themed gardens, including Japanese, Mediterranean, Bonsai, Palm, Lavender, Native Bee, Edible, Bay-Friendly, and other garden types.

  Friday, 4 April 2014
11:00 am

Dockside tour of USS Potomac

The “Floating White House” was originally commissioned the USCG Cutter Electra in 1934. In 1936 it was renamed the USS Potomac and served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945. We will visit the restored 165-foot-long vessel, now a National Historic Landmark.

  Friday, 6 June 2014
11:00 am

Cohen-Bray House

Built in 1882–1884, the Cohen-Bray House typifes the Stick style of architecture and still contains many original furnishings in the Aesthetic style of Charles Eastlake. The original interior decoration is a quintessential example of the Anglo-Japanese design craze of the 1880s. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in addition to being a designated City of Oakland Landmark.

To order tickets, print and fill out the ticket order form and mail it with a check made out to BAHA and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Outings on Fridays
P.O. Box 1137
Berkeley, CA 94701

You can also pay for tickets by credit card via PayPal (see instructions).


More BAHA Spring Events

To be announced:

  • Annual Meeting & Preservation Awards, Thursday, 29 May 2014


Other Events

Colton Mausoleum, Mountain View Cemetery (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2011)

Berkeley Historical Society Spring 2014 Walking Tours

Tours start at 10:00 am and end at approximately 12:00 noon. Sometimes they are slightly longer, so some extra time should be allowed in case the walk meets an informative passerby or dwells at an interesting site. Tours are limited to 30 paying participants unless noted otherwise. Pre-paid reservations are required and tickets are not refundable. Tours are conducted in rain, shine or Berkeley fog and are wheel chair accessible unless otherwise noted.

See additional information and ticket order form.

Saturday, 12 April: West Berkeley Artisans and Industries
Led by Jana Olson

A walking tour showing examples of artisans and industries operating in the southwest Berkeley area west of San Pablo between Dwight Way and Ashby Avenue. Some sites are not wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, 3 May: Mountain View Cemetery
Led by Dennis Evanosky

A walking tour of one of the first cemeteries in the East Bay. Many early prominent Berkeley citizens are interred there, as Berkeley has no cemeteries. The beautiful, extensive grounds are on a hilly area with spectacular monuments and views. Not wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, 31 May: U.C. Housing South of the Campus
Led by several people

Various types of student housing near the U.C. Campus will be toured. This will include: Unit One U.C. dormitory, Wesley House (tour will be led by architect Kirk Peterson) ,and St. Mark’s Student Housing. Not wheelchair accessible.


Researching Your Berkeley DNA

13 April 2014 – 13 September 2014
Thursday–Saturday, 1 pm–4 pm
History Center, Berkeley Historical Society
Veterans Memorial Building
1931 Center Street, Berkeley

Genealogy is second only to gardening as America’s favorite pastime. The Berkeley Historical Society’s newest exhibit and lecture series celebrates family collections, photographs, historic maps, directories, and other resources housed in its archives. It will help you gather the information you need to find out about people, houses, neighborhoods, organizations, and your Berkeley DNA.

Admission is free. For additional information, visit the BHS website.


Oakland Heritage Alliance Spring Events

Oakland Heritage Alliance is offering weekend tours and Thursday lectures this spring.

Details are available here.


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
are tax-deductible.

Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
2318 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 841-2242

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