Historic Buildings in Ashby Station

Around the Ed Roberts Campus, Part 1

Daniella Thompson

An intact row of 14 (out of 18) Colonial Revival houses on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, seen from Adeline St. across the BART west parking lot (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005).

14 January 2005

On Monday, 10 January 2005, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 6-1-2 to approve the proposed Ed Roberts Campus (ERC) building at 3075 Adeline Street. The motion passed by the LPC states that the building (86,057 square feet) would have no effect on surrounding historic resources. The architects, Leddy Maytum Stacy of San Francisco, submitted only a model, with no plans and no representation of the building within the historic context. So far, the City of Berkeley has not identified or evaluated the historic properties within the ERC Area of Potential Effects (APE). [The city’s letter to the State Historic Preservation Officer may be downloaded as a 3.8MB PDF file.]

Model of the Ed Robert Campus (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 mandates that no Federal funds shall be used in a project that might adversely affect historic resources. Projects applying for Federal funds come under Section 106 of the Act, which requires a Federal agency (in this case, the City of Berkeley) to determine whether it has an undertaking that could affect historic properties (i.e., properties that are included in the National Register of Historic Places or that meet the criteria for the National Register). If so, the agency must consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) during the process, involve the public, and identify other potential consulting parties at the early stages of project planning.

The agency then proceeds to identify historic properties within the APE. In consultation with the SHPO, it makes an assessment of adverse effects on the identified historic properties based on criteria provided in the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

The Ed Roberts Campus will be built on the upper BART parking lot—the open space to the right of the green apartment building. To the left are the former Hull & Durgin funeral home and St. John the Baptist Church (see Part 2). Behind the parking lot, a 2-story Colonial Revival house is visible on Tremont St. at Prince. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

If the agency and SHPO agree that there will be no adverse effect, the agency proceeds with the undertaking and any agreed-upon conditions. If they find that there is an adverse effect, or if the parties cannot agree and ACHP determines within 15 days that there is an adverse effect, the agency begins consultation to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects.

The photographs on this page represent historic buildings in the vicinity of the Ed Roberts Campus that are visible from the ERC site, currently the BART eastern parking lot bounded by Adeline, Woolsey, and Tremont Streets (see map of the area).

As seen in the panoramic photo at the top of this page, the uninterrupted row of eighteen Colonial Revival residences on the west side of Martin Luther King Way—where the blue streetcar line called the “Lorin” used to run—displays handsome variations on the three Colonial Revival styles: the 2-story Colonial Revival “Classic box,” the Colonial Revival cottage, and the High-Peaked Gable Colonial Revival, influenced by Northern European traditional architecture. Among the houses in the row one also finds a Colonial Revival/Arts and Crafts hybrid double house (Charles McCall, 1906) at 3042–3044 Martin Luther King Way. Although each residence shows signs of either minor alterations or major additions, the row as a whole is strongly cohesive and stylistically well preserved. Six of the residences were built before 1903, and the others were all built before 1911. The addresses proceed from 3004 to 3050 [Martin Luther King Way] between Ashby Avenue and Prince Street, and from 3100 to 3106 south of Prince Street.

The Webb Block at Ashby and Adeline: a defining presence at the intersection (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

At the Ashby-Adeline intersection, a group of contiguous commercial buildings constitutes a regional antiques district. Constructed before 1910, these buildings face each other across the wide curving intersection at the place where the Ashby Station stop was once located and the Ashby “Dinky” line crossed the Key System “F” train. The Webb Block was and still is the centerpiece of this district, extending around the curve on Ashby Avenue to include three buildings on Adeline Street (which are outside the Ed Roberts Campus APA). A small commercial building adjacent to the Webb Block on the west at 1979 Ashby Avenue is possibly associated with the early building period of Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr.

The Webb Block (Charles W. McCall, 1905) is a curved-front, Mission Revival–style building containing five stores and ten apartments. It was built for Christopher Webb and his sister Rebekah, who resided in one of the apartments (at 2996 Adeline Avenue). An early commercial tenant was a pharmacy run by Thomas Caldecott, who was later elected president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The Caldecott Tunnel, which connects Alameda and Contra Costa counties, was named after him. For many decades, the Webb Block was known as the home of Hudson Antiques. The building was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark on 6 December 2004.

3021, 3025 & 3027 Adeline Street (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Across Adeline Street from the Webb Block stands a row of delightful shop buildings erected between 1901 and 1905: 3021 Adeline Street (Albert E. Hargraves, 1901 & 1902), occupied by Jack’s Antiques for over fifty years; the Gustav Möller building at 3025 Adeline (1902–1903); and the Colonial Revival Clephane building with its corner store at 3027 Adeline (C.M. Cook, 1905).

Hargraves building, 3021 Adeline Street (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The builder Albert Ernest Hargraves was an acquaintance of Bernard Maybeck. In 1906, he would construct the William Rees house at 1705 La Loma Avenue (Maybeck & White), a Swiss chalet whose design has at times been attributed to him. Hargraves erected the first building at 3021 Adeline Street in 1901 and added onto it a year later. With its variously pitched rooflines, quaint gable dormers, sawtooth second-floor overhangs, and decorative pilasters, the building presents a charming old-fashioned village-like aspect.

Gustav Möller building, 3025 Adeline Street (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Gustav Möller built the picturesquely whimsical structure at 3025 Adeline Street in 1902 or 1903. In 1903 it was already registered in the assessment rolls under the name of his wife Louise. Möller was a cabinetmaker-builder who settled in Berkeley quite early but worked in San Francisco. In 1880, the Möller residence was listed at Blake Street between Fulton St. and Shattuck Avenue. In 1886, the address had shifted to Humboldt Ave. (now Telegraph) near Alcatraz. By 1903, the Möllers were living at 2906 Adeline, a two-flat building on the corner of Russell Street with a windmill and water tower in the back. That structure is no longer standing. The surviving shop building at 3025 Adeline is distinguished by several unusual details, including a curved and skirted second-floor façade, wedge-shaped prow windows, playfully ornate mock pilasters, and an oversized dormer.

Hargraves, Möller, and Clephane buildings (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Clephane building, 3027 Adeline Street (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Continue to:
Historic Buildings, Part 2

Historic Buildings in Ashby Station

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