Before People’s Park

Part 3. Haste Street

Daniella Thompson

21 April 2019

The half-timbered, 13-room house pictured below was constructed in 1910 at 2508 Haste Street. The architect was George Anderson, and the contractor was John Albert Marshall. The owner, Nellie Hollingsworth, did not live here; her residence was at 2625 Haste Street.

From the start, rooms in this house were rented to students. In the early 1920s, this was the home of the Al Ikhwan Club, followed in the mid-1920s by the Theta Alpha fraternity.

By mid-century, 2508 Haste Street had become a boarding house run by Mrs. Minnie Roth. It offered eight double bedrooms and four single ones. After changing hands a few more times, the house was sold to the Regents of the University of California in October 1967 and subsequently demolished.


2508 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

The Colonial Revival duplex in the photo below was built in the latter half of the first decade of the 20th century at 2510–2512 Haste Street.

For many years, this building was owned by Frank Albert Morgan (1870–1933), a resident of Sonora, CA who worked as a traveling salesman for a flour company and later as an insurance agent. After Morgan’s death, the building continued to be the property of his widow, Ora Moss Morgan (1870–1955). Mrs. Morgan is remembered today as the author of Gold Dust: A Compilation of the Writings of Ora Moss Morgan, Sonora, California, 1933-1950 (posthumously published in Sonora, 1959).

The Regents of the University of California purchased the building from the Morgan heirs in December 1967 and demolished it along with a second house that stood in the rear of the parcel.


2510–2512 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

John Albert Marshall, the prominent Berkeley contractor and developer, erected at least six buildings along Haste and Bowditch streets during the first decade of the 20th century. Most were designed by the architect C.M Cook.

The building in the photo below stood at 2514–2516 Haste Street and comprised a pair of flats with interesting dual porticos. The architectural style was an amalgam of Colonial Revival and Mission Style. The flats were spacious, with the upper unit boasting three bedrooms, and the lower one, two.

The Regents of the University of California purchased the building in March 1968 and tore it down.


2514–2516 Haste Street (Marshall family collection, BAHA archives)

This Colonial Revival house at 2520 Haste Street was another speculative investment by the builder and developer John Albert Marshall. It stood in the center of a row of three houses built by Marshall c. 1909. Marshall himself lived here for a year until he sold the house to Thomas J. Stephenson (1855–1923), a farmer.

By 1950, the building had been turned into a rooming house. The Regents of the University of California acquired it in April 1968 and razed it.


2520 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

In 1909, the builder Benjamin F. Whitton constructed three adjacent speculative houses on Haste Street. The duplex in the photo below, 2542–2544 Haste Street, was the westernmost of Whitton’s three houses.

The two other Whitton houses (2546 and 2548 Haste Street) were designed in the Arts & Crafts idiom by the well-known architect J. Cather Newsom. In contrast, this duplex was a plain Colonial Revival “Classic Box,” whose design was attributed in the building permit to Whitton himself. Following the custom of many contractors, Whitton may have availed himself of plans published in one of the pattern books that proliferated in those days.

Perhaps because it was built as two flats, this building was not turned into a boarding house. The Regents of the University of California purchased the duplex in March 1968 and subsequently demolished it.


2542–2544 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

The centerpiece of Benjamin F. Whitton’s row of three houses built in 1909 was the charming Arts & Crafts brown-shingled residence at 2546 Haste Street. Designed by Joseph Cather Newsom, of the famed architectural family that (much later) brought into the world California’s new governor, this house served as Whitton’s own residence.

By mid-century, the 10-room dwelling was being used as a rooming house. It was acquired by the Regents of the University of California in January 1968. Unlike its neighbor at 2548 Haste (the only house that was moved and preserved), the Whitton House met its demise soon thereafter.


2546 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

The handsome Arts & Crafts house shown below, also designed by Joseph Cather Newsom, used to stand at 2548 Haste Street. It was the easternmost of the three adjacent houses constructed by Benjamin F. Whitton in 1909. The house was acquired by Ane Neilson, a Danish-born widow who lived here during the 1910s with three of her grown children.

This is the only house on the pre-People’s Park block that escaped demolition. The parcel was acquired by the Regents of the University of California in August 1968, and the house was moved to Claremont Avenue, where it stands to this day.


2548 Haste Street (BAHA archives)

Benjamin F. Whitton built the Colonial Revival house seen below at 2550 Haste Street in the first decade of the 20th century. Unlike 2548 Haste Street, which was built on spec, this residence was custom-built for John G. Fredericks, a rancher from Yolo County, whose son was a student. By mid-century, the building had become a rooming house. It was acquired by the Regents of the University of California in December 1967 and demolished the following year.


2550 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

The Colonial Revival “Classic Box” at 2550 Haste Street is seen again below, this time with its neighbor, 2552 Haste Street.


2550 & 2552 Haste Street (postcard photo courtesy of Anthony Bruce)

The Colonial Revival house at 2552 Haste Street stood in the center of a row of three like houses, although it was older than its neighbor at 2550 Haste. Since 1907, this house had been the home of the lawyer Peter T. Riley and his wife Caroline. Note the elaborate front porch with the ornate balustrade on top, and the window frames flanked by elegant pilasters.

This house remained a single-family residence, although students may have lodged in the spare rooms. The house was acquired by the Regents of the University of California in July 1968 and subsequently demolished.


2552 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

This Colonial Revival House, with its interesting arched windows, Ionic columns and pilasters, and charming balconettes, stood at 2554 Haste Street. It was the easternmost house in the row of three. The final house on this block Haste Street stood next door, and it’s address was 2426 Bowditch Street.

By 1929, the house had been converted into two flats. It was acquired by the Regents of the University of California in September 1968 and subsequently demolished.


2554 Haste Street (Ormsby Donogh files, BAHA archives)

On 15 February 1968, the Daily Californian published this photo of the row including 2550, 2552, and 2554 Haste Street prior to their demolition.


2550, 2552 & 2554 Haste Street (Daily Cal, 15 February 1968)

Next to the photo above, the Daily Californian printed this picture of ground that had already been cleared by U.C. The Durant Hotel is seen in the background.


The future People’s Park (Daily Cal, 15 February 1968)

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Before People’s Park

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