BAHA History, Year by Year


Lesley Emmington, President
First Board of Directors: Tony Hawthorne, Vice President; Trish Hawthorne, Recording Secretary; Marty Concepci�n, Corresponding Secretary; JoAnn Price, Treasurer; Carl Bunch, at large; Shirley Dean, at large; Richard Ehrenberger, at large; Jacqueline Reinier, Research; Gretchen Williams, Publicity.


The year’s highlights

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 10 September 1974

8 September 1974
The first meeting of the new organization, held at the home of architectural historian Sally Woodbridge, drew a large crowd of people, many of whom became actively involved. Among those attending were Nancy and Bayard Allmond, architectural historian Sara Holmes Boutelle, Anthony Bruce, Lisa Bruce, Elizabeth Crews, Richard Ehrenberger, Fillmore Eisenmayer, Lesley Emmington, Trish and Tony Hawthorne, Phil Morris, future BAHA board member/Landmarks Preservation commissioner Becky O’Malley, JoAnn Price, and Lou Rabe.
If you were there, please let us know.

25 September 1974
The article series in the Berkeley Daily Gazette, begun in the fall of 1971, resumed on 25 September 1974 as a weekly series. Architectural historian John Beach provided many of the photos and commentaries and coordinated the series during the first year of BAHA’s incorporation. The sample articles shown were written by Anthony Bruce (John Muir School), John Beach (Westminster Presbyterian Church, Gester House, Colonial Revival house in West Berkeley, Hearst Hall), and Lisa Bruce (Barker House).

October 1974
BAHA produced its 1975 appointment calendar, featuring 13 of “Berkeley’s historically important and architecturally beautiful structures” in “exquisite photographs by local artist Elizabeth Crews.”

The circular advertising the calendar announced, “During the 4 short years this calendar has been offered, it has itself become a Berkeley Tradition. Not only is the calendar a useful gift, but the pictures and photographs of fine Berkeley structures are being collected and displayed by many.”

Retail price: $2.50.

8 November 1974
First public event of the newly incorporated BAHA: a reception at the Hillside Club, celebrating the publication of Building with Nature, with a talk by the book’s co-author, Leslie Freudenheim.

3 December 1974
Down Home: A Forum on Home Conservation, a public meeting held at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Gary Kray, San Francisco Victoriana
Janet Roch�, Berkeley Housing Conservation Task Force
Richard Cotton, builder-craftsman
Frank Mighetto, architect
Eugene Troupe, Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission & Oak Center Project
Tom Tellefsen, architectural economist

Berkeley Gazette, 10 December 1974

Beginning in the fall of 1971, BAHA and its predecessor, the Committee on Architectural Heritage and Urban Beautification, published a weekly article series on architectural preservation in the Berkeley Daily Gazette.

The article above (click to enlarge) describes BAHA’s activities and the new Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

January–February 1975

BAHA’s first lecture series, held at four landmark church buildings.

30 Jan
Two Hundred Years of Architecture in California
Dr. Joseph A. Baird, Jr., Depratment of Art History, UC Davis
At St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2314 Bancroft Way

6 Feb
Looking at Berkeley: An Architect’s View
Richard Ehrenberger, architect
At South Berkeley Community Church, 1802 Fairview Street

13 Feb
Bernard Maybeck
Kenneth Cardwell, Associate Dean, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley
At First Church of Christ, Scientist, 2619 Dwight Way

27 Feb
Julia Morgan
Richard Longstreth, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley At Old St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2460 College Avenue

Donation: $1.50 per lecture, $5 for the series.

Letterhead designed by architect Thomas Gordon Smith, with a motif based on the clerestory windows at Julia Morgan’s St. John’s Presbyterian Church.

8 February 1975
We received a gift of architect James W. Plachek’s scrapbooks and photo albums. Given by Mrs. Plachek, this was the first gift to the BAHA archives. Richard Ehrenberger, Fillmore Eisenmayer, Lesley Emmington, and Anthony Bruce drove to Clear Lake to meet Mrs. Plachek and accept the gift.

Anthony Bruce, Richard Ehrenberger, Lesley Emmington & Fillmore Eisenmayer stopping for a picnic lunch in St. Helena on their way to Clear Lake to accept the Plachek gift.

25 March 1975
Walking Tour of Claremont Court

One of the first preservation issues to face the newly incorporated organization when it convened in the fall of 1974 was the demolition threat to four historic school buildings. School bond money was available for seismic work. John Muir (James W. Plachek, 1915), Cragmont (Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., 1926), Jefferson (Henry H. Gutterson, 1920), and Willard Jr. High (Hobart & Cheney, 1915) were the Berkeley schools earmarked to receive these funds.

BAHA was involved with this issue for the next two years. The first attempt at community outreach was this walking tour, led by Lesley Emmington, Fillmore Eisenmayer, and Anthony Bruce, that included a reception and exhibit of historic photographs in the John Muir School auditorium. The tour was advertised through BAHA’s weekly architectural series in the Berkeley Daily Gazette.

BAHA eventually led enough walking tours of this type to collect them in the perrennial favorite 41 Berkeley Walking Tours.

Toverii Tuppa (photo: Daniella Thompson)

9 May 1975
First Annual Membership Meeting and Dinner

In her letter to the membership dated 19 April 1975 (click the letter image to enlarge), president Emmington wrote:

Last September we began with almost 15 faithful members, now we have well over 100. Because most of us are new to the Association, it was decided that a dinner Annual Meeting would be the best way for us to become acquainted with each other and with the activities of the group.

Our meeting will be held in the old, beautifully crafted Finnish Hall, built between 1906 and 1909 by members of the Finnish community. Mr. and Mrs. Norford, members of the South Berkeley Community Church, will cook the dinner (Mr. Norford having been a chef on the California Zephyr for 29 years).

And we can feel both privileged and excited that Herbert Rhodes, the new Director of the State Parks and Recreation, has accepted our invitation to speak to us on his perspective of historic preservation. This promises to be a memorable evening.

On the dinner menu that night: Southern fried chicken. The meal cost $5, of which $1 was to be put aside for a specific preservation project.

The Berkeley Daily Gazette reported on Herbert Rhodes’s address to the BAHA membership.

May 1975
The second annual Spring Walking Tours marked the beginning of BAHA’s involvement in the efforts to save the historic buildings in Ocean View.

11 May
Ocean View, Berkeley’s Oldest Community
Leader: John Beach

10 May
The Campus, Featuring the Work of John Galen Howard
Leader: Joan Draper

25 May
Benvenue-Hillegass, Neighborhood Charm in the Berkeley Tradition
Leader: Gabriel Sheridan

Tours $2 each.


Compiled and presented by Anthony Bruce & Daniella Thompson
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