Events Calendar

BAHA Events




New Virtual Lecture!
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Why has our area sustained so many significant fires? How are emergency firefighting resources prioritized? Learn More In This Talk!



The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association will be holding its annual House Tour on Sunday, September 17th, on the 100th anniversary of the 1923 Berkeley Fire. 

This year's House Tour takes place in the northern edge of the 1923 Berkeley Fire, an area where the hot, dry east wind, fanning the fuels and directing the course of the fire, unaccountably left some buildings standing, while others, next door or nearby, were totally destroyed. 

A spectacular early work of architect Bernard Maybeck in an enclave that was spared, is on the tour as are post-fire houses by another prominent local architect (and Maybeck associate), Henry H. Gutterson.

The tour is an opportunity to view the neighborhood as it was before the Fire and how it was rebuilt after the Fire. The number of buildings destroyed was somewhere between 500 and 600; reports vary. As one walks through the area of the 1923 Fire, the edges of the fire line are fairly distinct: exterior building materials change from wood shingles (pre-Fire), to stucco (post-Fire), often with a tile or slate roof. 

The architectural legacy of one particular Berkeley family - spanning the period before and after the Fire - will be highlighted. The Marston family moved to a house at Arch and Vine in 1893. Capt. Marston immediately began buying lots and erecting houses, mostly built by F. E.Armstrong, Berkeley designer-builder and family member. The Armstrong houses were always brown-shingle. After the Fire, the Marstons replaced houses that had burned,using the talents of architect Eldridge T. “Ted” Spencer. Some of the Spencer houses were built as homes for Marston family members.

Join BAHA for this wonderful walk through a neighborhood of varied, yet harmonious architecture in its first house tour after a hiatus of more than three years due to the effects of the pandemic.

Check out the wonderful virtual and live lectures that BAHA is sponsoring in honor of the Fire's Anniversary on BAHA's Eventbrite page here!



New Virtual Lecture!
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Learn more and buy tickets here.

Using modern research techniques and local archives, researchers have developed a new list of Maybeck-designed homes lost in the 1923 Fire.



Old City Hall/Maudelle Shirek Bldg. (photo: Daniella Thompson)

Saving Our Civic Center’s Crown Jewel

A Free Online Presentation & Discussion

Thursday, 6 October 2022
6:00 pm
Zoom webinar

Register on Eventbrite

10 October 2022 is the first day for mailing Vote-by-Mail ballots and Early Voting in the November Election. On the ballot is Berkeley’s Measure L, which allocates $100 million for infrastructure improvements, including revitalizing the historic Civic Center.

Renamed the Maudelle Shirek Building in March 2007, our historic City Hall, the defining feature of Berkeley’s Civic Center, has been for many years in serious need of a seismic upgrade, without which it is in grave danger of demolition by neglect.

Measure L may offer the answer. Please attend this free event to learn about the history of this landmark building and find out what is being done to preserve it.


  • Daniella Thompson, architectural historian and BAHA’s website editor, will discuss the history of Berkeley City Hall through its various iterations from 1884 to the 21st century.

  • John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association and chair of the Community for a Cultural Civic Center, will describe what the CCCC has been doing in concert with City staff to plan improvements for Civic Center Park and to save Old City Hall and the Veterans Memorial Building, both of which are City of Berkeley Landmarks and listed in the National Register of Historic Places as contributors to the Civic Center Historic District.

  • Marc Steyer, SE, LEED AP is principal at Tipping Structural Engineers. His firm was engaged by CCCC to undertake seismic studies of Old City Hall and the Veterans Memorial Building. The studies established that the cost to retrofit the two landmarks would be only half of the amount estimated in the past. The retrofit plans include space behind the buildings that will protect the historic interiors with buttresses while adding square footage for future uses.
  • We count on your participation! Please register today!


    Courtesy of L. John Harris

    Villa Maybeck at 101

    A Musical & Gustatory Centennial Celebration
    to Benefit BAHA

    Sunday, 9 October 2022
    2:30–5:30 pm
    1408 Hawthorne Terrace, Berkeley

    Get tickets
    Admission $100 ($75 is tax-deductible)
    Space is limited to 80 participants.

    Courtesy of The Grubb Co.

    Bernard Maybeck designed this Italian villa in 1921 for wealthy New Yorker Estelle P. Clark. Now the home of writer, artist, publisher, and raconteur L. John Harris, the house has undergone a wonderful transformation in recent years.

    Courtesy of L. John Harris

    Participants in the centennial celebration will enjoy delectable edibles and potables in the colonnaded courtyard, listen to live music played on a classical guitar from the host’s renowned collection, tour this magnificent house and its charming garden, and see recently completed improvements that blend beautifully with Maybeck’s design.

    Courtesy of L. John Harris

    The host, who has written about his house and collections for Reinventing Home, will be on hand to regale you with stories in his inimitable style.

    Help BAHA recover from the pandemic by participating in this fundraiser. We look forward to seeing you there!


    Photo: Daniella Thompson

    Visit us at the Solano Stroll

    Sunday, 11 September 2022
    1741 Solano Avenue, Berkeley

    We look forward to seeing you at the Stroll. The BAHA booth will be located on the north side of Solano Avenue, near Ensenada Avenue and across the street from Pharmaca.


    Thorsen House (photo: Margaretta Lovell)

    Berkeley’s Ultimate Bungalow:
    Greene & Greene’s Thorsen House

    Lecture & Visit
    Sunday, 18 September 2022

    2:00–3:00 pm
    Lecture by Professor Margaretta M. Lovell
    Sproul Room, International House
    2299 Piedmont Avenue

    3:00–5:00 pm
    Thorsen House Visit & Reception
    2307 Piedmont Avenue

    Tickets: $45Sold out (waitlist available)
    Space is limited to 75 participants.

    Designed in 1908 for William and Caroline Thorsen by legendary architects Charles and Henry Greene, this landmark house is one of the great architectural treasures of the nation. The only Greene & Greene “Ultimate Bungalow” in Northern California, the Thorsen House is a work of art exhibiting the goals of the international Arts & Crafts movement, the materials available on a global market a century ago, and the exceptional skills of these renowned architects and their craftsmen.

    In her lecture, Margaretta M. Lovell, the Jay D. McEvoy Professor of American Art and Architecture at U.C. Berkeley, will discuss the history and significance of the house, as well as the Thorsen family and the social life of this extraordinary work of craftsmanship.

    This is a rare opportunity to visit one of Berkeley’s most remarkable houses. Home of the Sigma Phi Society since 1942, the house has been maintained by the chapter members, some of whom will be on hand.

    Paid parking is available at the nearby Stadium Parking Garage, 2175 Gayley Road.


    Other Events

    Photo: Daniella Thompson

    Berkeley Historical Society Events

    Visit the Berkeley Historical Society website for BHS’s schedule of events.


    Oakland Heritage Alliance Events

    Visit the Oakland Heritage Alliance website OHA’s 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.


    Your donations to BAHA
    are tax-deductible.

    Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
    2318 Durant Avenue
    Berkeley, CA 94704

    (510) 841-2242

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