Berkeley Landmarks :: 2004 Designations

Berkeley Landmarks designated in 2004

Hillside Club (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The Hillside Club
John White (1924)
2286 Cedar Street
Designated: 12 January 2004

Much has been written about the Hillside Club and its primary influence on Bay Area architecture. The club’s original building, designed by its member Bernard Maybeck, burned in the 1923 fire. This second-generation club house was designed by Maybeck’s brother-in-law John White and opened on 25 August 1924. One of a few non-residential First Bay Tradition buildings remaining in the area, this brown-shingle structure embodies the Living with Nature philosophy of the club. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in April 2004.

Mrs. E.P. King Building (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2007)

Mrs. Edmund P. King Building
Albert Dodge Coplin (1901)
2502 Dwight Way at 2501 Telegraph Avenue
Designated: 12 January 2004

Stella King had been running a dry-goods store at the southwest corner of Dwight Way and Telegraph Ave. for over ten years when she commissioned A. Dodge Coplin to design a mixed commercial-residential building across the intersection. Maintaining its classic period integrity on the upper floor, the structure is a nearly perfectly preserved example of Colonial Revival corner-store building, as well as being one of only a handful of surviving commercial buildings by a leading turn-of-the-century local architect.

George Morgan Building (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

George Morgan Building
Albert Dodge Coplin (1904)
2053 Berkeley Way at Shattuck Avenue
Designated: 12 January 2004

This is one of a few remaining early 20th-century Colonial Revival wooden commercial buildings in Downtown Berkeley and the one surviving commercial work of Oakland architect A. Dodge Coplin in the district. The Morgan Building and the Mrs. E.P. King Building, are the only two currently known commercial buildings by Coplin remaining in Berkeley.

Montgomery House

Albert E. Montgomery House
Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr. (1909)
45 Oak Ridge Road
Designated: 2 February 2004

The Italian Renaissance–style Montgomery house is the first grand house designed by Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., who began his career shortly after 1900, designing and building more modest brown-shingle houses throughout Berkeley (often with his business partner, Charles L. McFarland). Built on an oak-covered knoll overlooking the Claremont neighborhood, the Montgomery house retains today its grandeur and commanding presence.

Joseph McVey House, 1888
Edward McVey House, 1892
Juan Velasco House, 1877

Sisterna Historic District
Sisterna Tract Block 106, between Fifth St. (west), Addison St. (north), Sixth St. (east), and Allston Way (south)
Designated: 1 March 2004

In 1873, Rosario and Carmelita Sisterna sold shares in their farmland to the Berkeley Land and Town Improvement Association, retaining title and the right to subdivide and sell off lots. During the following decade, the block was settled by immigrants from Mexico, Chile, Ireland, and Germany. Originally divided into 24 lots, the Historic District comprises 11 lots with nine houses, all built between 1877 and 1893 and representing popular Victorian architecture styles of the era: Pioneer Victorian, Italianate, San Francisco Stick, and Queen Anne. Properties included in the designation are 2105, 2107, 2109 Fifth Street; 800, 814, 816 Addison Street; 2100, 2110 and 2112 Sixth Street. [Read the Historic District application and Richard Brenneman’s article in the Berkeley Daily Planet, 9 Mar 2004.]

Soda Water Works Bldg. (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

Soda Water Works Building
E.A. Spalding, builder (1888); Henry F. Bowers, builder (1904–05 addition)
2509–2513 Telegraph Avenue
Designated: 12 April 2004

This early commercial-residential building housed owner Robert L. Agers’ soda water factory from 1888 until 1904, when it was sold and underwent significant renovations. These included the addition of a half-story to the existing two, probably involving the construction of the present gambrel roof and dormers. On the street fašade, bay windows were added and the storefronts redesigned. Retail tenants in 1908 were Benedek’s fruit store and Detlefsen’s “Men’s Furnishing Goods.” The rear portion facing Regent St. was sold to a Methodist Episcopal Chinese mission. On “Bloody Thursday,” 15 May 1969, James Rector was observing the People’s Park demonstrations from the roof of this building when he was shot by Deputy Sheriffs.

Fašade detail
University Press Building lobby
Fašade (photos: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

University of California Press Building
Charles F. Masten & Lester W. Hurd (1939)
2120 Oxford Street
Designated: 7 June 2004

This WPA-financed project is a fine example of New Deal Moderne style. The severe fašade features shallow-relief piers and fluted spandrels, while the lobby with its spiral stair, polished terrazzo floor, and colorful stained glass gives full expression to Moderne exuberance. The United Nations Charter was printed here in 1945. The building is slated for demolition when U.C. builds its proposed downtown hotel, conference cente and museum complex.

Sill’s Grocery (photo: BAHA archives)
Berkeley Hardware (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

S. J. Sill & Co. Grocery & Hardware Store
James W. Plachek (1915)
2145 (formerly 2139) University Avenue
Designated: 7 June 2004

This traditional downtown store has a steel frame, is finished in tan pressed brick, and retains much of its original appearance. The building was commissioned for Stephen J. Sill by William J. Acheson, who with his mother and two brothers owned the entire north side of University Avenue between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street. Sill remained at this address until 1925, when he sold the store to Appleton’s Grocery. The latter closed during the Depression. In 1940, Montgomery Ward opened its first West Coast store in this space. It remained until 1964, at which time the present occupant, Berkeley Hardware, took it over.

Martha E. Sell Building (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Martha E. Sell Building
George Anderson (1911–12)
2154–2160 University Avenue
Designated: 7 June 2004

Originally owned by Martha E. Sell, this commercial building eventually passed into the hands of William J. Acheson, owner of several properties across the street, including the Acheson Physicians’ Building. The contractor was John Albert Marshall, who hired architect George Anderson to execute the design reportedly begun by C.M. Cook in 1910. The building is decorated with classical details, including an ornate cornice, pilasters, and clerestory windows. It is currently owned by the University of California and earmarked for possible demolition.

Ernest A. Heron Building (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Ernest A. Heron Building
John Hudson Thomas (1915)
2136–2140 University Avenue
Designated: 12 July 2004

Built for an entrepreneur instrumental in the development of the East Bay through real estate and transportation ventures, this building is noteworthy as one of the few commercial designs by architect John Hudson Thomas. Also designed for Mr. Heron the same year are 2023 and 2033 Shattuck Ave., both victims of unfortunate remodeling. Thomas’ Rex (movie) Theater, built in 1911 on Center Street, has been demolished. The Heron building retains Thomas’ signature geometric ornamentation.

Frederick H. Dakin Warehouse

Photo courtesy of Historic

Frederick H. Dakin Warehouse
Walter H. Ratcliff & George T. Plowman (1906–07)
2750 Adeline Street
Designated: 9 August 2004

This early fireproof warehouse was built after the 1906 Earthquake by Frederick H. Dakin, inventor of the Dakin White Hollow Building Block, of which the warehouse is built. Dakin—with his brother, California painter Edwin Deakin as designer—also built the The Studio Building at Addison St. and Shattuck Avenue.

Edgar Jensen House (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

Edgar Jensen House
William Wilson Wurster (1937)
1650 La Vereda Road
Designated: 6 December 2004

The architect condensed the design for this small, economical house, built at the rear of the George Jensen property (Landmark No. 193, designated in October 1996), into an elegant, minimalist redwood box. Wurster’s work influenced a generation of Bay Region architects.

Webb Block (photo: Craig Buchanan, 1978)
Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005

Webb Block
Charles W. McCall (1905)
1985 Ashby Avenue at Adeline Street
Designated: 6 December 2004

An especially distinctive Mission Revival-style building, the Webb Block isnoteworthy for its fašade, which follows the broad curve of the AshbyAvenue and Adeline Street intersection. It is a visual anchor for the Ashby Station neighborhood.


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