Berkeley in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Chamber of Commerce / Wells Fargo Bank
Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Architect, 1925-27
— City of Berkeley Landmark - Designated 1984 —
For nearly a half century, this steel frame and concrete structure, clad in brick and terra cotta, was Berkeley’s only “skyscraper.” Walter Ratcliff, highly respected for his fine residences and public buildings throughout Berkeley, designed this Classic Revival commercial tower at the peak of his career. Six ground floor arches were added soon after construction to replace original storefronts. The west wing was designed to accommodate additional stores at a later time, a plan derailed by the Depression.
In 1930, the contested Stanford Axe, on its return to the bank’s vault for safekeeping, was stolen outside the Center Street doors by Stanford students disguised as news reporters and Cal students.
Erected 2010 by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 37° 52.228′ N, 122° 16.11′ W. Marker is in BerkeleyTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2144 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Francis Kittredge Shattuck Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Golden Sheaf Bakery Annex (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); S.H. Kress Co. Store (about 300 feet away); Site of David Park’s Studio (about 400 feet away); Heywood Building (about 400 feet away); Studio Building 1905-06 (about 500 feet away); Roos Bros. Building (about 500 feet away); Ennor’s Restaurant Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 581 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.