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Berkeley in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Berkeley City Hall

Bakewell and Brown, Architects, 1908

 

— City of Berkeley Landmark, designated in 1975 —

 
Berkeley City Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 28, 2012
1. Berkeley City Hall Marker
Inscription.  
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

This was Berkeley’s City Hall from 1909 to 1977. It sits on the site of the Town Hall that burned in 1904. It remains a source of civic pride and a symbol of Berkeley. Now commonly known as “Old City Hall,” it is the keystone of Berkeley’s Civic Center where public buildings are grouped around a central park. John Bakewell and Arthur Brown, Jr., the building’s architects – both of whom were graduates of the University of California – designed other city halls as well, including San Francisco’s. In 1972 the American painter, Romare Bearden, was commissioned to do a large mural of the City Council Chamber. One image from it was the inspiration for a City logo.

At the June 27, 1908 cornerstone-laying ceremony, University President Benjamin Ide Wheeler proclaimed, “The Capitol at Washington cannot stand unless our town-houses have good cornerstones – firm set and true.” Declaring that the new City Hall would be “our town-house,” Wheeler spoke of his hope “that we will respect the rights of others; that we
Berkeley City Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 28, 2012
2. Berkeley City Hall Marker
The marker is at the right of the stairs.
Click or scan to see
this page online
will all be citizens and stay amateurs; that we will live together in mutual helpfulness; that we will try to make Berkeley the best town there is.”
 
Erected 1998 by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureGovernment & Politics. A significant historical date for this entry is June 27, 1908.
 
Location. 37° 52.157′ N, 122° 16.38′ W. Marker is in Berkeley, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on Martin Luther King Jr, Way south of Center Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2150 Martin Luther King Jr Way, 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. Historic McGee-Spaulding District (within shouting distance of this marker); Berkeley High School Alumni: Bobby Seale, Jean Yonemura Wing, Billy Martin (within shouting distance of this marker); City Hall Annex (within shouting distance of this marker); Berkeley High School Industrial Arts and Science (G and H Buildings) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Berkeley Veterans Memorial Grove (about 400 feet away); Framåt Lodge #405 (about 400 feet away); Veterans Memorial Building (about 500 feet away); Jos. H. McCourt / Bruno L. Putzker (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
 
Berkeley City Hall image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 28, 2012
3. Berkeley City Hall
"Old City Hall", dedicated August 29, 1909 image. Click for full size.
April 1, 2012
4. "Old City Hall", dedicated August 29, 1909
The Historical American Buildings Survey notes that this was one of Bakewell and Brown's earliest commissions. Specializing in municipal architecture, they later went on to also design the San Francisco City Hall, the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad station in San Diego, and the Pasadena City Hall. Brown also was responsible for designing the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House and the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 578 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 9, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   4. submitted on April 2, 2012. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2021