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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Berkeley in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Philadelphia Quartz Company

Furnace Room #1 and Mixing Room

 

—Constructed 1917-1918 —

 
Philadelphia Quartz Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 21, 2012
1. Philadelphia Quartz Company Marker
Inscription.
Berkeley History
Reflecting West Berkeley’s early industrial heritage, this plant remains one of the city’s largest brick buildings. Once used to produce chemicals for a cluster of nearby industries that manufactured soaps, cleaning agents, paper products, and adhesives, the plant employed 124 workers at the peak of activity in 1960.

The Furnace Room housed “the Mammoth,” a large revolving heated steel drum that combined sand and soda ash to produce molten silica. Constructed during a period of intense industrial development in the Bay Area, this plant was part of a complex producing sodium silicate and Epsom salts. Designed by company engineers, the buildings are examples of a bold, utilitarian architectural style common to the early 20th century. Notable features include subtle masonry detailing and massive steel framework. The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Industrial Survey in 1926 cited the Philadelphia Quartz complex as one of Berkeley’s “factories beautiful.”

The Philadelphia Quartz operation closed in 1997. Bayer Corporation acquired the property in 1999 and renovated the building.
 
Erected 2003 by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project.
 
Location. 37° 51.295′ N,
Philadelphia Quartz Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 21, 2012
2. Philadelphia Quartz Company Marker
122° 17.689′ W. Marker is in Berkeley, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on Grayson Street east of 7th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 810 Grayson Street, Berkeley CA 94710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Pump House - Peet Brothers/Colgate Palmolive (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frances Albrier (approx. 0.6 miles away); Workingman’s Hall (approx. 0.9 miles away); Longfellow School (approx. 0.9 miles away); Spenger’s Fish Grotto (approx. 0.9 miles away); Harpoon Cannon (approx. one mile away); California & Nevada Railroad (approx. one mile away); Historic McGee-Spaulding District (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 615 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 23, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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