Concordance of Building Names (or, Which Moses was Moses Hall Named After?)
- Anthony (1957)
Earle C., Los Angeles-based dealer of Packard cars, and the world’s prominent Packard dealer. He owned a radio station and several showrooms, introduced neon signage to the US, was the first to put a gasoline pump at the curb for quickstop fuel purchases, and was instrumental in encouraging the building of the Golden Gate Bridge to promote driving and car sales (thanks to John Hempel and to George Hamlin, Vice President and International Liaison of the Packard Club, for educating me on this subject). John Hempel, professor of biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, also supplied the following story:
The one interesting story about Anthony that I recall is that at some point in the 1930’s he instructed an associate to go to the bank and withdraw one million dollars. The associate did so, Anthony put the money in a briefcase and disappeared. The associate became extremely concerned. Not too long afterward, Anthony reappeared, handing the money back with instructions to redeposit it. “What was this all about?,” the associate asked? Simple. “Ever since I was a kid I wondered what it would be like to walk down the street with a million dollars.” was the reply.
In addition to all this, Anthony was notable in Berkeley history as the first editor of the Pelican, Berkeley’s humor magazine; the name was 1920s slang for “wallflower”. He donated the money for the building and supplied the bird himself. He’d been pleased with the work Bernard Maybeck had done for him here and in Los Angeles, and had originally wanted Maybeck to do the design, but the architect had retired — he agreed, however, to serve as consultant to Joseph Esherick. The building is now graduate offices; Pelican staff have sworn to take it back. And the mystery of the Packard hood ornament (is that really a pelican on the front of that car?) still remains.
- Bancroft Library (1949)
- Hubert Howe, California historian. His bust is in the library. The Bancroft Collection is based on materials he gathered for his 39 volume history of western North America, a copy of which my high school American history teacher owned but fortunately did not make us read.
- Barker (1964)
- Horace Albert, biochemist specializing in metabolism, 1960s. This building was designed by William Wurster.
- Barrows (1964)
- David Prescott, political science professor, University President, 1919- 1923, international traveller, noted scholar. He announced to his class in the 1930s that another war was impossible. A man of vision, obviously. A couple of Barrowsisms: overheard on opening day — “It’s much nicer from the inside looking out.” “It would have to be.” Graffito on fence around construction site — “Sonny Liston designed Barrows Hall with his gloves on.”
- Bechtel (1980)
- Stephen Davison, Sr. “Attended” Berkeley in 1919, and was later given an honorary degree in 1954. He started a construction company in 1919 with his father, W. A. Bechtel, whichw as part of the “Six Companies” consortium which built Hoover Dam, it later became the Bechtel engineering empire. The building was built with $6.3 million in private donations.
- Birge (1964)
- Raymond Thayer, physics professor since 1918, physics chair 1933–1955. The building was named in 1963, when Birge was 76. The glass walkways have hawk silhouettes on them not for ornament but to scare birds so they won’t fly into the glass.
- Boalt (1951)
- Original name of Durant Hall. Mrs. Boalt gave $100,000 in memory of her husband, Judge John Henry, and 40 state lawyers and judges contributed to make it the “best law school west of the Rockies.”
- Callaghan (1947)
- Admiral Daniel Judson, professor of naval science. Killed on the bridge of the USS San Francisco in the Battle for the Solomons in 1942. International House was called Callaghan Hall during the war.
- Calvin (1963)
- Melvin, molecular biology professor, winner of the 1961 Nobel Prize for work on photosynthesis. He designed a round lab so that everyone’s office would open onto a central room, thus generating creative interaction. This is one of several buildings on campus that students have paid for with their taxes and registration fees but are not allowed to enter.
- Campbell (1959)
- William Wallace, professor of astronomy and director of Lick Observatory. University President, 1923 to 1930.
- Cory (1950)
- Clarence L., Dean of the College of Mechanics, faculty member for almost 40 years. May I commend his picture to you — he was a very good looking young man. The first top floor was not completed until 1958; the second top floor was not completed until the mid-1980s.
- Davis (1931, 1967)
- Raymond E., engineering professor responsible for building the first engineering lab in 1931. This is the north part of the existing building, a mild-mannered attempt to harmonize with the Howard buildings; it’s the later Neobrutalist addition that springs to mind, however, when thinking of Davis. Note that the arches on the addition are meant to relate it to Hearst Mining.
- Doe (1910)
- Charles Edward. Came from Maine in 1857 as a schoolteacher, and made his fortune in California. He left a quarter of his estate to the University for construction of a new library, which the Regents decided to name after him. The card catalog room now boast the 24 by 15 foot “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” painted by Emanuel Leutze in 1854. It was discovered under the Hearst Gym pool in 1965, and was in the UAM in 1982, when my PoliSci 20 professor used it as a backdrop for a lecture on American pluralism. National Register, 1982.
- Donner (1942)
- William H., president of the Donner Steel Corporation. After his son died of cancer he formed the International Cancer Research Foundation, and donated funds to the University for work in nuclear medicine. The building’s construction superintendent was quoted as follows: “The building has been constructed mainly along utility lines, with comfort and sumptuousness de-emphasized.”
- Durant (1911)
- Henry, first University President, 1870–1872. He was born in Massachusetts and studied theology at Yale. He was a pastor before founding Contra Costa Academy in 1853. He served as its principal from 1853 to 1860, after which he taught Greek and philosophy until becoming the first President of the University of California in 1870. After resigning as University President he was elected mayor of Oakland twice before he died. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery. Henry’s on Durant Street is also named after him. This building was originally named Boalt; the law school was here until 1951 when the building was renamed. Now it houses Asiatic Studies. National Register, 1982.
- Dwinelle (1952)
John Whipple, trustee of the College of California, chairman of the committee to write the University charter in 1868, member of the first Board of Regents. This was the largest classroom building in the world when constructed. Controversy abounded over how to pronounce the building’s name — short I or long? Two or three syllables? The portrait which used to hang in the lobby showed Dwinelle clutching a bill which reads “University of Caifornia.” Of all the weird buildings on campus, this one is probably the most well known because virtually everyone has a class there sometime. Its combination of office and classroom space (not to mention the Durham Studio Theater stuck onto the back) leads to such oddities as going upstairs from the northwest entrance to the basement, or going down two floors to get from room 243 to room 3104.
Try walking through the front door and straight to the back. Do not continue out the door — you’re about three stories up at this point (the number of stories in the building varies with your position). What makes it even weirder is that everyone in there speaks a different language. In 1980 a folklore student gathered three explanations:
- The two brothers hired to design the building each did different sides; one died and the other had to carry on.
- The two architects fought and purposely designed their two sides differently.
- The two architects hated each other, and didn’t communicate during the design and construction of the building.
Go on — give it a shot. Do some exploring. You may find something no one’s seen in years. Remember, if you get stuck just head for the nearest exit sign.
- Edwards (1932)
- Col. George C. One of the Twelve Apostles. Set survey stakes for North Hall. Math professor 1874 to 1918. According to the inscription engraved in the southwest wall of the stadium, he was “modest, kindly and selfless,” and an inspiration to his students.
- Eshleman (1965)
- John Morton, class of ’02. First president of ASUC, editor of the Daily Cal and other local newspapers, California assembly member and lieutenant governor. Originally Eshleman was the Student Office Building (SOB) and Moses Hall was Eshleman Hall, which explains why Eshleman’s bust is in the library on the top floor of Eshleman and a plaque to him is near the entrance of Moses.
- Evans (1971)
- Griffith C. Math department chair 1934 to 1949. The building’s architect was Daniel Warner, who also designed its “Supergraphics.” He also presumably designed the main stairwell balcony that faces a concrete wall, eye level with a bare fluorescent light fixture. This building, Davis and Wurster are Neobrutalist, derived from the French word for “exposed concrete.” Before its completion, the Daily Cal printed an editorial entitled “Love can’t live in an ugly temple.” In addition to design and mechanical problems beginning Day 1 at “Fort Evans,” students began to paint and otherwise “adapt” the building. The “Death of Archimedes” and other unsanctioned artworks are worth checking out.
- Gianini (1930)
- Amadeo Peter, founder of the Bank of Italy which is now the Bank of America. An avid supporter of Mussolini, he “loaned” William Randolph Hearst, son of George and Phoebe (see below) a large sum of money to skew his newspapers and news service to favor the Fascists. He gave the University $1,500,000 for this building. His bust resides in a beautiful marble inset in the entry hall, before the split staircase that echoes the one outside the building (though without the decorative touch of bicycle wheels poking through the railings). Most of the details of this entry hall are Art Decostylized wheat sheafs in the iron railings and great lamps with raylike translucent panes. The ceiling is supported by rough-carved beams with patterns in silver, copper and primary colors. The entry lets in lots of light — it is open on three sides. Standing in it, you can see through to a nearby stairwell, and out a window in it to a tree outside. A portrait hangs on each side of the door, but as they are unlabeled I cannot enlighten you as to who they are. The rest of the building was remodeled 1963. National Register, 1982.
- Giaque (1954)
- William F., won Nobel Prize in 1949 for low temperature research. The wishbone staircase in front of this building is one of the few god things built on campus since World War II.
- Gilman (1917)
- Daniel Coit, professor of geology at Yale, University President, 1872 to 1875, founder of several colleges. In 1870 he was offered the job of University of California President after it was turned down by George McClellan, former Union General in Chief, who had lost the Presidency to Lincoln in 1864. Gilman at first also turned down the job, but accepted when asked again two years later after Henry Durant resigned. Gilman left Berkeley to become president of Johns Hopkins. In February 1941 plutonium was discovered in room 407A, which is on the National Register. The building has been recently added to.
- Girton (1912)
- Named for Girton College, Cambridge — the first women’s college at a university in England. Julia Morgan (class of 1919) designed this building, originally the Senior Women’s Hall, now the campus childcare center. It was moved 160 feet west in 1946 to get it out of the way of the new intersection of Gayley and Piedmont. This building was paid for completely by University women. The senior women used to stage a ceremony at the end of each year, when they turned the building over to the juniors — this custom had died out by the1940s.
- Harmon (1959)
- Albion Keith Paris Harmon, father in law of George C. Edwards (see above). The original Harmon Gym was built in 1879, added onto three times, and finally torn down in 1933 when the existing gym was built. The “Gym for Men” was named Harmon in 1959.
- Haviland (1924)
- J. T. H., San Francisco banker. The building was paid for by the bequest of his wife, Hannah Haviland, whose brother in law was Collis P. Huntington. Originally the School of Education (this is why there is a bust of Alexis F. Lange, then Dean of Education, in the lobby — Lange is known for founding the junior college system in California). Its unaltered Howard interiors are some of the best on campus. National Register, 1982.
- Hearst Gym (1927)
- Phoebe Apperson, Regent, 1897 to 1919. She was a Midwestern schoolteacher who married miner and prospector George Hearst when she was 19. After a hard life prospecting in the West, she moved with him to California, where she sponsored a kindergarten with her husband’s wealth. She did the same in Washington, D.C., when George was elected senator from California. She went on to sponsor teacher training schools, libraries and scholarships. Her interest in archaeology led to her donations to Berkeley’s anthropology department and to her financial support of the Carter expedition that discovered Tutankhamon’s tomb. She eventually retired to a house in Pleasanton, where she lived until her death in the influenza epidemic of 1919. Her bust, and a plaque to George, can be found in the lobby of Hearst Mining. The gym was designed by Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan in collaboration with William Randolph Hearst, and originally planned to be much more elaborate and the center of a southern “counter campus.” The rumor that women swam in the central outdoor pool in the nude caused men as late as 1973 to attempt to see over the wall from the rooms on the higher floors of the south side of Barrows. National Register, 1982.
- Hearst Mining (1907)
George, silver tycoon, senator, “a plain honest man and good miner.” Husband of Phoebe, and father of William Randolph, Sr. The six figures holding up the roof in front were sculpted by Robert Aitken, known for his work at the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, and represent the six lively arts. It’s said that, from left to right, they resemble George Hearst, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, Phoebe Hearst in younger days, John Galen Howard and Bernard Maybeck (with faces hidden). The cornerstone of this building contains medals, busts of the International Competition jurors, a portrait of George, and 100 shares of capital stock in the Hearst Mining Company, issued in 1869. The building was mostly completed when the earthquake of 1906 damaged it; repair and completion of the building was delayed as other buildings had priority, and the building stood vacant for more than a year.
The lobby of this building is as fine an example of Early Victorian Engineer as you will find in the Western Hemisphere. The wall treatment is lovely, such details as railings and lamps are consistent with the style, and the south light is let in in a wonderfully creative way through windows around the front door, translucent ceiling domes, and those beautiful semicircular windows on the second floor. I’ve always thought that portraits of people connected with the University should be taken there, with the sitter leaning against the sill, and the campus skyline framed in the background (perhaps the sitters could be positioned to block the view of Evans). The project engineer of the building’s seismic retrofit, Brendan Kelly, explained that although the hall’s general design is reminiscent of Paris’ National Library, such unusual details as exposed girders and bare bulbs, and the huge ceiling skylights, make the room resemble a mine shaft. This building has an extraordinary number of chimneys around its perimeter; these were smelting furnaces for the materials labs housed in the building. The rest of the interior was unfortunately remodeled in 1948, but is now getting a major retrofit and sensitively designed improvement. National Register, 1982.
- Hertz (1958)
- Alfred, conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, 1915 to 1930. He was with the San Francisco Metropolitan Opera in 1906; he described the earthquake at that time as “something comparable to the mezzo forte roll on a cymbal or gong.” He left his estate to Berkeley for music.
- Hesse (1924)
- Frederick Godfrey, born in Prussia, was an engineer in the Prussian Army, came to Berkeley in 1875 and founded the College of Mechanics.
- Hildebrand (1966)
- Joel H., Dean of the College of Chemistry, 1949 to 1951. He and Gilbert Lewis led the “great faculty revolt” of 1919–1920, which resulted in more autonomy for faculty. He died in 1983 at the age of 101. His bust is in the Chemistry library in this building.
- Hilgard (1918)
- Eugene Woldemar. Born in Bavaria, worked for the Confederate Army during the Civil War finding saltpeter deposits to use for gunpowder. Professor of agriculture beginning in 1875. Proponent of “scientific agriculture.” Founded the University Agricultural Experimental Station, which later became UC Davis. The building was remodeled in 1963. Check out the beautiful Renaissance details on the east windows. National Register, 1982.
- Koshland (1991)
- Daniel, class of 1941, biochemistry professor, 1965 to present. Worked on the Manhattan Project.
- Kroeber (1959)
- Alfred, anthropology professor. The “K” in Ursula K. LeGuin stands for Kroeber — he was her father. Allan Temko called Kroeber Hall schizophrenic — it presents a different facade on each side. It actually isn’t as bad as some, though the sides bordered by the walkway and patio are certainly less finished. The area just north of the building has been used as an outdoor studio for art students since 1942; three mosaics from that era remain.
- Latimer (1962)
- Wendell M., dean of the College of Chemistry, 1941 to 1949.
- LeConte (1924)
- John and Joseph, professors of physics and geology. Native Georgians, they had taught at the University of South Carolina until the Civil War, during which they were superintendent and chemist of the Confederate powder works. After that debacle, they came to Berkeley in 1866. John was University President from 1877 to 1881. Both LeContes are commemorated with a plaque near an oak tree west of LSB; a memorial to Joseph was erected in Yosemite to honor his work as a naturalist and conservationist.
- Lewis (1948)
- Gilbert N., Dean of the College of Chemistry, 1912 to 1941.
- McLaughlin (1931)
- Donald Hamilton, class of 1914, professor at Harvard and Berkeley, Dean of Mining (1941–1943), Regent (1951–1967), and Peruvian gold mining tycoon. Friend of Howard and the Hearsts. Not afraid to speak his mind; he said, among other things, that Howard would have wanted Naval Architecture torn down to make room for the new engineering center. He may not have said that if he’d seen the design, as he also said of postwar campus architecture, “the buildings don’t have to be cheap, they just have to look cheap.” If anyone knows the significance of the symbol over the building’s east entrance, please call me.
- Memorial Stadium (1923)
- to students killed in World War I.
- Minor (1941)
- Ralph S., optometry professor 1903 to 1946, Dean of the School of Optometry. This building was originally a “defense” (i.e. war) building. Minor Annex was shoehorned into the available space in 1979.
- Moffitt (1968)
- James K., class of 1886, paper manufacturer, Regent, 1911 to 1948. This building was designed by John Warnecke, who is also responsible for the Units, Birge, Campbell and ESB.
- Morgan (1954)
- Agnes Fay, professor of nutrition 1915 to 1954. Her portrait hangs in the lobby. Nutrition studies are performed on the fourth floor, which is now “The Penthouse” but used to be the “Top of the Morg.”
- Morrison (1958)
- May Treat, class of 1878, who gave money in her will for this building. The Morrison Library in Doe is also named after her. Too bad she didn’t leave some for better pianos. Some tips on using the practice rooms in the basement: for pianists, get to know which rooms have playable pianos, as most are lousy, and ask for them. For nonpianists, ask for a room with a bad piano, so as not to deny a pianist the opportunity to play a good one.
- Moses (1931)
- Bernard, history professor 1876 to 1930. This building was formerly Eshleman Hall, offices of the Daily Cal: it was sold to the Regents in 1959, and renamed in 1964. It had also been known as Cleaver Hall, when students protested the administration’s decision not to allow Eldredge Cleaver to teach a course here.
- Mulford (1948)
- Walter, first Dean of the School of Forestry, 1914 to 1947. His portrait can be found in the building. This building was formerly Home Ec and Nutrition, but was renamed in 1956 and now houses the Department of Forestry and Conservation. Much of the interior is wood paneled; the parts that aren’t are covered with labeled planks, including some enormous Coast Redwood specimens. The planks on the first floor are native California woods, mostly donated by lumber companies. Those on the second are foreign species, most obtained after the Panama Pacific Exposition. In former days, the department exhibited the Tree of the Week in the lobby.
- O’Brien (1959)
- Morrough P., engineering professor, 1928 to 1948, Dean of Engineering, 1948 to 1959.
- Sather Tower and Gate
- Jane Krom, for Peder, ’49er, banker (his bank, Sather and Church, was taken over by Bank of California at his death) and trustee of the College of California. Both structures were placed on the National Register in 1982.
- Senior (1906)
- This building is now officially called Senior Hall, though it was originally Golden Bear Lodge, then Senior Men’s Hall. It is a beautifully designed log cabin originally used for student activities, including Senior Singing, and now used for various events. I had been told that this building had a secret entrance, but only recently have I discovered what it is, and where it leads.
- Sproul (1941)
Robert Gordon, University Vice President and Comptroller, Secretary to the Regents, University President, 1930 to 1958. Born in San Francisco, he was the first native Californian to serve as University President. He was also the first Berkeley alumnus to occupy the position. After receiving his civil engineering degree in 1913, instead of practicing engineering he chose to stay at his alma mater, working his way up from cashier to President in 16 years. His bust is in the lobby.
Sproul was apparently a character, well known for his booming voice. President Wheeler once asked his secretary what all the noise was, and was told that Mr. Sproul was talking to Sacramento. “Why doesn’t he use the telephone?” Wheeler asked. The building was originally known as Administration. Check out the display of historic photos on the first floor.
- Stanley (1952)
- Wendell M., winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on the chemical nature of virus particles, biochemistry chair 1948 to 1953, virology chair 1958 to 1964, founder and director of the virus lab 1948 to 1969. Also, according to the plaque near the south entrance, a “counsellor to students, and advocate of enlightened public policy for research in life sciences.”
- Stephens (1923)
- Henry Morse, professor and student advisor. The building was formerly the Student Union — the second floor was the men’s club and bar, and the third floor was the women’s club. Student services offices and athletic offices were on the first floor. The ASUC sold the building to the Regents in 1964 to raise money for the new Student Union, and it was revamped for academic use. This was the first campus building not to be graded to one level.
- Tolman (1962)
- Edward Chace, psychology professor 1928 to 1954, during which time he was chairman of the psychology department. He led the faculty in opposing a campus loyalty oath in the early 1950s, for which he was fired, then later rehired. It is thus appropriate that the “Democracy Wall” is in this building, just outside the education library. His portrait is in the lobby of the Psych (west) side of building. If you go to room 5324 on Wednesdays between 1:00 and 4:00 grad students will give you $3 to participate in psychology experiments.
- Warren (1955)
- Earl, class of 1912, former California governor and Supreme Court justice, reluctant chairman of the Warren Commission, who contributed to University expansion while he was governor and got this ugly building named after him.
- Wellman (1912)
- Harry R., class of 1924 and 1926, professor of agricultural economics, acting University President in 1967 when the building’s name was changed from Agriculture Hall. This is a lovely old building that has been thoroughly trashed by its inhabitants and deserves better. The interior was remodeled in 1964, when the huge center rotunda was closed to the public. National Register, 1982.
- Wheeler (1917)
Benjamin Ide, University President, 1899 to 1919 the Golden Age of Howard and Phoebe Hearst. Wheeler was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Brown and the University of Heidelberg. He taught philology and Greek at Cornell, and also taught at Brown and in Athens and Berlin. Under his leadership campus enrollment increased fourfold, and he started 20 new departments. He was a charismatic and beloved figure, and was known for his rapport with students; he was instrumental in setting up systems of student self-government. In his first speech to the student body, he used the phrase “it has been good to be here,” which is now an expression associated with him. He personally led a group of students to salvage paintings form the Mark Hopkins Art Institute during the 1906 fire in San Francisco. He was gently removed from control of the University in 1918, because of his German sympathies, and retired in 1919; he died in Vienna in 1927.
Wheeler Hall was named for him while he was President. His bust is in the lobby. A three alarm fire set in 1969 by what appeared to be a professional arsonist destroyed the original Howard ceiling of Wheeler Auditorium; the new ceiling is made of wood, designed in Japanese style with the Maybeck dragon head motif. Check out the lamps in the lobby. Rumor has it that the Wheeler steps were supposed to slope all the way to Strawberry Creek, but the builders cut them off when they matched the existing grade, thus creating Wheeler Plaza. National Register, 1982.
- Wurster (1964)
- William W., class of 1919, Dean of the Architecture School, 1950 to 1959, Dean of the College of Environmental Design, 1959 to 1962, and Catherine Bauer Wurster, lecturer in city and regional planning, whose bust is in the environmental design library. The building was designed by Vernon de Mars (ASUC complex), Joseph Esherick (Anthony Hall) and Donald Olsen (it must have been his fault). The eight foot tall angel in the library, known as the “Arch Angel,” is a cast of the Smiling Angel on the north portal of Reims Cathedral, probably sculpted around 1240, left over from the French exhibit at the Panama Pacific Exposition.
- Zellerbach (1964)
- Isadore and Jennie B., who contributed $1 million to the building (we students contributed $2.5 million and the University borrowed the remaining $3.3 million). The naming of this “architectural atrocity” (so termed by a visiting professor in a letter to the Daily Cal) was the cause of a controversy in 1967. The University announced the name during summer break; when the students found out, many protested naming a building after someone whose corporation’s plant in Louisiana violated discrimination laws. The ASUC voted to boycott Crown-Zellerbach, and a student vote opposed the name. After Martin Luther King was shot, his name was suggested for the theater; the Student Union across the plaza was later named for him.
The Units and the older dorms are not part of the main campus, but those who live in them may be interested in the origins of their names:
- Philip E., class of ’82, Regent. Still all-male.
- Hiram Edward Jr., brother of the Countess Bernadat, who gave $500,000 to the law school.
- Rosalie M., wife of Sigmund, former manager of the Blue and Gold. This dorm was originally to be for men, built like Bowles, and northeast of Memorial Stadium. Things changed. Still all-female.
- May L., creator and director of the UC Teacher Placement Office, 1898 to 1938. Originally all-female.
- Monroe E., Latin professor, University Vice President. Originally all-male.
- Mary C., fought for a women’s dorm association and helped establish the first women’s coop. Originally all-female.
- Thomas M., active in ASUC athletics. Originally all-male.
- Mary B., member of the Dean’s staff for 40 years, founder of WDA and the Dorm Housemothers’ Association. Originally all-female. Participant in the Chess Game (see Ehrman).
- Farmham P., faculty member and Regent. Originally all-male.
- Sidney M., Regent and Hastings trustee. Originally all-male. This dorm challenged Davidson to the World’s Largest Chess Game in 1960. Each window on the court side of the buildings was a square, and each piece was several feet high. I don’t know who won.
- Ruby L., senior physician for women at Student Health Services for 26 years. Originally all-female.
- William J., Berkeley’s first business manager. Author of the policy adopted in 1945 that campus residence halls would be built to house at least 20% of the student population. Originally all-male.
- Herbert Ingram, class of 1917, Mexican history professor, director of the Institute for International Relations in 1930 and Bancroft Library in 1940. His son Kenneth was editor of the Daily Cal. Originally all-male.
- Sally, left $500,000 to the University though she was not an alumna. Originally all-female.
- Ida Sproul
- Mrs. Sproul worked for better student housing, especially for women, while her husband was Chancellor. Originally all-female.
Two distinguished local architects, Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan, are represented on this campus. Maybeck, a former architecture professor at the University, is known in the Bay Area for his Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the Christian Science Church at Haste and Bowditch in Berkeley, as well as several fine houses in the Berkeley Hills. On campus, he designed the Men’s Faculty Club, actually an aggregate founded on the original faculty club cottage, now the kitchen of the existing building. This building was constructed on the site of a Native American village near Strawberry Creek. Henry Morse Stephens had an apartment built over the north entry, where he lived until his death in 1918. It is said his ghost haunts these rooms — this is the only campus ghost I’ve run across.
Maybeck also designed Hearst Hall, built for Phoebe at the corner of Channing and Piedmont and moved to where Wurster Hall is now in 1900. This striking wooden edifice, used as a women’s gym as well as a meeting place, was lit inside by 900 incandescent lamps, which gave an unusual and attractive effect. It burned down in 1922. Its pools, undamaged by the fire, were used until the Hearst Gym was completed in 1927. From 1934 to 1955, when the site was cleared for Wurster Hall, they served as a hydraulic basin for engineering experiments.
Julia Morgan graduated from Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering in 1894, the first woman to study in the College of Engineering. She later became the first woman to graduate from the Ecole des Beaux Arts architecture school in 1902. Her most famous work is Hearst Castle at San Simeon, but she built more than 800 structures, including the clock tower and other buildings at Mills College, the Asilomar Conference Center near Monterey, the Berkeley City Club, and the remodeling of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. She worked with Howard and Hearst on campus as well as on her own. She designed the Hearst Gym, with a wonderfully ornamented pool similar to one at San Simeon, and Girton Hall, a small, unpretentious, comfortable wood building in a redwood grove. She also designed the Tudor “Kellogg House” at 2232 Piedmont Row, now used for anthropology offices.
Mottoes and Memorials
Many mottoes exhort us from lintels all over the campus; unfortunately, most of them are in languages most of us don’t understand. Our motto expert, with the assistance of the Classics Department, can help.
- “fiat lux”
- “Let there be light,” Genesis 1:3, the motto of the University of California, is written over Sather Gate and backwards on the canopy over the entrance to the Campanile, puzzling many students with the inscription “XVL TAIF” surrounding a pentagram.
- “bene legere saecla vincere”
- ’To read well is to conquer the ages." Over the door to the catalog room of the Doe Library.
- “mirurn est ut animus agitatione motique corporis excitetur”
- “It is marvelous how the mind is awakened by the stirring and motion of the body” (i.e. exercise). On the facade of Harmon Gym. A classics professor explained to me that this line is actually a joke; it can be found in a letter from Pliny the Younger to Tacitus, in which he described a boar hunt in which he participated by writing speeches while his slaves did the work. It is a parody of a line of Tacitus’, who remarked on the salubrious effects of the “stirring and motion” of civil ferment.
- “hunc pontem dono dedit classis studentum quae in anno MDCCCCX foras exiit ne memoria sua apud posteros pereat Phoebe Apperson Hearst impensis subvenit”
- “The class (fleet) which in 1910 departed these portals has placed this bridge lest memory of it be lost. Phoebe Apperson Hearst donated money to this project.” Apparently the original inscription began “hanc pontem” until some students finally convinced the professor responsible for the translation that he was wrong. If you look carefully, you can see where the correction was made.
The Greek inscription on the right side of the football statue south of LSB reads, “Everyone who competes wins all,” a moving tribute to capitalism. The somewhat garbled Greek inscription in the lobby of Wheeler Hall, loosely translated, reads, “There are thousands of virtues of men, but one stands out from them all — the ability to govern justly.” This does not appear to be a classical quotation.
- “To rescue for human society the native values of rural life”
- This phrase looks out from the side of Hilgard Hall onto a campus increasingly built over and denuded of greenery and open space. Howard had originally planned the inspiring “Given by the people to the State of California, A.D. 1915,” but Wheeler preferred “To bring food for the peoples from the breast of the earth.” Whether the problem was too socialist a sentiment, or the word “breast,” Wheeler changed his mind at the last minute to the existing motto, substituting “native” for “moral.”
- “We ring, we chime, we toll; lend ye the silent part — some answer in the heart, some echo in the soul.”
- Guess where this one is? Etched on one of the tower bells — a line from a poem by Isaac Flagg.
The flat planes of Boalt Hall were apparently just crying out to be written on. Consider this:
You will study the wisdom of the past, for in a wilderness of conflicting counsels, a trail has there been blazed. You will study the life of mankind, for this is the life you must order, and, to order with wisdom, must know. You will study the precepts of justice, for these are the truths that through you shall come to their hour of triumph. Here is the high emprise, the fine endeavour, the splendid possibility of achievement, to which I summon you and bid you welcome. (Cardozo)
When I think thus of the law, I see a princess mightier than she who once wrought at Bayeaux, eternally weaving into her web dim figures of the ever-lengthening past — figures too dim to be noticed by the idle, too symbolic to be interpreted except by her pupils, but to the discerning eye disclosing every painful step and every worldshaking contest by which mankind has worked and fought its way from savage isolation to organic social life. (Holmes)
The law school asked many prominent people for suggestions for quotations; the University could have saved itself some money if it had chosen one of the other submissions: “There is only one Boalt but many nuts.”
Fifteen great names circle the top of Doe’s card catalog room: Cervantes, Cuvier, Dante, Darwin, Descartes, Erasmus, Galileo, Gibbon, Goethe, Gutenberg, Kant, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Adam Smith and Voltaire. An interesting assortment — four poets, a novelist, three scientists, three philosophers, three social scientists, and a publisher. Four Englishmen, three Frenchmen, three Germans, three Italians, a Spaniard and a Dutchman. Fifteen men, no women. We can thank English and literature professor Charles Mills Gayley and history professor Henry Morse Stephens for this list-they claimed to have chosen people who “had been unique contributors to progress through the medium of books”; each had created “a typical chapter of thought or has transformed for better the conditions of civilization.” Rumor has it that Benjamin Ide Wheeler, who had received his Ph.D. at Heidelberg and had taught at the University of Berlin, altered the list to show his support for Germany. Rumor also has it that during World War I students defaced the three German names. Why Cuvier, for God’s sake, and not Newton or Copernicus?
The ceiling we see today in the card catalog room was the original Howard creation from 1911. In 1960 it was covered by a “suspended luminous grid” by order of the administration; later buildings blocked light coming in from the windows, and the original twelve chandeliers were too dim to work by. William Wurster, who was in charge of the project, carefully pulled them up and installed the grid without disrupting the ceiling, figuring the administration would someday change its mind. The grid came down in 1974, when the ceiling was rediscovered by workers installing a sprinkler system; mercury vapor lamps were put in the chandeliers to make them bright enough.
Four pillars in the lobby of Doe Library boast busts of Homer, Marcus Aurelius, Augustus, and Hermes. Pick the one that is not a classical literary figure.
The concrete fountain just north of the Campanile was given by the University Cadets in 1905, in honor of John Mitchell, known as “Old Mitch,” the University Armorer from 1895 to 1904, a colorful man with a huge walrus moustache who thrilled students with tales of Indian battles. The armory was in the basement of Old Harmon Gym, ironically in approximately the same place as the bomb shelter in 52 Dwinelle.
One of the weirdest campus memorials can be found on the northwest side of Edwards Track. It marks the site of William Keith’s house, 50 yards east of the location of the plaque. He was apparently a local artist from the 1880s to his death in 1911; the plaque was placed by the Keith Art Association of Berkeley in 1954. The only piece of work by him that I’ve ever seen is an enormous canvas at the Oakland Museum called “King’s River Canyon.”
My other favorite is the popular Ludwig’s Fountain, built in 1961. It was named after Ludwig von Schwarenberg, a German shorthair pointer who lived in the fountain from its construction until he and his family moved to Alameda in 1965, except for the time he was tied up at home in 1962 for running through Tolman Hall (then under construction) with a tube of green paint in his mouth, peeing on the walls. The fountain was shut down, but restarted by popular request in 1978.
The most popular type of memorial here is the bench — the campus is littered with them. The oldest may be the generic redwood trunk benches donated to the UC Forestry Club by the Union Lumber Company in 1921, which were originally placed in a circle in Forester’s Circle in the Eucalyptus Grove but which you’ll now find in Faculty Glade, facing Wellman Hall and University House, in the Mining Circle, south of Mulford Hall, and just east of Sather Gate. Several wood benches have recently been placed on campus as memorials. A bench in a small grove near Wurster Hall is dedicated to Roslyn Lindheim, 1921–1987; faculty member and author of The Hospitalization of Space; “her work bridged intuition, feelings, people and academic learning for healthier and more humane environments.” The curved bench facing Wellman is dedicated to Thomas Forsyth Hunt, Dean of the School of Agriculture, 1912 to 1923. A wooden bench in front of Moses Hall is dedicated to H. Paul Grice, philosopher, who died in 1988. A similar (but more elegant) bench just north of Sproul Hall is dedicated to John 1. Danielson, director of financial aid from 1968 to 1982. My favorite bench, the redwood log near Sather Gate, has recently been dedicated by the class of 1965 to Raymond James Sontag, Ehrman Professor of History. The trees surrounding it have been trimmed so that you can no longer sit there and observe or eavesdrop on passersby undetected. A set of benches in a small courtyard just north of Harmon Gym is dedicated to Clinton R. “Brick” Morse, author of “Sons of California” and “Hail California.”
The peripatetic Senior Men’s Bench, that monument to bygone sexism and classism, has had many incarnations over nearly a century. The first one was erected in 1898 around the flagpole that stood on the site of the Campanile. Stanford students stole the fence around it the following year, to the derisive thanks of Cal senior men. The second bench was erected near North Hall, where it remained until 1917. The third one, a wooden boatlike object north of Wheeler Hall, was inscribed “This bench, a symbol of Senior Control, is dedicated by the class of 1921 to the 1920 championship varsity football team” and was dedicated by then ex-president Wheeler. It was apparently soon moved to a site between Wheeler Hall and Sather Gate, where it resided until it was kidnapped to the Mining Circle by engineering students in 1935. In 1938 it was spotted near Eshleman (now Stephens) Hall and Moses Hall. In 1950 it burned (all of the Senior Men’s Benches were wood). A new one was dedicated in 1952; soon after, however, students lost interest in such things. I believe that the Senior Men’s Bench exists today in an obscure location — a small redwood grove facing the east courtyard of Wurster Hall. This huge area is currently totally wasted — I wonder what it would take for it to function as a pleasant, welcoming open space?
Believe it or not, many classes have grown so attached to the University, and so rich as a result of their Berkeley educations, that they have donated money for gifts to the campus. Formerly each graduating class planted a tree at commencement; the first was a cypress, in 1874, which was cut down in the 1930s to make room for a building. Classes still give memorial chairs in the Greek Theater.
The class of 1877 donated the sundial, which in 1915 was placed south of the Campanile, where the subsequent planting of a pine grove rendered it almost completely nonfunctional. The class of ’96 contributed the plaque on Founder’s Rock. The class of ’97 celebrated its silver jubilee (25 years) by building the semicircular bench that faces Bancroft Library. The class of ’98 placed the plaque on the LeConte Oak.
The bench facing Wellman Hall is inscribed, “To hold in remembrance that Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President of the University of California, gave self government to undergraduate students, the class of 1905 has set this bench, 1910.” The class of 1910 gave the concrete arch bridge between Faculty Glade and the science buildings. The class of 1914 donated the fountain and the concrete bench around it that currently serve as the “southeast gate” to campus. It was the recipient of an elaborate dedication in 1968, in which water was poured into it from the Bay, Strawberry Creek, and the Chemistry Pond, which is now covered by Haviland Hall — apparently a dunk in its disgusting dirty water was considered appropriate punishment for unacceptable behavior. A pint of beer was thrown in for good measure. I understand the fountain has been inoperative since 1976.
One of the most interesting class gifts is near the entrance to the Campanile; two melancholy bears top a bench donated by the class of 1920 to recognize the Sons of the University killed in the Great War. The NROTC class of ’42 has provided a somewhat less elegant bench just north of Harmon Gym, dedicated to those lost in World War 11.
Stephens Hall, which was the Student Union in the 1920s, was the recipient of several gifts. The class of 1921 built it a fireplace, and the class of 1922 gave money to furnish the hall. The concrete and brick bridge connecting Stephens with Faculty Glade is a gift of the class of 1923, “in memory of happy days on the campus and in appreciation of benefits received from their alma mater.” About 10 feet away from this bridge is a colorful mosaic fountain commemorating the Young Ladies’ Club, the first women’s organization on campus, which was founded in 1874, the year the first women graduated. Berkeley, incidentally, was a bit before its time in the area of women’s education; by the turn of the century fully half of the student body was women. Jessica Peixotto, one of these students, became the first woman to teach here when she was appointed Professor of Social Economy in the 1920s.
The class of 1925 gave us the courtyard and steps between Moses and Stephens Halls, completed in 1984 — that area was far more important to campus life than it is now. The class of 1926 commissioned The Abundant Life in memory of Benjamin Ide Wheeler. The class of 1927 gave the flagpole in front of LSB, the class of 1928 gave a bust of Wheeler (who Howard Fast called the most beautiful human being he’d ever seen) for the lobby of Wheeler Hall, and the class of 1929 donated the Golden Bear in front of Zellerbach Auditorium, the one that Vernon de Mars wanted Stanford to paint red.
In 1979 the class of 1928 gave us an audible rather than visible gift — 36 new bells for the carillon. In 1934 Japanese alumni donated money and two stone lanterns for a Japanese garden, which was planted on the north side of Strawberry Creek between LSB and Wellman Hall. They have been relocated to just south of Alumni House. The class of 1935 built a small wooden amphitheater on the south bank of Strawberry Creek, just east of Sather Gate. The class of 1940 gave the water fountain and small courtyard on the northeast side of Wheeler, which gives the best tasting water on campus. The class of 1941 gave floodlights for the Campanile, the class of 1946 installed the patterned paving in Sproul Plaza, the class of 1953 gave the maps placed around campus (there is a plaque on the one in front of the Campanile), and recently the class of 1954 gave the new north gate. The grass plot in the middle of the court just west of the Campanile, where the sundial should have gone, is crying out for a class gift, as is the courtyard just south of the arch of Tolman Hall. A more ambitious class, or perhaps one that wants to begin a continuing project, could begin the West Approach; I occasionally stand on the steps near the west face of the Campanile, looking toward the Golden Gate, and remember that this vista used to be valued, and think that the class that restores it by straightening, leveling and paving the road from the Campanile to the west end of campus would earn our undying gratitude.
Given the age of the University, and its development over the years, our outdoor art is, not surprisingly, a mixed bag. The unanimous favorite, I venture to say, is “The Last Dryad” in Faculty Glade. This bronze nude was done in the 1920s by Alexander Sterling Calder, father of the Alexander Calder and Sculptor in Chief of the Panama Pacific Exposition. It was not exhibited during his lifetime because the model’s husband threatened to sue because he could recognize her face (let’s hope he could recognize more than that). After Calder’s death in 1945, his daughter, Margaret Calder Hayes, class of 1917, presented it to the University. After several years of seclusion in the Hearst Women’s Gym, it was finally placed outside in the 1960s, where it is certainly happier. If you like this piece, check out the Star Girl, the Panama Pacific Exposition’s theme piece, in the Oakland Museum (or its replica in the courtyard of the Citicorp building at the corner of Sutter and Sansome Streets in San Francisco).
Although I have heard people swear it’s Peder Sather, the bust on the south side of the Campanile is in fact Abraham Lincoln, and was sculpted by John Gutzon Borglum (1867–1941), who got good at doing Presidents after carving Mount Rushmore. The University acquired this piece after San Francisco’s Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, held in commemoration of the opening of the Panama Canal, which littered the University as well as the city with various artifacts including Maybeck’s Palace of Fine Arts. It was kept in the basement of Doe Library until Lincoln’s birthday, 1921, when a suitable pedestal and position were prepared for it. The Oakland Museum owns a painting by Borglum, called “Scouts on the Alert.”
My favorite piece of campus art is the lively colorful WPA mosaic on the east side of what is now “Mostly Stationery,” just north of Sproul. This building, designed by Howard, started its life as a powerhouse in 1904, was moved in 1913, became the Spreckels Art Gallery in 1933 and got decorated in 1936–1937. It was moved to its present site from the site of Morrison Hall in 1955, and remained an art gallery until the opening of the UAM in 1971. The two panels are “Sculpture” by Helen Bruton (who also did in Hertz Hall) and “Dancing” by Florence A. Swift.
Some of the modem efforts just don’t cut it The precast concrete relief on the north side of Morgan Hall is one of the worst — six people in profile representing, presumably, the useful arts. I have to admit, though, that I like the “frames” along one side of the Morgan Hall courtyard that frame the view of Tolman Hall (harmonious) and Hilgard Hall (disharmonious) — the experience of looking at them both in the frames is thought provoking.
In the 1960s Austen K. SaIz, an art professor, and his wife Helen left us two modem sculptures, “Voyage” by Richard O’Hanlon, near Hertz and Morrison Halls, and “Interior Force,” between Wheeler Hall and Strawberry Creek, sculpted by Ralph Stackpole (1885–1973), who did the sculpture in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The Oakland Museum owns a bronze of his, should you like to see more of his work.
The football statue near the west entrance was sculpted in 1893 by Douglas Tilden (1960–1935), a graduate of the California School for the Deaf. You can see more of his work in the City, in Golden Gate Park and on Market (he did the wonderful Mechanics Statue in Battery Park) and at the Oakland Museum, which has a small bronze called “The Golden Gate.” Senator James D. Phelan promised the football statue to the university that won two Big Games in a row. This was Berkeley, in 1898 and 1899; the statue was erected in 1900, unintentionally providing a landmark for the gay community.
Much of our sculpture is animals, like the sleeping lions in front of University House, the Ming dogs, donated by Alfred Bender in 1933, which used to be in front of the art gallery but were moved to the entrance of Durant Hall in 1978, the “dirty bird” in front of Anthony Hall, sculpted by Frances Rich of Santa Barbara, and the Smilodon in the plaza south of ESB, commissioned by the University from “Trader Vic” Bergeron and completed in 1975.
But of course the most predominant image is the bear. There’s the gold one on a pedestal in front of Zellerbach Auditorium, the small “Puchinelli Bear” in the bushes between the ASUC complex and Strawberry Creek, erected by O.J. Woodward II, class of 1930, the melancholy bears mourning dead soldiers on the bench in front of the Campanile, and the new reclining bears on the grass between O’Brien and Davis Halls, sculpted by Edmund Schulte Beckum in 1915 and given in 1986 by A. John Macchi, class of 1936. And of course there’s the poor stuffed grizzly in the ASUC; its kidnapping by Stanford some years ago was the subject of several Farley strips in the Chronicle.
On my last last visit to campus I spotted a large metal pyramid with a dangerous-looking projection like a scorpion’s tail, just southwest of the new North Gate and west of McCone Hall. I couldn’t find a plaque to identify this object’s name, date or creator.
Plants and Trees
Berkeley had two notable trees in its history, both of which no longer exist but have designated replacements. LeConte Oak was a huge tree dedicated with a plaque in 1898. It was blown over in a storm in 1939, but replaced with a new one on the same spot. You will find it just west of LSB Annex along the path through the Eucalyptus Grove.
Wheeler Oak, a gathering place for University women after Wheeler Hall was built, was removed in 1934 on the advice of experts who said it was old and had been sick since 1910 from living in concrete. A plaque marked its former location until the plaza in front of Wheeler was built in 1952. Alumni found and resited the plaque two years later, and a new oak was planted.
The Eucalyptus Grove at the confluence of the north and south branches of Strawberry Creek was planted in 1877, to protect the new cinder running track from the west wind. It is the tallest hardwood grove in America; some of these trees are more than 200 feet tall.
The stand of Canary Island pines just south of the Campanile was planted in 1917, two years after the sundial was placed. The huge white ghost of a tree on the north side of Faculty Glade is a California Buckeye, planted in 1882. It is in fact still alive and flowers in May. Other California Buckeyes, not as old and venerable, can be found near the north side of the War Memorial Bridge.
An oak on the hill in Faculty Glade is dedicated to Henry Morse Stephens. The gnarled trees along the Esplanade, what remains of the Golden Gate axis, and the south side of Mulford are London planes, a hybrid sycamore. They were salvaged from the Panama Pacific Exposition, and are meant to represent the trees in Plato’s Lyceum.
Perhaps the most important tree on campus is the Dawn Redwood, the earliest species of redwood, located behind the small gate to the right of the Men’s Faculty Club (there are also supposed to be three in front of ESB). Biology professor Ralph Cheney preserved this species by bringing seeds back from China in 1941. Thanks to him there are now about 25,000 in the US.
Howard’s 1908 campus plan called for a 50 foot wide garden area between the Hearst Mining pool and another pool located where Moffitt Library is now as a botanical garden. I personally advocate dynamiting Evans Hall and Moffitt Library (the destruction of the rest of the required area is already underway) to follow this plan. Short of that, how about at least restoring the old practice farm in Wellman Courtyard? The campus has a botanical garden in Strawberry Canyon and the research and teaching functions of botanical gardens are fulfilled elsewhere — but something like this should remain on campus for nonstudents to enjoy and learn from.
Strawberry Creek and its Bridges
Before the University was here, this area was part of Strawberry Creek’s watershed; the smaller streams have since been culverted, covered and rerouted and all that remain flowing at the surface are the north and south branches. The central branch was filled in 1877 to build a running track where LSB is now.
The north branch is released from its culvert somewhere inside the Chancellor’s Garden, an inexcusable fenced off waste of area on a campus increasingly pressed for open space. One wooden bridge provides access from the road to the garden. Two more wooden footbridges cross the creek just south of University House and east of Gianini — the northern one has a lovely winding stone staircase on the northwest side. The creek meanders southwest; it is clear, in a sandy bed, running over small falls into still, clear, sunny pools. One bank is high and covered with ivy; the other has large stones to sit on as well as vegetation including a stand of redwoods. Several trees have fallen across the creek; in addition to the concrete pipe conduits these make good crossovers or places to sit with your feet over the creek. This stretch of the creek is the most pleasant and attractive on campus. Along here you will run across the north fork’s height gauge — it will give you some idea about how high the creek can get.
The next two bridges are wooden — one for cars and people, between Moffitt Library and Wellman Hall, and the next just for people, with a peculiar L-shape on the east side. The car bridge is great to hide under, for that elusive privacy increasingly difficult to find on a crowded campus.
The creek after these bridges narrows, with masonry banks. A sunny, well frequented meadow at a bend in the creek near a small footbridge precedes the intensively and diversely landscaped area which runs parallel to the north side of LSB. I believe this area was the original botanical garden, and that the two Japanese lanterns now near Alumni House used to be here. It is hard to get near the creek here because of the dense ivy that surrounds it. It would be a great area to enjoy, especially where a tree over the creek makes a convenient seat, if it weren’t for the nearby construction noise. Just northwest of LSB the creek disappears underground through an ugly grate and culvert. It goes under University Circle, coming out just southwest of it into a deep pool filled with junk and surrounded by stone walls. I have seen fish more than a foot long here. The creek then follows a series of noisy cataracts to its confluence with the south fork at the comer of the Eucalyptus Grove, where sitting logs and stepping stumps have been installed across from a small sunny meadow.
The south fork appears on campus from a concrete culvert across the street west of Girton Hall. A path on the north bank makes this fork easy to follow. It travels over a narrow rocky bed between dirt banks where redwoods, ivy and ferns grow. It forms the border of the Women’s Faculty Club’s garden, where a finial has somehow taken a nose dive into the creek. An S-curve borders the Men’s Faculty Club, where four stumps and a brick foundation mark the site of bizarre tenure-granting rituals. The last sighting of salmon in Strawberry Creek was here, in 1930. The first two bridges over this fork, wooden and concrete, are near the Senior Men’s Hall and Men’s Faculty Club. The underground middle fork joins the south fork through a culvert just north of here.
The creek then forms the northern boundary of Faculty Glade; not a particularly pleasant area. The class of 1910 bridge crosses here, but concrete pipe culverts on either side offer alternative ways of crossing. These alternatives were frequently used several years ago when a “troll” demanding payment took up residence under this bridge, as part of student art project. You might actually find some strawberries here, amid the ivy, and from the next bridge, a concrete arch with metal railings, you can see blackberries. This bridge, designed by ubiquitous campus landscaper Thomas D. Church, and built in 1966, was barricaded by the Save Faculty Glade Vigilantes, a group of landscape architecture students and faculty disturbed by the increasing traffic it would encourage through the glade. But it is impossible to stop progress, i.e. destruction of the campus environment, as they soon learned.
The creek then detours neatly around Stephens Hall, and under the lovely brick and iron class of 1923 bridge. The creek here is at its most attractive; the vegetation is lush and diverse, and its rocky bed gives it a great sound. A small wooden footbridge precedes a redwood grove, dedicated to Brutus K. Hamilton, 1900–1970, where the creek widens. Here the south bank is an elaborate log structure. After a concrete pipe shortcut comes the paved bridge from Moses to Barrows Halls. The creek proceeds behind Moses Hall, which unconscionably ignores it. Two wooden footbridges flank the back of Anthony Hall, where a terrace with umbrellaed tables face the creek — a great lunch or study spot.
The best constructed river area gives way to the worst — a fenced-off utility area inexcusable in this location. It should be moved to a less attractive and central spot, freeing this land for more congenial use. Farther downstream, north of Sproul Hall, eroded banks as well as two picnic tables, the water gauge, and the class of 1935 amphitheater attest to the area’s use. Just downstream is the widest and busiest bridge, connecting Sproul Plaza to Dwinelle Plaza.
The creek retains its public character as it continues through redwoods just north of the ASUC complex. This area is not that attractive, with a high concrete wall forming the south bank. Many paths and makeshift stepping stones show the ingenuity of students late for class in Dwinelle Hall, too hurried to use the wooden arch bridge with iron rails that crosses just west of ASUC. The next bridge downstream is my personal favorite — a high masonry arch, built in 1967, which presides over the creek at its most Tennysonian, with masonry terraces, verdant meadows, both sunny and shady, babbling brook — it is an excellent picnic spot when not too crowded. The creek widens downstream when it is released from its masonry confines — the banks are high and planted with redwoods.
The most interesting bridge is in this area — the bay tree bridge, with a hole in the middle, surrounded by a bench, through which a large tree grows. Try climbing down the tree and under the bridge. The next bridge is a concrete car bridge, and then the creek returns to the redwoods. Just west of the football statue, an ivy covered masonry wall precedes the concrete war memorial bridge, with its Star of David railings, into the Eucalyptus Grove. A wooden footbridge provides a crossing into the grove, but the banks are so low and the creek so narrow it’s hardly worth it.
From the confluence, the creek heads southwest toward Edwards Stadium. This area is heavily wooded; a hollowed out stump facing the creek on the east bank makes an excellent bench. You have now entered squirrel country — though they don’t seem so numerous or obnoxious as they used to be. The last bridge over the creek is a long wooden skew bridge from BART and Berkeley into the central campus. The creek leaves the surface through the remains of a filter, and a masonry culvert under Oxford Street just north of the stadium, amid a small redwood grove. Nearby is the plaque which marks the site where Don Pedro Fage’s scientific expedition sighted the Golden Gate on March 27, 1772.
The Campanile and Other Clocks
The most striking symbol of the University is of course Sather Tower, known as the Campanile, modeled after (and in my opinion superior to) St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice (this is the origin of the epithet “Marksist” as applied to Berkeley). It was completed in December 1914, stands 307 feet (30 stories) tall (as compared to Stanford’s Hoover Tower, only 285 feet tall), is made of reinforced concrete and steel I-beams, and is going to be the last structure in Berkeley to remain standing when the Big One hits. The site of the Campanile has always been the center of the campus — it was originally the courtyard between Bacon Hall and the two original buildings, and was marked by a flagpole until the Campanile was built.
The first twelve bells were brought through U-boat patrolled waters from England in late 1917; the 13th bell was the one from Bacon Hall and was added in 1925. In 1979 36 new bells were added and another 13 in 1983, making a complete five chromatic octaves. The bells are played from 12:00 to 12:15 Monday through Saturday and at 2:00 on Sundays. Our fine carillon attracts noted campanologists from all over the world, who occasionally play special concerts. The bells announce extraordinary events (they rang at 2:30 a.m. on November 11, 1918, when the Armistice was signed) as well as scheduled ones (every term they are silent during Dead Week, after a rendition of “Tom Dooley”).
One of the humor magazines once ran a cartoon about what’s really in the Campanile; what’s really in the Campanile is the geography department’s seismographic records since 1910, and five floors of paleontology’s fossils from the La Brea Tarpits, Shasta Valley and the Great Karoo, among other places. The Campanile has always been used for storage because the temperature inside fluctuates so little. It’s hard to resist such an obvious target for a prank. The Hiking Club planted a pink and yellow bunny on the spike on the top in 1955, and followed that the next year with a white flag with a blue C. Later that year climbers were caught before another outrage was perpetrated. In my day, a group associated with a fraternity attached a Mickey Mouse body and hands to one clock face. Bob Phillips, who studied at Berkeley in the ’60s, wrote recently to tell me that this had not been the first time Mickey had been attached to a clock face of the Campanile; he tells his own story about that first time on this web page.
Two people have jumped to their deaths from the observation deck of the Campanile. The first, in 1959, was a retired attorney whose two sons had attended Berkeley. The second was two years later — a sophomore engineering student. The tower was closed after that incident, only opening for one day, Charter Day — the elevator operator, Curtis Elliot, died of a heart attack in the elevator that morning. In 1978 glass was put up in the tower windows but it was taken down a year later because it muffled the sound of the bells. Bars were put up in 1981; despite them a freshman stood outside for five hours in 1982 but was persuaded not to jump. Oddly enough, all three of these people chose the east side, even in the afternoon when that side of the tower was in shade.
The flower clock just south of the Chancellor’s House is a replica of one overlooking Lake Geneva. A delegation representing Swiss universities presented it to Berkeley in 1964. It was vandalized during a protest shortly afterward — a photograph shows its hands pointing straight up. I am told by those who know that it is an excellent place for marijuana, which was growing there in 1967.
My favorite clock is the one that faces California Hall, looking over what was once the Sophomore Lawn. It was erected in 1929, and dedicated to Albert Miller, Regent from 1887 to 1900. It is supposed to be a bench, but whoever landscaped the area doesn’t seem to be aware of that. In 1968 someone stole the clock mechanism, leaving the graffito “time is getting short.”
The University has a poor record of dealing with the community that surrounds it. It must be admitted in the University’s defense that it was here first, back when the community was known as Ocean View — the city of Berkeley was not incorporated until 1878. It had only 437 people in 1870, growing to 13,000 by 1900. After 1903, when the opening of the Key Route shortened the commute time to San Francisco dramatically, and 1906, when many fled San Francisco after losing their homes, the city of Berkeley grew rapidly: 40,000 people in 1910, 50,000 in 1912, and a peak of 117,000 in 1970. By comparison, the University had 2,788 students and 153 faculty members in 1900, and 3,000 students in 1910, growing to 50,000 students in the late 1980s, with thousands of faculty and staff.
The original campus borders were the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek. The land in what is now the northwest campus was devoted to agriculture and military maneuvers, and by the 1910s contained the agricultural complex. The area opposite the south fork was encroached on more gradually, initially by Hearst Hall and other athletic facilities in the 1900s, Hearst Gym in the 1920s, Dwinelle Hall in the 1950s and finally the ASUC complex in the 1960s. This area, in contrast to the northwest comer, was a thriving community, with hotels, a French restaurant, grocery, laundry, meat market, and coffee shop that stayed open until 10:00.
The central campus rounded out its current shape with the addition of small parcels of land to the south and southeast. The little shingled building on Bancroft just west of Eshleman Hall is the old First Unitarian Church, designed by A.C. Schweinfurth, who had designed Phoebe Hearst’s house in Pleasanton. When it was built in 1898, the site did not belong to the University. Many faculty and students worshipped there. In 1957 the University purchased the land and planned to demolish the building, but never got around to it. The congregation moved to Kensington soon after, and the building has been a scene shop for the drama department since 1972. This is unfortunate because it is a charming and well-designed building which deserves better.
The two chartreuse ramshackle wooden houses just east of Wurster Hall, which now contain various University offices, were built by Warren Cheney in 1880. He was a writer for Sunset magazine and editor of the Californian. The houses along Piedmont Row have a varied history — 2234 and 2240 were moved to their current locations from the sites of International House and Boalt Hall. 2220 and 2240 were originally fraternity houses; the others were private homes. The walkway along the south side of 2234 is inlaid with a random selection of cheerful tiles.
In the early days, Olmstead recognized the importance of integrating the University into the community. His design for the area around campus, which included University Avenue as an extension of the campus axis, was ignored by developers (incidentally, the College Homestead Association, which developed the 125 acres west and south of campus, named its first 13 streets in alphabetical order from Allston south and from College west. If you know that College Avenue was originally Audubon, Telegraph Avenue was Choate, and Shattuck Avenue was Guyot, you can sort of see the pattern). Since then, however, the Regents have made no effort to incorporate the community into, or even inform the community of, its expansion and construction plans as it takes over more and more land and buildings outside its original borders. People’s Park is the most wellknown focus of the resulting tension, but I think that the incidents surrounding the acquisition of Clark Kerr Campus (formerly the School for the Deaf) show the University at its worst. The University naturally falls into an adversarial relationship with the city over this issue; as the University does not pay property taxes to the city, every time it expands the city loses money.
Although the campus is not walled, only three true gates and one non-gate exist. The nongate, to save you unnecessary suspense, is at the comer of College Avenue and Bancroft Way, across from Cafe Strada (the Roma by any other name is still the best place to watch people). This is a large plaza flanked by Kroeber Hall and Boalt Law School to the left and right and the improbable vision of Wurster Hall dead ahead. The plaza contains a fountain and a bench but comes off as flat, featureless and unmemorable, if not fortresslike (Allen Temko suggested that these three buildings are fit for little except gun emplacements) — it definitely needs some sort of frame. The area deserves a lot better, as it is the closest campus entrance to Hertz Auditorium.
The oldest campus gate is of course Sather Gate, erected in 1910. Jane K. Sather donated $36,000 for its construction, and liked it so much that she dedicated it to her husband. Howard intended its portals to represent the phases of university life. Its patinaed arch, bearing the University crest and the letters MDCCCCXVIIII (that’s 1919 in real money) on a side pillar, some of which occasionally go missing, was added later, as were the urns, sculpted by Earl Cummings, architecture professor and sculptor of the head of Minerva over the entrance of Doe Library. The gate originally sported eight panels depicting fields of learning as expressed by nude men and women — men for hard sciences and women for humanities, of course. They were taken down the following year after Jane Sather, disgusted by the reactions of undergrads, wrote several letters to the Regents. They were replaced in 1979 as a result of a petition started by biochemistry graduate students. This gate was the actual campus entrance until the building of the ASUC complex completely surrounded it by campus. Before the extension the gate served an important purpose; as no political speech was allowed on campus it served as a gathering place for students and speakers with political agendas. I’m told the circle in the pavement south of the gate was the turntable for a horsedrawn trolley that ran between Oakland and Berkeley between 1873 and the early years of this century.
Skinner Gate, built in 1964 at the comer of Oxford and Center Streets, is the campus’ west entrance; a terrace overlooking a plaza which contains a large design set in concrete. Russell Severance Springer, class of 1902, left money specifically to build this gate, having admired Sather Gate. The compass rose does not indicate which direction is north, but it is safe to guess that the north arrow points toward Koshland Hall.
I have little to say about the class of ‘54’s gift of a north gate, as it is after my time — I can only refer the interested reader to the story of the design competition, and the class’ total rejection of the winner in favor of something less phallic. I personally like it but find it rather awkwardly placed in the middle of nowhere; perhaps some additional walls or landscaping would make it more gatelike.
You will find the words “east gate” on maps; this gate consists of a road, a sign that says EAST GATE in blue letters on a yellow background, and a kiosk. Surely we can do better than this. At least the sign near Springer Gate says “Welcome to the Berkeley Campus.”
There are several informal merging points of city and campus. The northwest entrance through Tolman Hall, for example, is actually rather effective — you walk in shade under an arcade and out into bright sunlight on the campus side; it feels very welcoming. The effect of the gate would be enhanced if cars did not park in the arcade, and if there were something to draw one through — perhaps a monument or fountain in the grassy oval just south of the building. My favorite entrance is the flagstone path between Davis Hall and Naval Architecture, where you literally have to suck in your gut to get through; it was the quickest way to get from Northside, where I lived, to McLaughlin Hall, where I studied.
State law used to require that all campus thoroughfares be closed 24 hours each year to keep the property from reverting to public use. Berkeley used to hold its “Gate Days” in late May or early June; the last record I have found of this practice was from 1941.