Wednesday Night Program Honors Berkeley’s First Integrated Church By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 18, 2005

To raise funds to renovate Berkeley’s first racially integrated church, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) has joined with the South Berkeley Community Church to hold a Wednesday night meeting that will explore the church’s history. 

Built in 1910 as Park Congregational Church, the 1802 Fairview St. structure was designed by Arts and Crafts architect Hugo W. Storch and was declared a city landmark in 1976. 

The gathering will kick off the church’s capital restoration campaign to raise the funds needed to restore the venerable building. 

Author Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny leads off the 7:30 program at the church with a talk on the historic character of South Berkeley. 

Members of the congregation will follow with their own stories. 

Perhaps the best known speaker will be former Berkeley City Councilmember and noted civil rights activist Maudelle Shirek, a charter member when the church was reorganized as an integrated congregation in 1943. 

Architectural historian Bradley Wiedmaier will talk about architect Storch and how the Arts and Crafts movement transformed the Mission style. 

A catered reception follows. 

BAHA’s John Beach Memorial Lecture Fund is sponsoring the event, and the suggested donation at the door is $15. Checks should be made out to the SBCC Capital Restoration Fund, and potential donors who don’t attend Wednesday can send checks to the church, 1802 Fairview St., Berkeley 94703.a