Berkeley Landmark Awarded $118,000

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday November 21, 2006

Berkeley’s first and most nationally honored landmark, the First Church of Christ Scientist, is $118,000 richer this week, thanks to Internet voters. 

As the first place winner in the American Express Partners in Preservation initiative, the church will receive the funds to pay for seismic repairs and restoration of the church’s Sunday School facilities, said Jennifer Bennett, publicist for the event. 

Designed by the legendary Bernard Maybeck, the church is both a city and a national landmark, an embodiment of the Arts and Crafts Movement that celebrated craft and woodwork. 

While the winners were determined by a widely publicized vote over the World Wide Web, which allowed proponents to cast one vote a day, the sums awarded the winners were determined by a panel that included San Francisco business, political and non-profit luminaries and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Coming in second in the voting was the Angel Island Immigration Station, which will receive $84,000 to repair a mess hall and roof. 

The third place winner and second place funding finisher was the carousel at Tilden Park, which is receiving $97,000 of the total of $1 million pledged by the charge card company. 

Other East Bay winners include $75,000 each to the Richmond Plunge, which is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, and the Fox Oakland Theater. The Cleveland Cascade Park in Oakland will receive $50,000. The Berkeley City Club receives a $5,000 Recognition Award.