Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) meets Monday night to finish up work they weren’t able to finish by the mandatory midnight closing time last week.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1920 Hearst Ave. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
One item not on the agenda is the LPC’s most controversial piece of unfinished business—a decision on whether or not to landmark the old Berkeley High School Gymnasium at 1920 Allston Way.
Created by two of Berkeley’s most notable architects—Walter Ratcliff Jr. and William Hays—the gym embodies architectural elegance, said Wendy Markle, president of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association during last week’s meeting.
The structure also houses the only warm-water therapy pool in the East Bay, which is frequently used by disabled people to practice motions and exercises that would otherwise be impossible.
The Berkeley Unified School District hopes to demolish the building and use the site for new classrooms and athletic facilities, said Nicolie Bolster, who is a member of the school’s stakeholder and staff facilities committee and the parent of a 10th grader who attends the school.
Bolster said the high cost of making needed repairs made demolition a more reasonable alternative, but preservationist and retired planner John English pleaded, “Please help save this important building.”
Bolster was the only one of eight speakers to call for demolition. No one from the school district was present for the public comment on the proposal, though school board member John Selawsky had been present earlier.
While LPC members had originally hoped to be able to reach a decision on the gym at the upcoming meeting, city ordinances require a 10-day advance notice, so their verdict will come instead at the regularly scheduled May 3 meeting.
On the agenda for Monday night are:
• Reviews of a building permit application for 2747 San Pablo, a former used car lot now being considered as the site for an environmentally friendly mixed-use condominium complex; the commission may also set a May hearing on an application to landmark a building on the site.
• A look at plans for a remodeled facade for the building at 2369 Telegraph Ave., a structure on the state Historic Resources Inventory. The building had housed a grocery store, the Berkeley Market.
• A decision on who will be the commission’s representative on the joint subcommittee working out the role of historic buildings in the new plan being drafted by the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee.
• A look at plans to demolish a two-story gas station at 3001 Telegraph Ave.