LPC to Vote on BHS Historic District Nomination

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday October 30, 2007

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will vote on whether to nominate the Berkeley High School (BHS) Campus Historic District, at 1980 Allston Way, to the National Register of Historic places Thursday. 

Some Berkeley High buildings were designated as local landmarks in Dec. 1992. According to the City of Berkeley Landmark Application for Berkeley High School, the landmark designation protects the shop and science buildings along MLK Jr. Way, the Schwimley Little Theatre and the Berkeley High School Community Theatre. 

Six years later the buildings were included in the National Register of Historic Places, along with the other buildings that surround Civic Center Park. 

The other two important structures on the campus, Building C and the Old Gym, were placed on the landmarks commission’s list of potential historic buildings almost ten years ago. 

The Old Gym was recently landmarked locally, making all buildings on the BHS campus local or potential local landmarks. Nevertheless, the Berkeley Unified School District is going ahead with its plans to demolish the Old Gym and its warm water pool to build classrooms and sports facilities. 

Staff first received the nomination of the high school campus historic district on Sept. 23, followed by a revised nomination on Oct. 16. 

Since the City of Berkeley is a Certified Local Government, the city’s landmarks commission has been asked to prepare a report on whether the property meets the criteria for the National Register or not. 

Staff recommends against the nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. According to them, the property fails to meet the criteria for the National Register based on the information in the application. 


1050 Parker St. 

The commission will vote on whether to designate a building at 1050 Parker St. as a local landmark. 

A group of Berkeley residents was perplexed in August, when the building’s windows were dismantled prior to a demolition use permit having been issued by the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB). 

Demolition permits for any building over 40 years old in a commercial zone must first be reviewed by the landmarks commission to determine whether it has any historic significance. 

Neighborhood business owners and residents expressed concern when the tall metal-sash, multi-light windows went missing from the unoccupied one-story World War II-era building in July. 

The property, formerly owned by Pastor Gordon W. Choyce Sr., was recently purchased by San Rafael-based Wareham Developers. 

Landmarks commissioner Carrie Olson told the Planet that the multi-light windows had been the character-defining features of the building. 

Darrell de Tienne, who is representing Wareham, told the Planet in August that the windows were removed as part of an asbestos abatement process.