Press Releases

Celebrate! “TAKE THE PLUNGE”

By Mary Breunig
Monday August 23, 2010 - 09:34:00 PM
Janet Hartzell, left; Janice Graff, right; February 1932, BCC RECORD
Janet Hartzell, left; Janice Graff, right; February 1932, BCC RECORD

Built 80 years ago, the Berkeley City Club and the Landmark Heritage Foundation invite you to help celebrate this extraordinary building and its creation story. Sunday, September 19, from 2-5 p.m., you are invited to don an historic bathing suit (last year’s model will do too!) then “Take the Plunge” in the beautiful, Julia Morgan designed warm water pool. After your swim, take a refreshing shower (towel included), and then move on to Fish ‘n’ Chips and more. This is your opportunity to soak up the pool’s current beauty while supporting its future restoration. All proceeds support the Landmark Heritage Foundation’s pool restoration fund. Adult swim $50, children 5 to 13 years (no toddlers) $15 when accompanied by a paying adult. Space is limited, so please make reservations by September 1. Call the LHF office, 510-883-9710, or email 

In 1927, over a dozen women’s clubs in Berkeley decided to build one clubhouse to accommodate a variety of civic, philanthropic, athletic, and social activities that early 20th century women sought. In 1928, Julia Morgan was hired, property on Durant Avenue was secured, and the financing of the project began. July 1929, ground was broken with a public ceremony recorded in local papers. November 1930, 4500 women members opened the exquisite clubhouse. 

After the speeches Birgeneau was surrounded by students. He greeted, in this case, a new student he had previously met while visiting China. Today, this extraordinary building – local and state landmark – is home to the Central Works Theatre, the Berkeley Chamber Performances, the Berkeley Breakfast Club, the City Commons Club, the Outlook Club, and the Berkeley City Club. An array of Berkeley civic organizations uses the building regularly: Zonta, Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Chamber of Commerce.  

Two years ago with the help of the National Trust, the Berkeley City Club Historic Hotel has been established offering over 30 individually decorated rooms for visitors to Berkeley. Accommodations include a hearty breakfast, swimming pool access, and wireless connection. You are invited to view the hotel rooms when you take one of the docent led tours offered the fourth Sunday of the month from 1-4 p.m. Hotel reservations available at 

Upcoming events to commemorate the 80th anniversary include a talk by Victoria Kastner, author of Hearst’s San Simeon – The Gardens and the Land, Wednesday, October 20, 7: 30 p.m. Slides and book signing follow. Tickets are $10 at the door. 

Berkeley Broadway Singers will perform at the Berkeley City Club on Saturday, November 27, 7:30 p.m. This famed local community chorus has offered to do a performance as a fundraiser for the Landmark Heritage Foundation. A special themed dinner available by reservation before the performance is planned. Details available on the LHF website. 

And, in January 2011, “Bowties and Boas – Casino at the Castle”, a very special dinner dance and fundraising affair to benefit the preservation of the landmark. We’ll be celebrating Julia Morgan’s 139th birthday as well. Watch for details at and the LHF website or call 510 883-9710.