Ted Wells: Living Simple
Frank Lloyd Wright home at auction

Berkeley's Panoramic Hill Gets Federal Status

Berkeley's Panoramic Hill neighborhood is now a designated Federal Historic District. This neighborhood, full of homes - large and tiny - overlooking the UC Berkeley campus, looks down (as the Berkeley Daily Planet notes in their article on the subject) on Berkeley's first entry on the National Registry of Historic Places, a tiny laboratory in room 307 of Gilman Hall where Wahl, Seaborg and Kennedy discovered plutonium.

The neighborhood boasts numerous well-maintained Craftsman homes, including a number of famous "Berkeley Brown Shingles." Local residents, under the aegis of the Panoramic Hill Association, applied to join the Register after they learned of the University's plan to add extremely bright night-time lighting to its stadium, which would have drowned out much of their expansive night-time view of the Golden Gate and San Francisco. UC Berkeley's plan must now be reconsidered in light (no pun intended) of its impact on nearby areas, specifically the new Historic District.

Homes in the neighborhood include structures by such architects as Bernard Maybeck, Ernest Coxhead, Julia Morgan, John Hudson Thomas and William Wurster. BAHA - the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association - held a house tour on Panoramic Hill last year, which took advantage of the hilly neighborhood's many hidden walking paths. Here are a few pictures and some press coverage from their 2005 tour ; more pictures - including some of a wonderful Walter Steilberg 1930 cottage - taken by Ron Sipherd, are up on his site.

note: We apologize to Daniella Thompson, whose photograph we used without permission.