Berkeley
courtesy of Berkeley Historical Society

Berkeley, Alameda County

East Bay Loop area, San Francisco Bay Area region

opened 1905
Public library from 1905-1929
demolished, 1929

grant amount: $40,000
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type C)
architect: John Galen Howard


It is often forgotten that Berkeley had a Carnegie library from 1903 until 1929. Designed by John Galen Howard, founder of the School of Architecture at the University of California and architect of some of the early notable campus buildings, it was located in the garden of the Shattuck Estate at Shattuck and Kittredge streets, on land donated by Mrs. Francis Shattuck whose husband had served as president of Berkeley's first Board of Library Trustees. Berkeley's first public library in 1892 was the effort of three recent University graduates and named for Oliver Wendell Holmes. The WCTU contributed additional books and in 1895 letters from school children convinced the city to provide tax support. A $40,000 Carnegie grant was received in 1903. That library was soon outgrown and requests for further Carnegie funding were denied. Three branches were built before the Carnegie was demolished, the first California Carnegie to meet that fate. Its more famous successor as Berkeley Public Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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