The Downtown Berkeley BART stop was about to be closed for renovation when I last visited Berkeley. Have those changes been brought to fruition? Does that mean the end of the weathered bright entrances and weirdly sharp stairs? I know a quick search could answer these questions, but for just a moment I’m embracing the mystery.
I never thought much of Berkeley’s Cedar Street during my time in graduate school, but returning for sabbatical brought me a very different connection with it. Cedar functioned as the main connection from my apartment on Spruce to Shattuck’s Gourmet Ghetto, and so I traveled it for every purpose from getting coffee and groceries to an extravagant dinner at Chez Panisse.
The first “real” snowfalls of the winter have arrived in the North Country, and I can’t think of a better time to look back on the never-snow geometries of Berkeley. The architectural possibilities expand when structures will never have to bear the load of a late-winter storm and stairs will never have to be scraped free of ice and snow. I think the design is particularly well-expressed in the boxes-on-boxes-on-boxes design of this building. The best detail, to me, is the sunlight passing in one side and out the other of the corner window on the first floor.
Telegraph connects Oakland and Berkeley (and is a pretty good Michael Chabon book, too.)