Elegant details

Even for those of us who enjoy the beauty of the Club daily, it is always nice to come across simple reminders of beauty around the venue.

Before you step inside, the elegant touches are ever-present in the flowers carved into the concrete.  Such beauty and talent!

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On the first floor & second floors, this animal greets us with a grand stance.

Our architect, Julia Morgan, went to Cal, so word is that this is a bear, paying homage to her Alma Mater, UC Berkeley, just a short walk away.

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In the Drawing Room, the elegant mastery continues with an animal and an beautiful flower.

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 Had you ever noticed these before?

Do you have any favorite details around the Club?

Share with us in the comments below.

Decades of memories

With a building almost 85 years in existence, a lot of history has been made.

The building itself is an architectural masterpiece constructed in just 11 months.

Side exterior of BCC - Neat, old pictureThe West Courtyard then and now.  The stunning flagstone has remained a constant in our landscaping repertoire.  It is certainly a favorite of many.

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The pool has always been a favorite spot for visitors to the building.  When it was dedicated in 1930, hundreds of Berkeley women attended.

Today, only Club members and hotel guests may swim in its waters.  It is a sought-after indoor pool of many due to its beauty and historic nature.

A diving board used to adorn the deep end, but today its presence is no longer.002

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Our beautiful lobby and staircase to the Second Floor.  A handrail was added to assist in climbing the stairs with ease.

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Did you know that our current fine dining restaurant, Julia’s, used to be a private dining room exclusively for Club Members?

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At one time in our history, the beautiful floors were covered in carpet.  Before our 2012 unveiling as Julia’s restaurant, we pulled up the carpet to reveal the (stunning) original floors.  Beautifully preserved, they stand out in all of their glory and are enjoyed by all.

If you want to see and learn more about our beautiful building, join us this Sunday (and most 4th Sundays of each month) with a complimentary docent tour.

Tours run from 1pm – 3:30pm and last approximately 30 minutes.

If you have questions about the tours, contact the Berkeley City Club Conservancy.

bccconservancy@att.net or via phone at 510.883.9710.

Complimentary tours

For the architecture lover in many of us, we are pleased to share of the Berkeley City Club Conservancy’s lovely tours that happen every 4th Sunday (except December)

The magic begins beyond our front doors…

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And through our stunning lobby.

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Hard to beat the beauty of those arches and details…

The First and Second floors are filled with little things to learn and great tidbits of the building.

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Join us from 1pm – 3:30pm on the following Sundays throughout 2015.

 Tours last approximately 30 – 40 minutes and are taken around in small groups.

February 22, March 22, April 26, May 24, June 28

July 26, August 23, September 27, October 25 and November 22.

We invite you to experience the opportunity of learning more about our historic landmark.

For more information, contact 510.883.9710 or bccconservancy@att.net

Julia Morgan Hall

A true landmark of a building, owned by UC Berkeley and constructed by our famed architect, Julia Morgan, in 1911, is certainly a treasure not to be missed.

One-year ago today, on January 13, 2014, the building constructed of redwood was (very carefully) moved over a period of two weekends in four, (very large) pieces.

Here is the story of this amazing piece of history.

Fast forward back to 1911…

At that time in history, women were not allowed access to the Senior Men’s Hall or most of the other men’s buildings on campus. Many determined young women staged programs and wrote letters to solicit funds to secure the space.

In comes Julia Morgan, who graduated from Cal in 1894 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

The Associated Women Students at Cal asked Morgan to design a building for their activities.

It became known as Senior Women’s Hall.

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On to 1946…

The building was moved about 160 feet west, to make room for the Gayley Road extension of Piedmont Avenue.

A rounded fireplace and bigger patio were added, all in keeping with Morgan’s original design.

Its name became Girton Hall in 1969.

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In 1970, Girton Hall became a child-care facility.

In 2014, a project a year in the making, and over a period of two weekends came to fruition.

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To get the building down a narrow driveway to its resting place in the UC Botanical Garden, it was cut into four pieces, with the largest weighing in at 14,000 pounds. Each piece required a separate move and road closure of Centennial Drive.

Today, the building will serve as a venue for weddings, events and gatherings.

The UC Botanical Garden has established a fund to aid in the care of the building.

As of January 2014, about $700,000 towards a goal of $1 million has been raised.

Curious to view this piece of history?  I am too!

I think a short little mid-day jaunt is in order.  Tour info, please.

Pools by Julia Morgan

The talented architect of our beautiful venue was quite the woman of her day and her buildings live on in present day for us all to cherish.

Julia Morgan became a master builder of innovative, elegant pools that were expressions of women’s expanding freedom. The pools and recreational areas that Morgan built became the most important aspects of the spaces she created.

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Our beautiful Julia Morgan pool

Julia Morgan was an expert pool builder. Perhaps her most famous and opulent pools were built at William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon with both the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool.

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Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle

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Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

Morgan designed fifteen YWCA buildings and she became known for her expertise at pool building. The YWCA promoted women’s fitness and health and they included gymnasiums and swimming pools in most of their buildings.

Sadly, many of Julia Morgan’s pools have been demolished or filled in over the years.

Riverside’s YWCA is now an art museum and the pool has been filled in. The San Jose and Long Beach YWCA’s and pools have been demolished. The pool at the YWCA Morgan House in San Pedro was filled in. The Pasadena YWCA, after decades of abandonment, was recently purchased by the City and it will be converted into a luxury hotel.

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What will become of this pool at the Pasadena YWCA? Will it become part of the luxury hotel, be filled in or sadly, demolished?

The Berkeley City Club is so fortunate to have a beautiful, intact, Julia Morgan swimming pool.

A tranquil oasis

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In December 1930, the Berkeley Women’s City Club pool was dedicated in a formal ceremony.  Hundreds of Berkeley women attended the ceremony.  Decades later, the pool remains one of the favorite attractions of the building and provides a beautiful escape for all ages.

Come and relish in the tranquil surroundings of the Berkeley City Club pool.  Open daily for Club Members from 5am-10pm and closed on Wednesday evenings from 7pm-10pm for cleaning.  It is the perfect place to squeeze in a quiet, low-impact workout.

We also offer Aquatics Exercise on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 5pm.  Instructor Celia Ihne leads the class which is great for your arms, legs and core.  Classes are FREE for Members and $12 for non-Members.

Bridge Makes BCC History

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Did you know that Bridge is the oldest active club in Berkeley City Club history?  One of our longest standing members, still an avid Bridge Player at the Club today, tells the story of how she and her husband of 44 years came to be. She made her terms very clear from the beginning, NO BRIDGE?! NO MARRIAGE. It’s that simple. Needless to say, this happy couple still come every Monday to the Club to play and they are two very fierce competitors.

Come join the fun every Monday at 1pm!  You can meet new friends and learn some tips and tricks to improve your game.