Thursday, April 23, 2009

GTU Library - Original Concept

Earlier this week, Mueller and Caulfield Architects of Oakland donated plans and other materials about the construction of the library to Special Collections. The Flora Lamson Hewlett Library was completed in two phases, 1979-1981 and 1985-1987.

The photographs, drawings and clippings of awards are particularly interesting in weighing concept versus how the building is today.

This particular drawing shows the original plan for the library from the seventies. Ridge Street at the intersection with Le Conte and Scenic was to be closed. Somehow the Washingtonia (probably robusta) palms planted by Frank M. Wilson were to remain intact. Wilson purchased most of the land known as Daley’s Scenic Park in the Northgate Area in 1891. Perhaps the power lines would have been buried instead of stretched along the north side, where a transformer blew out Tuesday night killing power to the building. Louis Kahn's idea was to have more of a campus feel than it does with a road running in between the library and nearby seminaries. The concept returned to its current state during neighborhood review and the Berkeley permit process.

The GTU Archives has a number of collections about the construction of the library. Please contact Special Collections at 510/649-2523 for additional information.

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