Berkeley Community Theater, north side with Howard bas-relief - Berkeley CA
The Berkeley Community Theater, part of Berkeley High School, was started with funds provided by the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1941. The foundation was laid and the street framework erected when World War II interrupted further work in 1942. It stood like that until it could be finished and dedicated in 1950.
The Community Theater is a Moderne/Art Deco-style building constructed of reinforced concrete and finished in stucco. The design has striking curves and masses, and it is decorated with cast stone bas-reliefs by prominent local artists (see linked pages).
The building has three parts: the 3,500 seat Berkeley Community Theater, the Florence Schwimley Little Theater and space for the music department. The entrance to the community theater faces inward toward the high school courtyard and the rounded back of the building faces the city’s Civic Center park. The Schwimley Little Theater is the lower and square west side addition, also giving onto Allston Way.
Cerny, Susan Dinkelspiel. Berkeley Landmarks. Berkeley Architectual Association, 2001.
Harvey Smith, Berkeley and the New Deal. Charleston SC: Arcadia Books. pp. 41-44.
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on February 15, 2008.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE