Berkeley Civic Center Dedication CeremonyNational Archives and Records Administration
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Building was originally constructed for the federal Farm Credit Administration, a New Deal agency. It was built between 1938 and 194o, hence started under the Treasury Department (which handled federal buildings at the time) and the Public Buildings Administration in the reorganized Federal Works Administration.
The six-story Moderne-style building was designed by noted Berkeley architect, James Plachek. The building consists of two towers, with a middle section. There are steps and a concrete archway leading to the main entrance of the building. There were entrances on both sides in anticipation of the creation of a Berkeley Civic Center park.
The building seems to have housed other agencies in the 1930s and 1940s, such as the Federal Land Bank and the California Farm Bureau. More information is needed on this.
The City of Berkeley acquired the building in 1977 for its city hall, which was later renamed the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center. It is a designated Berkeley landmark.
Smith, Harvey. Berkeley and the New Deal. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Books. 2014.
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on April 23, 2010.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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