Brazilian Room at Tilden Park - Berkeley CA
The Brazilian Room in Tilden Park began as the Brazil Pavilion at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939. The interior wood was used to reconstruct a new building in Tilden Park, using the labor of relief workers in the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was completed at the present site in 1940 or 1941.
The Berkeley Historical Society recounts the building’s history: “The Brazilian Room derives its name from its rich hardwood paneling. These walls were once part of the Golden Gate International Exposition’s ‘World’s Fair’ famed Brazilian Pavilion, displayed on Treasure Island in 1939. When the exposition ended, the Brazilian Room was presented to the East Bay Regional Park District by the country of Brazil as a gift of friendship. Because the exterior of the building was perishable, the building was dismantled for transport to Tilden Regional Park. The Works Progress Administration built a new permanent exterior, combining local rock and timber with the beautiful walls, floors and fixtures from Brazil.”
This work was part of a major New Deal effort to aid the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) in improving its four original parks and making them available for public recreation.
The Brazilian Room is a very popular venue for weddings and receptions. It has stone terraces and a large lawn area in front that makes it especially attractive for events.
Berkeley Historical Society Newsletter, 20:3, Fall 2001.
Elbert Vail, The Early Story of the East Bay Regional Parks. Unpublished manuscript, available at East Bay Regional Parks District archives.
Elbert Vail, Progress Report, c 1940, available at East Bay Regional Parks District archives
Elbert Vail, 1940 Master Plan. Oakland CA: East Bay Regional Parks District, 1940, available at East Bay Regional Parks District archives
Amanda Sue Marshall, "WPA and CCC worksites in East Bay Regional Parks," research report for Living New Deal, January 2, 2012.
Mimi Stein, A Vision Achieved:Fifty Years of the East Bay Regional Parks District. Oakland CA: East Bay Regional Parks District, 1984. @ https://www.ebparks.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=25719
Brechin, Gray. 2008. "Forgotten Foundation". Bay Nature Magazine. January 1. https://baynature.org/articles/jan-mar-2008/forgotten-foundation
Smith, Harvey. 2014. Berkeley and the New Deal. Charleston SC: Arcadia Books.
Amanda Sue Marshall, The East Bay Hills: A Brief History. Charleston SC: The History Press, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on May 26, 2012.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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