Tilden Regional Park: Stone Restrooms – Berkeley CA

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Description

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a number of stone comfort stations (restrooms) at picnic areas in Tilden Regional Park in 1940-42.  It is possible that some were also built earlier by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which laid out many of the picnic areas. 

There are many newer wood and stone restrooms built by Tilden Park staff, but the older stonework – especially of Italian stone masons working for the WPA – is usually distinct from later stonework by the Park District. 

The restrooms found at these areas are probably original WPA or CCC work: Padre, Willows, Laurel, Jewel Lake, Big Leaf, Meadows, Fern and Acacia.  So are the ones at the present Merry-Go-Round area and across from the Botanical Gardens.  

 

 

 

Source notes

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 Unpublished manuscript, available at East Bay Regional Parks District archives.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.  http://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 Richard Walker on August 7, 2020.

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Location Info


Tilden Park
Berkeley, CA 94708

Location notes: pin drop at Fern Picnic Area

Coordinates: 37.9025, -122.258

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