F.D. Chase Building


designated in 2000

F. D. Chase Building

William Wharff, Architect, 1909 Renovated by Jim Novosel, The Bay Architects, 2001
2107–2111 Shattuck Ave.

During Berkeley’s early 20th Century development boom, the F.D. Chase Real Estate Company built this office building across from the Southern Pacific Railway station. Constructed of wood timber framing and brick exterior bearing walls, the building’s exposed rectangular cast iron columns still frame the center storefront openings. The building replaced the S. Taylor Saddlery and Harness Shop on this site and was one of Berkeley’s tallest buildings.

The ground floor originally housed a pool hall and the Opal “moving picture” theatre. In 1915 upstairs offices became the 64-room Newland Hotel. Bay windows were added in the 1920s. The building continued as a hotel under various names until 1977, when the upper floors were remodeled into apartments.

Contributed by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project, 2006

  • Shattuck Ave. (with Chase Bldg in background), postcard, Sarah Wikander collection.

  • Chase Building (Opal Hotel), BAHA Archives.

  • Chase Building (2011), photo R. Kehlmann.

More information:

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society