Mercantile Trust Company/Wells Fargo Bank


designated in 1982

Mercantile Trust Company/Wells Fargo Bank

Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Architect, 1925
2959 College Ave.

This fine example of Mission Revival design was built in the 1920s as commercial development began to shift from downtown centers into the neighborhoods along streetcar routes. In its simplicity and integrity of design and proportion, which extends from the gabled roof to the matching arched windows and polished red granite columns with elaborate Corinthian capitals, the building established an architectural cornerstone for the Elmwood District. The spacious skylit interior with its stenciled beam ceiling and balcony conveys a warm, wood-hued expression of classical architecture.

Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr. was founder of an architectural firm that has continued under successive generations into the 21st century.

Contributed by the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project, 2010

  • Entryway, Wells Fargo Elmwood Branch (2011), photo R. Kehlmann.

More information:

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