Berkeley Public Library, North Branch
CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARKdesignated in 2001
James W. Plachek, Architect, 1936
North Branch Library is one of Berkeley’s many civic buildings by James Plachek, including the Central Library (1930), the Claremont Branch Library (1924), and John Muir School (1919). Well sited in a triangular park, the building offers a harmonious gateway to the surrounding Northbrae neighborhood. It was designed in the Spanish Revival style with a low-pitched red tile roof, central tower, and deeply inset arched windows. The project was funded by the Federal Works Progress Administration and the city. When it opened, civic leaders proclaimed this “one of the most beautiful public buildings in the City of Berkeley.”
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project
Mayor Ament breaking ground for the North Berkeley Branch library (July 21, 1936), Berkeley Public Library.
North Branch Library (1936), James W. Plachek Collection, BAHA Archives.
North Branch Lobby (1936), Berkeley Public Library.
North Branch Library, interior (ca.1936), James W. Plachek Collection, BAHA Archives.
Berkeley Public Library, North Branch Boys and Girls Room (c.1940), Berkeley Public Library.
North Branch Library, interior(ca.2010), photo R. Kehlmann.
North Branch Library entry (2010), photo, R. Kehlmann
North Branch Library, detail (2010), photo, R. Kehlmann.