Plaque

Berkeley Public Library, North Branch

NORTH

1170 The Alameda map it

CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARK

designated in 2001

NORTH BRANCH BERKELEY PUBLIC LIBRARY

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
2004


  • 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.

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