Claremont Public Improvements


Claremont Avenue & The Uplands map it


designated in 1984

Claremont Public Improvements

John Galen Howard, Architect, 1905

Claremont, a 1905 subdivision, was originally part of the 125-acre Edson Adams ranch. Early advertisements for the tract enticed families to leave the noisy, crowded city behind and head for “sunshine and the hills.” University of California architect John Galen Howard designed the entrance gates and pillars, which are built of native stone quarried in North Berkeley. The plan of the district was inspired by Amercian landscape planner Frederick Law Olmstead’s ideas for urban design of undeveloped land. His philosophy of incorporating the landscape’s natural features is reflected in the layout of the streets, retaining walls, tree plantings, and other public amenities. Homes were planned around a creek’s meandering path through the tract. Most of the houses of this “residence park” were built between 1905 and 1930.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

  • John Galen Howard (1886), photo, Geo. H. Hastings, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley.

  • Claremont promotional brochure, Mason-McDuffie Co. (1905), Anthony Bruce collection.

  • John Galen Howard sketch for Claremont, UC Berkeley Environmental Design Archives.

  • John Galen Howard South Gates pencil sketch, UC Berkeley Environmental Design Archives.

  • John Galen Howard's “grand stairway” from The Uplands to Hillcrest Court (demolished 1958), Architect and Engineer

  • Claremont Ave and the Uplands (2014), photo R. Kehlmann

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