Plaque

Delaware Street Historic District

WEST & CENTRAL

800 block Delaware Street, 1801 Fifth Street map it

CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARK

designated in 1979

DELAWARE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT

(Rehabilitated and Partially Reconstructed in 1986.
William Coburn, Historic Architectural Consultant)
Period of Significance, 1854–1910

In the 1850s, Gold Rush-era farmers and merchants began settling in this rural bayside area. Delaware Street connected Jacob’s Landing, a freight wharf constructed on the waterfront in 1853, with Bowen’s Inn (1854), which stood on the old stagecoach road that is now San Pablo Avenue. At that time, the bay shoreline was approximately where 2nd Street and the eastern side of Aquatic Park are located today. This area, called Ocean View, was the first settlement of what was to become Berkeley.

In the late 1960s the City of Berkeley created a redevelopment project in West Berkeley that would have replaced residential neighborhoods with large-scale manufacturing. Local residents and historians fought to save the Victorian buildings on the 800 block of Delaware Street as well as at other sites in the area. Some of the buildings in the District have been reconstructed to meet new code standards and to accommodate contemporary uses; others were moved onto this block from elsewhere in the area. Many surviving buildings in the larger Victorian-era Ocean View neighborhood remain on nearby streets.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project
1998


  • Delaware Street Historic District (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • Delaware Street, historic reconstruction (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

More information:
BAHA

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