First Presbyterian Church of West Berkeley
CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARKdesignated in 1981
(Ethiopian Orthodox Church)
Charles Geddes, Architect, 1879
This church and nearby Church of the Good Shepherd are among the oldest remaining wood frame buildings in Berkeley. They were visible symbols of the bustling early community of Ocean View. At a time when the Temperance Movement was active, the congregation agitated for closure of nearby saloons. In 1906, during a period of heated debate over liquor laws, its pastor was hanged in effigy.
In 1914 builder F.W. Farwell added an upstairs gymnasium, offices, and social hall on Eighth Street. The wood frame Victorian Gothic structure, its square, eighty-foot tall steeple, and hammered glass sanctuary windows remain intact.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project