CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARKdesignated in 1997
Sanford G. Jackson, Architect, 1927
Berkeley’s large immigrant population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries included many natives of Sweden. The local chapter of the Swedish-American Vasa Order constructed this building as a lodge hall and cultural center. On November 8, 1927, Prince William of Sweden laid the cornerstone, proclaiming, “Through the magic of the melting pot you are becoming Americans and I can only admonish you to be good Swedes but even better Americans.” Framåt, the name of both the Berkeley chapter and lodge building, means “forward looking” in Swedish. The Depression devastated the construction industry in which many local Swedish-Americans worked and by 1932 the Vasa Order had lost the building.
The building’s facade has polychrome pressed brick detailing and terra cotta trim. It is a good example of the Classical Revival style commonly used for commercial and institutional architecture during the early decades of the 20th century.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project