Morse Block


2276 Shattuck Avenue map it


designated in 1979


Dickey and Reed, Architects, 1906

Charles Dickey, whose firm designed the Claremont Hotel and who practiced architecture extensively in California and Hawaii, designed this building with two residential floors above commercial storefronts. From 1921 to 1935 the ground floor was occupied by Donogh Drygoods, one of Berkeley’s leading downtown retailers and a competitor of Hink’s department store one block to the north. The store was a “daylight store,” lighted by windows, skylights, and french doors that opened onto a rear garden. Mrs. Donogh, one of the first woman graduates of M.I.T., introduced a popular “Basement Grocerteria” — the first of its kind in the state.

The appearance of the ground floor has been changed many times, but the buff brick and classically detailed facade of the upper floors are original.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

  • Morse Block (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • Morse Block southern facade (2011), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • Morse Block Donogh's Advertisement, from Berkeley Courier, BAHA Archives.

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