Wells Fargo Bank
CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARKdesignated in 1984
Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Architect, 1925–1927
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
For nearly a half century, this steel frame and concrete structure, clad in brick and terra cotta, was Berkeley’s only “skyscraper.” Walter Ratcliff, highly respected for his fine residences and public buildings throughout Berkeley, designed this Classical Revival commercial tower at the peak of his career. Six ground floor arches were added soon after construction to replace original storefronts. The west wing was designed to accommodate additional stories at a later time, a plan derailed by the Depression.
In 1930, the contested Stanford Axe, on its return to the bank’s vault for safekeeping, was stolen outside the Center Street doors by Stanford students disguised as news reporters and Cal students.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project