AKA: University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Student Center, Chavez, Cesar E., Student Center, Berkeley, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: De Mars and Hardison, Associated Architects (firm); Halprin, Lawrence and Associates, Landscape Architects (firm); Vernon Armand DeMars (architect); Lawrence Halprin (landscape architect); Donald Leigh Hardison (architect)

Dates: constructed 1960

2 stories

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University of California, Berkeley, Campus, Berkeley, CA 94720

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POINT (-122.272507 37.866989)


The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Student Center, built between 1960 and 1964, contained four component buildings: the Student Center (completed in 1960), Union Building (1961), Office Building (1963) and the Auditorium and Theatre (1964). The architectural tandem of Vernon DeMars and Donald Hardison won the prestigious commission for the student center complex.

Building Notes

Originally, the Commons Building had two floors above ground and one below. In the basement, the architects allocated large rooms for the UCB Glee Club and Band on the west end, various storage rooms and offices in the center, and spaces for the Cap and Gown Club and the ASUC Bowling Alley on the east. A barber shop was located just to the south of the bowling alley.

On the first floor, a cafeteria occupied most of the space on the northwest, with the Big "C" Room on the north side to the east. To the east of the dining spaces, were arrayed rooms for an arts activity center, game room, and men's and women's rest rooms, each with its own adjoining "quiet room."

The second floor contained "The Terrace" on the south and the Golden Bear Restaurant on the northeast corner. (See Richard P. Dober, Campus Planning, [New York: Reinhold Publishing Company, 1963], p. 103.)


According to a University of California, Berkeley (UCB) web site, the former Student Commons Building "...was once mainly a dining commons and lounge, but in 1990 it was renovated to house various student services." (See University of California, Berkeley (UCB).edu, "Cesar E. Chavez Student Center," accessed 12/05/2019.)

PCAD id: 23220