AKA: UC Berkeley, Hearst Mining Building, Berkeley, CA

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

Designers: Goodman, Michael Architect (firm); Howard, John Galen, Architect (firm); Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson, (NBBJ) (firm); Page and Turnbull, Incorporated (firm); Rutherford and Chekene, Engineers (firm); William James Bain Jr. (architect); Clifton J. Brady (architect); Chekene (civil engineer); Michael Arthur Goodman Sr. (architect); John Galen Howard (architect); Perry Bertil Johanson (architect); Frederic Knapp (architect); Julia H. Morgan (architect); Floyd Archibald Naramore (architect); George W. Page (architect); Rutherford (civil engineer); William Turnbull Jr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1903-1907

3 stories, total floor area: 61,350 sq. ft.

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Oxford Street
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Campus, Berkeley, CA 94720

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University of California, Berkeley's greatest philanthropist, Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919) donated a large sum of money to build a memorial to her husband, Senator George Hearst (1820-1891), member of the California Legislature (1865–66) and a U. S. Senator (1866–91), who struck it rich with his one-sixth ownership share of the Ophir Mine, one of the first and most productive silver mines excavated during the Comstock Lode. William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), the son of George and Phoebe would extend the family fortune into newspapers and publishing. This new building replaced the previous Mining and Mechanic Arts Building, a Second Empire design completed in 1879.

Building History

The Hearst Memorial Mining Building is one of the most distinguished Beaux-Arts university buildings in the U.S. Its foyer is one of the great spaces at Berkeley, the vaulted ceiling strongly influenced by French architect Henri Labrouste (1801-1875) and his libraries in Paris. The architect, Julia Morgan (1872-1957), fresh from time spent at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, worked in Howard's office at this time, and assisted in the design of the Hearst Mining Building. (See Sara Holmes Boutelle, "Julia Morgan," in Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective, [New York, NY: 1977], p.80.) This was architect John Galen Howard's second building on the University of California, Berkeley, Campus, and one of his most important. As noted by architectural historian Sally Woodbridge, the Hearst Memorial Mining Building was designed for the world's largest mining college, composed of 247 students, fully 20% of the student body in 1903. In preparation for the design of the mining building, Howard traveled throughout Europe: England, Germany, Switzerland and France, studying academic mining buildings. The building was a test of his skill, and he labored over its design. Phoebe Apperson Hearst bankrolled the building's huge cost, $1,065,000; because it was privately funded rather than publicly, Howard had more latitude in satisfying only one client rather than an entire state legislature. The building was viewed by contemporaries as a very free essay in Mediterranean-influenced design when it opened on 08/23/1907. In subsequent years, when historicist accuracy had become less important, the mining building began to be viewed as a bold and imaginative synthesis. (See Sally B. Woodbridge, John Galen Howard and the University of California, [Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002], p. 78)


Berkeley architect, Michael A. Goodman (1903-1991), who was also on the faculty of the UCB Department of Architecture, oversaw a renovation of the Hearst Memorial Mining Building in 1948; a large-scale seismic upgrade and expansion occurred 1998-2003, supervised by the Seattle architectural firm, NBBJ; Frederick Knapp of Page and Turnbull also was involved in the renovation, c. 2001-2002; seismic engineering by Rutherford and Chekene; see Northern California Chapter of Society of Architectural Historians See:Not found 11/16/2007 The Hearst Memorial Mining Building seismic retrofit and expansion won a California Preservation Foundation Award in 2003.

National Register of Historic Places: 82004646 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

Berkeley Historical Landmark: 152

California Historical Landmark: 946

PCAD id: 749