May 18, 2019 | A Wet But Wonderful Walk

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Friends and neighbors:

About 30 people turned out Saturday, May 18, for a walking tour of the Northbrae neighborhood that includes the Fountain at The Circle and Fountain Walk.

By the time the walk ended about 1 1/2 hours later, the surprising mid-May rain had begun to fall and the number of walkers had dwindled. But the walk, co-hosted by FOFW and the Berkeley Historical Society, was a great outing.

FOFW board members Karen Borst-Rothe, Charles Wilson and Michael Gray put together the research materials and led the tour, which touched on the history of the fountain and walk, the origins and development of Northbrae, examples of significant neighborhood architecture and natural landmarks, and bits of lore — some verifiable, some not — about the neighborhood.

Beginning at The Circle, the tour descended Fountain Walk, traveled along El Dorado and Lassen back to Marin, to The Alameda and Los Angeles. Then back up Los Angeles to The Circle, up Indian Rock to Shattuck, and then along Shattuck to Terrace Walk and back to Fountain Walk. Stops along the way included the oldest and second-oldest homes in Northbrae, BFD Station #4, Northbrae Community Church, Indian Rock Park, and the sites of former Key Route train stations outside the Solano Tunnel and of a second, smaller Northbrae fountain.

Thanks to Berkeley Historical Society and Berkeley Path Wanderers for providing portable loudspeakers. To Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and neighborhood historian Trish Hawthorne for use of information from their 1994 Northbrae architectural tour. And to the motorists of Berkeley, for their patience in allowing our group to cross several busy streets safely.

We hope to offer similar walks in the future. In the meantime, you can go here to learn more about the history of Northbrae, the fountain and walk, and FOFW. And use these links to join, volunteer, or donate to our neighborhood preservation nonprofit.

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