June 30, 2024 | Support the Northbrae Lantern Project!

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Friends and neighbors:

Over its 30-plus years of existence, with your support, Friends of the Fountain and Walk has worked diligently to preserve and restore landmark elements of the Northbrae neighborhood, including the Fountain at The Circle, Fountain Walk and the balustrade that borders the historic area, all designed by esteemed architect John Galen Howard more than a century ago.

Now we are proud to announce we are partnering with a new grassroots effort to restore another historic element of Howard’s design for Northbrae: the lanterns atop the stone pillars that have long marked the entrance to the neighborhood at Hopkins Street and The Alameda.

Darrell Owens, a North Berkeley researcher and neighborhood historian, conceived of the project and is forming a group called Northbrae Improvement. Its ultimate aim is to repair some of the public art that has been lost to time and development throughout the area. It is starting with the two surviving Northbrae entrance pillars.

Originally, the intersection had four of these pillars, one on each corner, each topped with a large lantern and concrete seats below. North Berkeley residents could sit and wait for the streetcar lines that connected there. According to Darrell’s research, the pillars on the east side of the intersection were removed in the 1920s. By the late 1940s, streetcar service had ended, and sometime in the 1950s, the lanterns atop the two surviving pillars were removed.

Friends of the Fountain and Walk supports this effort and hopes you will too. There is a fundraising goal of $15,000, which will pay for the fabrication and installation of historically accurate, solar-powered replicas of the lanterns and some cleaning and restoration of the pillars themselves. You can donate directly to the project at Northbrae Improvement’s GoFundMe page, or make a secure online donation to the project through Friends of the Fountain and Walk. (Please note “Northbrae Lanterns” in the comments section of the FOFW donation form.)

We hope you will join us in helping light up the entrance to Northbrae once again.

— Board of Directors, Friends of the Fountain and Walk

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