At a November 16 Open House, learn and give feedback on a unified design concept involving three historic spaces in Berkeley’s Civic Center: the Veterans Memorial and Maudelle Shirek buildings, as well as MLK Jr. Civic Center Park.
Learn more and give guidance at an open house about plans to revitalize two key downtown buildings and the adjacent Civic Center Park in an effort to make the area the prime space for Berkeley’s civic life, culture, and the arts.
The November 16 presentation will focus on proposed uses and improvements to the park, the Veterans Memorial Building, and the Maudelle Shirek Building, which some also refer to as “Old City Hall.”
We’re looking to refine the design ideas. A new building attached to the Shirek building would facilitate uses aligned with civic life, including new City Council chambers. Veterans Memorial would become a center for the arts. Park features could include a performance space as well as new play areas.
Civic Center Open House
Wednesday, November 16, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Central Library, Mystery Reading Room, 2nd Floor
2090 Kittredge St.
Please walk, take transit, bike or scooter – including via shared bike and scooter services. Downtown Berkeley BART and several AC Transit lines are nearby. Drivers can use the Center Street Garage or other local garages.
Shaping the heart of Berkeley’s community
Getting to this stage has been a highly collaborative process.
City staff coordinated tours of the relevant buildings, and dozens of volunteers surveyed community members about how the spaces are used. We ran workshops at Berkeley High. We held community meetings. Several hundred voted online regarding proposed designs.
This work also yielded developing a collective vision for the area:
Civic Center will be the heart of Berkeley’s community. Civic Center will be the prime space for civic life, culture, and the arts. It will reflect the city’s diverse identities, celebrate its history, and contribute to shaping its future. A place of shared resources and a platform for free expression accessible to all, Civic Center aims to manifest the city’s values, advance social justice, and demonstrate the power of true public space.
Next steps will include convening key commissions in the coming months as well as a City Council work session next spring. The goal is to use this input to select a preferred design concept and funding plan by the summer of 2023.
In future phases, this project will develop detailed architectural drawings, prepare permit applications, and solicit bids for construction contracts, with construction slated to begin in 2026.
Keep up with project updates by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Please add me to Civic Center Vision Plan Project mailing list.”
Come to our open house, learn the vision, and let us know how you think Civic Center should be used and improved.