In mid-November, a toilet waterline hookup on the second floor of Channing Hall began to leak, but with the buildings now unoccupied it went unnoticed for days, if not weeks. The resulting water flow damaged virtually every room in the building’s first, ground and basement floors. The restoration company called into to mitigate the damage reported that it would take weeks to clean up the extensive water and mold damage, which required the removal of several walls and ceilings. We are hopeful that the historic features of Channing Hall can be saved. The 130-year old landmarked building
BERKELEY, CA—September 30, 2022
As we reported in the spring, the school suffered a significant fire in the Gables building, and we continue to work with the University to address the impact, urging that they take steps to further secure the school. We are also engaged in dialogue about the new Student Services Master Plan that is developing this academic year that will include consideration of the Anna Head School.
Following the encouraging endorsement in March from all Berkeley City Council members to save Anna Head School, it was a sad day on May 2 when there was a fire at the school. As we reported at the time, a fire broke out at the base of Gables, spread to the walls, and burned through the roof.
As news of the fire at the Anna Head School fire spread, I received emails and calls from individuals throughout the community and across the country. Here is a sample of their voices and their grave concern for the future of this historic landmark.
Paul Chapman, Chair, Save Anna Head School Steering Committee
The photo of the burned school is extraordinarily sad, and heartbreaking to see.
On Monday, May 2 there was a devastating fire at the Anna Head School that we have been working hard to save for several years. Just before noon, a fire broke out at the base of one of the school buildings known as the Gables, quickly spread to the walls and burned through the roof, according to fire personnel at the scene. The Berkeley Fire Department responded with 8 fire trucks, 4 ambulances and many personnel, rescuing four people trapped on the second floor, battling the blaze, and eventually extinguishing the fire fully several hours later. Alerted to the fire, I rushed to the scen
In January, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín expressed his belief that the historic Anna Head School, now part of UC Berkeley, is worthy of being saved. Commenting on the campaign to save the school, he noted: “I strongly support their work. We need to preserve Anna Head.” The Mayor’s backing has bolstered the efforts of those working with UC Berkeley who seek to make it a priority to save the school, which is landmarked by both the City of Berkeley and the National Register of Historic Places.
Most of the Anna Head School campus is currently occupied by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI), a UC Berkeley research institute. Over the last year, a group of citizens, led by the Steering Committee below, has been working to save the historic structure and to ensure a home for ISSI.