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.
December 1, 2021
Dear Friends of Anna Head School,
Last winter we wrote to express concern about saving the historic Anna Head School, and we greatly appreciated that so many of you signed a petition to ask the University of California to make that vision a reality. Over the past year we have made good progress in achieving our goal, and I wanted to give you this brief report about Anna Head School. With your continued support, we are confident we can achieve our goal preserving the legacy of the Anna Head School.