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Campanile Way/ Sather Road
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Historical Significance
Implementation Concepts
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Campanile Way/ Sather Road
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Campanile Way is named for its axial association with the iconic UC Berkeley Campanile (Sather Tower). Developed during the picturesque period, it was the first centrally-located, campus street (from Sather Road eastward). Campanile Way's strength is its important role as a major pedestrian access in the heart of the Classical Core and its strong visual axis and view, connecting the tower with the Golden Gate. A remnant of an earlier functional era, Campanile Way was re-confirmed by Howard as a design element of the Classical Core. Sather Gate, Sather Bridge, and Sather Tower are named for UC Berkeley donor Jane Sather in honor of her husband, Peder Sather. The road is a major north-south mid-campus pedestrian access from the south entry at Bancroft and Telegraph Avenues to the Central Glade.


Context map for Campanile Way/Sather Road.

Cultural Landscape Assessment  (Back to Top )
Summarized at the end of this page, the cultural landscape assessment describes the significant cultural landscape features of Campanile Way/Sather Road.


An aerial view of Campanile Way looking northeast (ca. 1948).


A view looking east along Campanile Way at California Hall (ca. 1912).


Site Landscape Assessment  (Back to Top )
The site landscape assessment below provides a site description and identifies the current and future use of the Campanile Way/Sather Road intersection.


Sather Road, with a view towards Sophomore Lawn and the previous Botanical Garden/Glass Conservatory (ca. 1912).

Site Description
Campanile Way extends from South Hall Road on the east to the 1908 Bridge on the west and includes the landscaped areas along the road, up to the facades of the adjacent buildings. Although it is intended as a pedestrian corridor, the historical character of Campanile Way has been compromised with vehicular use and wide expanses of pavement.

Sather Road begins on its southern end at Sather Gate and runs north, concluding at Moffitt Library. It is defined on the east and west by four buildings designed by John Galen Howard - the paired groupings of California Hall and Durant Hall on the west and Doe Memorial Library and Wheeler Hall on the east. Sophomore Lawn, located between Doe Memorial Library and California Hall, expresses the elevation change between these buildings.

Current Uses and Patterns of Activities
Pedestrians and delivery/service vehicles are the primary users of Campanile Way. Conflicts occur between the high volume of vehicles using the corridor and the heavy pedestrian use during peak daytime hours. Campanile Way also provides a strong view corridor to the east, with views of the Campanile, and to the west, with views to the Golden Gate. Underlaying this corridor is a complex network of underground campus utilities.

Sather Road is the primary north-south pedestrian corridor connecting the center of the campus with the busy Sproul Plaza area and the southern egress into the city of Berkeley environment. The road also serves as a emergency vehicle route into the central campus and is an integral part of the night safety route for students.

Desired (Future) Uses and Patterns of Activities
The New Century Plan calls for enhancing Campanile Way and orienting it for primarily pedestrian use, while retaining the size and proportion of the corridor. The proposed plan for the area would restrict service parking and potentially consolidate it into a designated parking area on the current site of South Hall Annex. The underground utilities are retained.

The New Century Plan retains Sather Road as a busy crossroads of pedestrian traffic and an emergency vehicle access point to and through the campus. The proposed recommendations in the New Century Plan and Landscape Master Plan call for physical improvements to the road, addressing hardscape and planting issues only.


Preliminary Strategies of Treatment  (Back to Top )
Based on the cultural and site landscape assessments, the overall treatment strategy recommended for Campanile Way/Sather Road is rehabilitation (refer treatment definitions on the Methodology page). The treatment strategy for Campanile Way includes the following steps:
  • Retain, protect, and enhance views to the Campanile and the Golden Gate, and maintain existing building heights along the Way.
  • Take cues from the Thomas Church era construction documents for the eastern end, executing in ways that retain historic vistas.
  • Enhance and frame the Church balustrade landing detail at the top of Campanile Way as a significant design element.
  • Retain and/or rehabilitate all historically relevant vegetation, and the historic semi-formal foundation plantings, to the original design intent.
  • Address the partial deterioration of the ground plane caused by vehicular service access and parking,
  • Protect, repair, and/or replace surviving brick gutters, as function permits; replace in-kind deteriorated elements; and repair the Class of 1940 water fountain.
The treatment strategy for Sather Road includes the following steps:
  • Rehabilitate the road from the north end of California Hall and Doe Memorial Library to the south of Durant and Wheeler Halls.
  • Rehabilitate the remainder of Sather Road south to Sather Gate, with the exception of the modern addition of concrete retaining walls and seating at South Road.
  • Recognizing that the north end of Sather Road is truncated at Moffitt Library, rehabilitate this area, making the space visually and physically functional for today's needs.
  • Retain and/or rehabilitate all historically relevant vegetation, and the historic semi-formal foundation plantings, to the original design intent.

Illustrative Design Concept  (Back to Top )
The following images illustrate a possible design concept for the Campanile Way/Sather Road intersection based on the cultural and site landscape assessments and preliminary strategies of treatment.



Campanile Way/Sather Road Concept

  1. Enhance the Church plaza with a raised planter, benches, and restore the existing paving.
  2. Create a service court with accessible parking stalls for Bancroft Library. Screen with a wall that reflects the adjacent architecture.
  3. Restore Campanile Way to a pedestrian walk; narrow to 20 feet wide, restore brick gutters, pave with large concrete pavers, and frame with lawn panels.
  4. Infill pollarded London Plane Trees along Campanile Way.
  5. Use underground grass stabilizers around utilities for service vehicle parking.
  6. Incorporate precast concrete seat walls, on both sides of Campanile Way, east of the intersection.
  7. Use concrete pavers along Sather Road, compatible but smaller in scale, to Campanile Way pavers, and restore pollarded London Plane Trees along both sides.


The design concept returns Campanile Way to a pedestrian environment consisting of modular paving, brick gutters, and enhanced views to the Golden Gate.