Campus History
About the Plan
Historical Significance
Cultural Landscape Significance
American Campus Context
Campus History
Implications for the Future
Implementation Concepts
Landscape Guidelines
Download & Print

In This Section:

The evolution of the UC Berkeley campus reflects broad national patterns of American landscape design and the legacy of this educational institution. The following chronological history of the Classical Core documents the development of the campus and its related significance. Based on the historic research and assessment, the Classical Core is found to reflect three periods of significance: the picturesque era, the beaux-arts era, and the modern era.

CAMPUS ORIGIN  ( Back to Top )

The College of California, the predecessor institution to University of California, Berkeley, was founded in Oakland in 1855. In 1860, the College procured the 160-acre Berkeley campus site, named for the 18th century educator George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne. Located five miles north of Oakland, the site was characterized as "a choice savannah which supported large coastal live oaks scattered on gentle grassy slopes." The location had an adequate water supply, a mild climate without strong winds, sycamore and bay trees, and spectacular views to San Francisco and the Golden Gate.

In 1862, the U. S. Congress passed the Morrill Act, establishing federal land grant universities. The Act was intended to bolster state economies by funding universities to do research and outreach for investment-based interests in agriculture, mining, and military service. The State of California received 150,000 acres of land from the Morrill Act, most of which were sold to fund a College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. At the same time, the College of California had experienced growth setbacks from insufficient financial support. The idea of forging a union between the two interests - a small private college and a State College of Agriculture, Mining and Mechanical Arts - was proposed, and the concept of a "University of California" was born.

The 1868 Organic Act of California, authored by John W. Dwinelle, established the first public University of California, the Berkeley campus. The Act included a program of manual labor in connection with the Agriculture College, "having for its objective practical education in agriculture and landscape gardening." The University of California Board of Regents was established in 1868 and Dr. Henry Durant became the University's first president.

THE PICTURESQUE ERA: 1866-1900  ( Back to Top )

The Olmsted Plan for the College of California (1865) illustrates the origins of the east-west axis of the Central Glade, embraced by the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek. Piedmont Way is the landscape boulevard running north-south at the top right of the image.

Prior to the merger, site planning and tree planting was well underway at the College of California campus. In 1866, Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned to generate a comprehensive study of the campus, which he entitled "Report Upon a Projected Improvement of the Estate of the College of California, at Berkeley, near Oakland". Considered a significant piece of the Olmsted legacy, the report provided basic concepts and a land ethic that would prevail throughout the early development of the campus.

The Olmsted plan envisioned a picturesque park-like campus, stemming from Olmsted's belief that the natural order of landscapes serve a moral purpose in society and would be well-regarded by the Trustees. The plan included a major east-west axis aligned with the Golden Gate and campus grounds framed by the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek. Olmsted introduced adaptable tree species to 'forest' the open land. Incorporated as an essential component of the overall plan was the creation of an adjacent upscale neighborhood to support and uplift the institution of higher learning. Another integral design element was Piedmont Way, Olmsted's first landscaped boulevard that became a model for several of his residential projects around the country.

These scaled plans convey the morphological evolution of the campus over time. The Olmsted, Howard, and Church plans represent the campus's three periods of significance, the picturesque, the beaux-arts, and the modern, respectively. The fourth (NCP) plan represents the current condition of the campus with the inclusion of some future buildings and landscape initiatives. The orange square (Campanile) and outline (Classical Core) serve as orientation devices for each plan, conveying the change over the last 150 years of campus development.

Shortly after completing the campus plan, Olmsted returned home to support the Olmsted & Vaux Company, his firm that was in its ascendancy. William Hammond Hall, a military surveyor and civil engineer who assisted in the planning of Golden Gate Park and environs, took over campus planning at Berkeley. Olmsted and Hall exchanged correspondence over the next few years, creating a productive working relationship during the implementation of the campus plan. Much later in 1886, Olmsted, commissioned by Leland Stanford to plan his campus, expressed criticism of the Berkeley campus' struggling landscape.

The fledgling University languished in its first years and the Regents grew impatient. Hall, motivated by their concerns, assessed the needs of the campus with the help and mentoring of Olmsted. In 1874, Hall's report to the Regents, entitled "Development of the Grounds at Berkeley", began a slow departure from the Olmsted plan. The Hall plan, a synthesis of Olmsted's early vision and Hall's own site knowledge, became the guiding document for campus planning through 1900.

Unlike the Olmsted plan, Hall's plan proposed a larger university campus than Olmsted's vision for a thirty to thirty-five acre site serving college purposes. As Hall states:

    "Thus the present plans for improvement are based upon an idea totally different from that upon which Mr. Olmsted formed his scheme; involving the conception of the entire area of one hundred and fifty acres manipulated as one educational institution, the material University."
Hall's plan also introduced a critical central feature, the botanical garden, to the campus setting:

    "…but no more distinctive features to be considered than the botanic garden for the scientific arrangement of the plants, the departments for the practice of horticulture and agriculture, or even the recreation grounds, the ramble in the woods, or the mere landscape effects. A Conservatory, wherein much botanical knowledge can best be acquired, and always a pleasing and attractive feature, is located at a protected spot, where the ground about it is adapted to the cultivation of such plants and shrubs as would be appropriate in its neighborhood, and where it will represent a remarkably fine effect in the principal landscapes."

This campus map (1897) illustrates some of the objectives of William Hammond Hall's 1870s plan for the campus, including the east-west axis of the Center Street Path, now known as Campanile Way, flanked by North and South Halls with Bacon Hall at its eastern terminus.

Following the Hall plan, construction of campus buildings began in earnest. Hall's plan incorporated North and South Halls, designed by architect David Farquharson and built in 1873 per the earlier Olmsted plan. The Second Empire victorian style architecture, a "romantic picturesque" style popular in England combined with the emerging picturesque landscape, struck a compatible tableau. Bacon Hall Art and Library Building was later constructed in 1881 in the victorian-gothic style and would remain in place throughout the entire beaux-arts neoclassical era until the 1960s.

The campus flagpole located between North and South Halls (ca. 1898).

At some point in these early years, the axial Center Street path and a campus flagpole were installed, serving as forerunners of Campanile Way and the Campanile itself. Bacon Hall was shown as the eastern terminus of the axis, facing North and South Halls that were sited slightly to the west. Hall also included a small formal area with geometric walks at the east end of the Center Street path. The campus flagpole was the campus "axis mundi" - the vertical center point - in the early triangle and at the heart of the campus. Outside this core, picturesque winding roads carried students to other campus zones. These roads were installed along the north and south forks of Strawberry Creek following Olmsted's original concept and the subsequent Hall plan. The picturesque landscape plan was soon augmented by the development of the College of Agriculture growing grounds and Botanical Garden.


From inception, the site chosen for the University held great natural landscape character and integrity with its gentle rolling topography, grasslands, and oak woodland. The forks of Strawberry Creek ensured a predictable water source and contributed to the revered scenery and riparian lushness with "their fine bordering of oaks, sycamores, bay trees, and plentiful growth of evergreen shrubbery." Tree planting began slowly but was generally accomplished in the Olmsted picturesque spirit, with thick plantations along the roads and "…that in front of this, trees should be planted singly and in small detached groups, as they are often seen in pastures in the east."

Early tree introductions on campus consisted of Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon; Pinus pinea, Italian Stone Pine; Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey Cypress; Olea europa, Olive; and other flowering trees. One of the earliest non-native plant introductions (ca. 1870) was Eucalyptus globulus, Blue Gum, a grove (plantation) at the western end of campus, planted as a windbreak for a cinder running track. From this time on through 1900, tree planting was extensive and consisted mainly of evergreens such as eucalyptus, pines, cypress, and acacias.

The Eucalyptus Grove was an introduced element on the Berkeley campus (ca. 1870). Courtesy Picturing Berkeley - A Postcard History.

The Regents of the University formally established, by federal and state mandate, an Agricultural Experiment Station of 40 acres in 1872; an Economic Garden of 2 acres in 1878; and a Botanical Garden of 7 acres by 1891. The proponents of the Experimental Station introduced and studied numerous species for agricultural, forest, and ornamental purposes. At the direction of the Regents, the University set aside the Botanical Garden acreage along the swale below Observatory Hill for "a garden distinctively botanical" to create at Berkeley a display similar to "a part of the pride of almost every university in Europe at the present time." As part of this undertaking, the University established the College of Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering, officially launched in 1875 with the appointment of Professor Eugene Hilgard. Hilgard's first objective was to obtain a legislative appropriation to permit the "continuation and expansion of the experimental cultures on the grounds assigned to the department and the establishment of a garden of economically important plants, both for experiment and for the instruction of classes by actual demonstration and exhibition of the growing plants."

Contemporaneous with the Botanical Garden, the University established a College of Natural Sciences and appointed Professor Edward Greene to one of its founding units, the Department of Botany. Experimental planting accelerated, doubling in two years. Greene wasted no time in planning for the botanical garden, commenting "the Botanical Garden has always and everywhere been recognized as a most important adjunct to a thorough and efficient course of instruction in the knowledge of plant life in general. The Garden of Economic Plants, long ago established at Berkeley by Professor Hilgard, is to be accounted an excellent beginning in this direction, and is doing good service." The University Department of Botany graduated seven doctoral candidates by 1912.

Botanical Garden and the Glass Conservatory (ca. 1920). Courtesy Picturing Berkeley - A Postcard History.

A glass and steel Botanical Conservatory was erected in 1891, in a style analogous to the London Crystal Palace and San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers. It was situated on a raised pad at the foot of Observatory Hill approximately on axis with present day Sather Gate and adjacent to present day Haviland Hall. Because of the early 20th century growth of the University, the Botanical Conservatory was dismantled in 1924. The Botanical Garden and many specimens were moved from the central campus eastward to the hills above the campus where the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden exists today. Campus landscape architect John W. Gregg (1913-1946) designed the layout for the new site of the Botanical Garden, following the requirements of then director Dr. T. Harper Goodspeed (1926). A major difference in the new design was the departure from a traditional grouping of plants according to taxonomic relationship or economic usage. Gregg arranged plants in demonstration areas, grouping them by their geographical origins and recreating, in effect, intact bio-communities. Some horticultural artifacts from the earlier Botanical Garden remain within the Classical Core.

THE BEAUX-ARTS ERA: 1900-WWII  ( Back to Top )

It was clear by the turn of the new century that the grounds of the University had not yet realized their full potential. At the urging of master architect Bernard Maybeck, University donor Phoebe Apperson Hearst sponsored an international competition for a master plan of the campus. This act would usher in a new and pivotal era in campus history. Excerpts from The International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan of the University of California prospectus read:
    "It is seldom in any age that an artist has had a chance to express his thought so freely, on so large a scale and with such entire exemption from the influence of discordant surroundings. Here there will be at least twenty-eight buildings, all mutually related and, at the same time, entirely cut off from anything that could mar the effect of the picture. In fact, it is a city that is to be created - a City of Learning - in which there is to be no sordid or inharmonious feature. There are to be no definite limitations of cost, materials, or style. All is to be left to the unfettered discretion of the designer. He is asked to record his conception of an ideal home for a University, assuming time and resources to be unlimited. He is to plan for centuries to come. In the great works of antiquity, the designer came first, and it was the business of the financier to find the money to carry out his plans. In the new building scheme of the University of California, it is the intention to restore the artist and the art idea to their old preeminence."
The final judging for the Competition was held in 1899. The winner was Frenchman Emile Benard, who designed an elaborate plan in the French beaux-arts neoclassical style. He came to California and revised his plan in 1900, preserving Strawberry Creek while imposing formal urban elements upon the land. However, he did not remain in California to see to its implementation. After his departure, dialogue with Bénard would continue through 1901, but his involvement in the design process would be minimal.

John Galen Howard's revision of the 'Competition' Plan (1914) with a strong east-west axial configuration to the Central Glade.

In 1901, Ecole des Beaux-Arts trained John Galen Howard, whose New York firm placed fourth in the Competition, was chosen by Mrs. Hearst to design the Hearst Mining Building, in memory of her husband, California Senator George Hearst. Gradually, Howard was brought forward to replace Bénard in the UC Berkeley beaux-arts campus design project. In 1902, Howard became the campus Supervising Architect and began to implement his revision of the Bénard plan. One aspect of Howard's beaux-arts neoclassical design was the "consistent placement of buildings on re-graded, leveled land." Another pivotal aspect was the siting of the Mining Building, his first built project, within the present campus core north of the earlier campus structures. By its placement, Howard secured the east-west Central Glade axis as precedent, affirming Olmsted's original axial vision, with the Mining Circle at its head. This began the implementation of the neoclassical beaux-arts layer of campus design at UC Berkeley.

Howard would dominate UC Berkeley campus master planning for the next 20 years. He founded the Architecture Department in 1903, the same year in which Maybeck's Faculty Club and Howard's Greek Theatre were completed. California Hall was completed in 1905, and the Mining Building was completed in 1907. In 1911, the University House and the Bakewell and Brown Class of 1910 bridge in the Faculty Glade were completed. Boalt (now Durant) Hall was completed the following year, with Wellman Hall finished in 1913.

Although Howard's beaux-arts architecture was well received, his neoclassical parti for a Central Glade formal axis was not fully implemented. In the January 1911 campus map, the Central Glade area is denoted as the Botanical Garden. It is possible that the already extant Botanical Garden, and the power of the College of Agriculture, were factors that sealed the fate of Howard's Central Esplanade, followed by the cost of new non-academic construction and a general desire to avoid site grading.

Regents of the UC stated as early as 1912, the founding year of the Agricultural Extension at UC Berkeley, that there was need "for the preparation of a permanent plan for landscape gardening on the University Campus." In 1913, the University hired John W. Gregg, at the request of Dean of Faculty Thomas Forsythe Hunt (also Dean of Agriculture), as founding Professor of the Division of Landscape Gardening and Floriculture within the College of Agriculture. This division later became the Landscape Design and then the Landscape Architecture department. A Memoriam by several of his now notable former students stated:

    "Gregg guided both the planting of the Berkeley campus, and the protection of its native growth, tree by tree and shrub by shrub."
In 1914, Landscape Gardening and Floriculture Division faculty developed planting plans for Hearst Memorial Mining Building, and the Division was asked to prepare planting plans for Doe Memorial Library, California Hall, Boalt Hall, and Agriculture (Wellman) Hall. Gregg was appointed campus Landscape Architect and Engineer in 1915.

The Campanile Esplanade, with its signature London Plane Trees prior to being pollarded (ca. 1920).

As the beaux-arts neoclassical architectural layer of the campus grew, John Galen Howard again revised his campus master plan in 1914. In the revision, entitled the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Architectural Plan, Howard oriented his buildings toward each other within the campus core. Construction of Sather Tower (Campanile) began in 1913 and the Esplanade followed in 1915-16. In 1917, both the completion of Doe Memorial Library and the construction of Wheeler Hall were achieved. In 1923, Howard sited Stephens Hall on different levels in response to the natural topography, deviating for the first time from creating a flat landscape plinth as a building site.

With his influence waning, Howard's career at UC Berkeley drew to a close in 1924 following his dismissal as Supervising Architect, although he remained as head of the School of Architecture until 1930. From 1915 until Howard's departure in 1930, Gregg worked with Howard on campus landscape design issues. Particularly notable was Gregg's combination of picturesque site design surrounding smaller beaux-arts neoclassical building and formal landscape zones. This design approach would be the ultimate paradigm for UC Berkeley during its beaux-arts neoclassical era. Named the Berkeley campus Consultant Landscape Architect in 1926, Gregg also began to provide designs for other UC campuses.

George Kelham, who had spent a year at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, was appointed as Supervising Architect in 1927. He respected Howard's adaptation of the Bénard plan and also contributed to UC Berkeley's beaux-arts neoclassical layer. His work included Crocker Radiation Laboratory (razed), old Davis Hall, Harmon Gymnasium (partially demolished and replaced), Bowles Hall, the engineering building (now McLaughlin Hall), Moses Hall, and International House. Kelham's Life Sciences Building (1930) was a large building planned with a faculty committee and located on a site identified in Howard's plan for five smaller buildings. Construction of Giannini Hall (1930) by William C. Hayes finished Howard's 1908 tripartite agriculture group.

Signature oaks within the Faculty Glade (ca. 1922).

In 1931, University President Sproul appointed an Advisory Committee on Campus Development and Building Location, and Kelham would not be given the same power once given to Howard. Warren G. Perry, Chair of Architecture who had also attended the Ecole, headed the committee. Perry would produce a campus study in 1934 and, as in the Howard plan, the study permitted construction on Observatory Hill.

During the early 1930s, the campus landscape character was generally described as one of eucalyptus groves and acacias, and the Faculty Glade was noted for its oaks with a central "worn" open space. Per a request from President Sproul, Gregg planted eighteen Quercus agrifolia, thirty-four Sequoia sempervirens, thirty-five Liquidambar styraciflua, one Sequoiadendron giganteum, some Betula alba, two deciduous oaks, four Pinus pinea, and various other trees in connection with the landscaping of "our new building." In the early 1930s, Harmon Gym and Edwards Stadium were built southwest and outside the historic campus core, moving the campus boundary one block to Bancroft Way to better accommodate campus growth.

By 1939, Gregg's approach to landscape architectural design appeared to be fully aligned with the pre-modernist eras of the picturesque and the beaux-arts neoclassical formal. These styles were often used together in park design, such as Olmsted and Vaux's Central Park in New York City.

George Kelham died in 1936, and Arthur Brown, Jr. replaced him as campus Supervising Architect. Due to the Depression economy and impending WWII, his tenure saw little construction. However, he continued to respect Howard's design style in spite of budget issues. Gregg believed that, due to its design maturity, changes to the campus now were occurring "only in the details." Sproul Hall, constructed in 1941, was one of the last buildings on campus to conform to a beaux-arts aesthetic, and it was off axis with the main grouping of buildings. Also in 1941, Stern Hall, a women's dormitory and the first building in the modern style, was built east of the core campus (Corbett and McMurray with William Wurster, John W. Gregg, and Isabella Worn).

Temporary wooden buildings located west of Mining Circle (ca. 1949).

In 1944, the Brown plan for the campus was adopted with the hope of guiding future campus growth. However, the plan did not address such important elements as anticipated enrollment limits, land acquisition planning, on-campus parking policy, dormitory housing plan, or architectural design guidelines. The Brown plan added roads and building sites within the campus core along the Howard axis, with a road on axis with the southern edge of the Mining Circle and a loop road around the Esplanade. Strawberry Creek would provide occasional open spaces. Brown asked that that new buildings respect a four-story height limit. However, "… as a result of his plan, virtually all the campus open spaces were seen as building sites."

The Brown plan modified the Howard plan. Buildings from 1908 onward would be seen as the campus core, the buildings and landscape would be treated as a comprehensive architectural group, and building heights would be limited to four floors to avoid the need for elevators. This plan, however, was not well implemented and most construction was on the campus perimeter rather than in the campus core. Brown sited academic clusters at the corners of the campus, and William C. Hayes, Chair of Sproul's Development and Building Committee, chided him for not building on the Central Glade. Several buildings were considered for location in the central green space, and, although nothing came to fruition, the idea of building in the glade finally gained a foothold. The final Brown plan called for many low-rise buildings "with limited public open space." When Arthur Brown stepped down as campus Supervising Architect in 1948, he was not replaced.

In 1947, temporary wooden buildings, left over from war use, were moved to the campus by the U.S. Veterans' Educational Facilities Program to supply spaces for a post-war student boom. Located on the Central Glade in the heart of the historic campus core, some remained through the 1970s.

John Gregg retired in 1946, praised by A. D. Taylor as having done "more than anyone else to develop landscape architecture in the Far West as an established program." H.L. Vaughn, a modernist, succeeded him as Chair of Landscape Design, and the beaux-arts neoclassical style landscape design was no longer taught at UC Berkeley. While several additional buildings would be built in the neoclassical style, a transition to modernism was beginning to occur on campus.

THE MODERN ERA: WWII-MID 1970s  ( Back to Top )

In 1948, an Exhibition of Landscape Architecture at the San Francisco Museum of Art focused on "California School" garden landscapes by Berkeley graduates Thomas Church, Garrett Eckbo, Robert Royston, and Edward Williams. The exhibition's catalog included articles by William Wurster (architect), Claire Falkenstein (sculptor), and Christopher Tunnard (city planner). Also in 1948, the Landscape Design program became the Landscape Architecture Department within the College of Agriculture. A year later, alumnus William Wurster arrived as Dean of the College of Architecture. Morgan Hall would be constructed in the modernist style in 1953, with the Alumni House following in 1955 and Warren Hall (Public Health) in 1956. From 1948 until 1956, campus landscaping remained relatively untouched except for planting around the Administration Building. One exception included the modern landscape design of Dwinelle Plaza (ca. 1950-51), attributed to Eckbo, Royston & Williams.

Sather Gate, Wheeler Hall, and the Campanile beyond (ca. 1945). Note that at this time, the Gate defined the campus entrance, and the adjacent Sproul Plaza was a city block.

In 1948, the University Division of Architects and Engineers was renamed the Office of Architects and Engineers and given the Supervising Architects' duties. At this time, the campus, in essence, had no master plan document in place. The scale and number of buildings in progress led to concerns about the form and function of the campus as a whole. For example, parking was introduced to the Central Glade in 1951. In 1952, an Office of Architects and Engineers campus plan was approved and revised. It included high-rise dormitory structures off campus. University Architect Robert J. Evans and campus Architect Louis DeMonte had looked at potential land acquisition to accommodate campus growth without destroying open space. DeMonte noted, in particular, concern for the Central Glade, the Eucalyptus Grove, and the Faculty Glade.

In 1952, Chancellor positions were created for two of the UC campuses, UC Berkeley and UCLA. Previously, the UC president had essentially governed all UC campuses directly. Clark Kerr was selected as the first UC Berkeley Chancellor. One of his foci was campus planning, which he approached with his powerful Administrative Committee on Buildings and Campus Development.

Lawrence Halprin, the first consulting Landscape Architect, submitted a preliminary campus master plan report in 1954. His plan, never realized to any degree, emphasized a pedestrian campus with submerged peripheral parking, creek environments as retreats from the urban areas of campus, and ample tree planting for design rather than botanical purposes. His plan sunk Gayley Road near the Greek Theatre in an effort to re-connect all campus land from west to east, and it proposed closing Bancroft Way at Telegraph Avenue, creating a pedestrian node. The plan also recommended returning much of the campus to true native planting, excluding lawns, and planting trees in parking lots. Though officially recorded, Halprin's plan was never adopted.

In 1956, the UC Board of Regents created a Committee on Campus Planning, naming Chancellor Clark Kerr, William Wurster, Regent Donald McLaughlin, and Chief of Staff Louis DeMonte (also head of the Office of Architects and Engineers) as members. This group served in the role of Supervising Architect. The Committee looked at aesthetics, building locations, massing, land use, and open space issues. The Committee also developed design criteria for use by individual architects commissioned to do a project. The Regents made the final selection of architects, and Wurster, Church, and DeMonte managed the architectural effort. Church and DeMonte also recommended sites for expansion to the Building and Campus Development Committee, which ultimately made the final decisions.

In 1956, the Committee on Campus Planning produced UC Berkeley's first Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) in response to an anticipated growth to 25,000 students. The plan's intent was specifically to preserve the campus landscape context. It also incorporated many of the recommendations of The Students at Berkeley Report, including new residence halls, a new student union complex, and extensive play and recreation facilities. The plan concepts included a 10-minute class change time centered on the library, central campus density of building to land of 25 percent maximum, clustering of academic use groups, and minimizing of vehicular circulation on campus by parking cars in perimeter structures. All of these concepts were implemented. The plan also committed to "the private automobile as the principle means of circulation and access to the campus." While the plan scheduled some buildings for demolition, those actually demolished included the Anthropology Museum, Bacon Hall, Band, Chemistry, Decorative Arts and Annex, Faculty Club Garages, Freshman Chemistry Lab, Handball Courts, some Hothouses and Greenhouses, Mechanics, Music, the Observatory, a Storehouse, and 10 of the 19 temporary buildings. This was the era in which the campus lost the 1880s Observatory and some of its remnant greenhouses. The University and the City also agreed to work together on congestion and design issues.

South fork of Strawberry Creek with the Class of 1910 Bridge beyond (ca. 1918).

The 1956 LRDP included a specific goal related to "Landscape, Regional Scenic Assets, and Historical Features." This stated that: "Every measure will be taken to preserve the beauties of the natural setting of the campus. The natural groves and woodlands of Strawberry Creek will set the prevailing feeling for the campus landscape, modified by a few areas of formal character…" and preserving (among other sites) "…Mining Circle and Sather Gate…" The Plan proposed "a continuing replanting program to replace over-age trees, especially the oak, bay, and eucalyptus trees that give the campus its distinguished California setting." Specific natural areas noted were "Strawberry Creek, the Central Glade, the Eucalyptus Grove, Observatory Hill, and Faculty Glade. Although a systematic maintenance and replacement program was indicated, it was not implemented." Nonetheless, the 1956 LRDP essentially reflected an urban mentality, Kerr's "multiversity", and a deliberate move away from the village or small town character and towards a vision of the university as a major city.

Thomas Church, friend and supporter of Halprin, was hired between 1957 and 1959 as Consultant Landscape Architect to produce a campus landscape master plan. Church's focus was to plan for growth and for preservation of the campus landscape. According to an oral history, supervising architect DeMonte worked together with Thomas Church and Frederick Warnake to develop much of the Church-era planting design. Some of this work was done in Church's office, and Warnake would have done some on campus with Church's oversight. Church also designed lighting fixtures, benches, and kiosks. DeMonte noted that Church did plans for "every building in the time he was there, Earth Sciences, Engineering, the Math Building, and much of Church's work had to do with realignment of roads." Church's primary contributions campus-wide included the preservation and enhancement of the Strawberry Creek environment, the protection of the Faculty Glade, and the removal of the majority of vehicular traffic and parking from the core of the campus.

In 1960, the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning departments merged as the College of Environmental Design, an event nine years in the formal planning stage. 1960-61 also saw the construction of the Student Center complex south of the Central Core, connected to the Sather Road north-south axis. This would be the site of the Free Speech Movement demonstrations in 1964.

The 1962 Long Range Development Plan developed by Thomas Church.

In 1962, a second Long Range Development Plan was published, incorporating the work of Thomas Church, who also served on the 1962 Long Range Development Plan committee. The Plan specified the following open space areas for "formal" design treatment: Campanile Esplanade, the Student Center complex and related Dwinelle and Wheeler squares, University House gardens, West Crescent, and Springer Gate. It recommended the relocation of University Drive to the north side of the Central Glade to provide views to Moffitt Library and Valley Life Sciences, which was completed. Campus entrances were to be treated and small landscape elements were to be added within the campus core. The 1962 plan also emphasized the protection and enhancement of open space features, including the branches of Strawberry Creek, the Central Glade, Faculty Glade, Observatory Hill, the Eucalyptus Grove, and the great backdrop of the Berkeley Hills. While providing for on-campus parking, it encouraged public transit, bicycle use, and other alternative modes of transit. Ironically, the 1962 plan inserted Moffitt Library and Evans Hall into the central campus core, a space that had been largely preserved as open space in almost all previous plans. This plan was still the plan of record when the Campus Historic Resources Survey was published in 1978. The Survey's author concluded that "failure to implement its mechanisms for continued re-evaluation has drained it of all force."

Several modernist buildings were constructed during this period. Wurster Hall, located outside the Classical Core and designed by DeMars, Esherick and Olsen, was completed in 1965 in the 1960s Brutalist style. It housed the new College of Environmental Design. Barrows Hall by Aleck L. Wilson and Associates was completed in 1964-5, detracting from the visual character of the Classical Core. Church "objected to its impact in blocking views of the bay and cutting off the view of the Campanile from Telegraph Avenue." Zellerbach Hall (1968) by Hardison and DeMars completed a four-building modernist student center complex. In 1971, Evans Hall was completed, blocking the view to west from the Mining Circle, and the neo-brutalist University Art Museum was opened in 1970.


In 1976, Richard Bender became Dean of the College of Environmental Design. He was the leader of a group preparing urban design studies and historic resource surveys, providing guidance on growth and preservation in a time when the University was without a LRDP. The Campus Historic Resources Survey, published in 1978, was compiled by Richard Bender, Jack Sidener, and Sally Woodbridge. These studies would in turn lead to a National Register of Historic Places nomination and subsequent listing of several beaux-arts neoclassical campus buildings. While concentrating on the campus architecture, the survey also provided a chronology of the evolution of the campus landscape as seen through various campus planning proposals. Current planning concerns, per the survey, were maximum use of existing space, energy conservation, historical continuity, ecology, accessibility, safety, and participatory decision-making. Historic preservation of the campus's Classical Core had renewed support.

Memorial Glade following its 1998 renovation and the view west to San Francisco Bay (2003).

The 1990 Long Range Development Plan, by the Campus Planning Office in association with ROMA Design Group, once again sought to cluster program, preserve historic and natural resources, and move development and automobiles to the periphery. In 1994, the Gardner Stacks were completed, linking Doe Memorial Library and Moffitt Library below the Central Glade. This project provided for the restoration of Memorial Glade (1998), designed by Richard Haag with Royston, Hanamoto, Alley and Abey.

The 2002 New Century Plan illustrative portrays the prominent existing open space elements such as the tree canopy layer along the forks of Strawberry Creek and the Central Glade axis. The darker colored buildings represent existing structures to remain, while the lighter buildings represent proposed building or replacement locations. The NCP also includes new landscape initiatives.

In 2002, the Campus Planning Office developed the New Century Plan (NCP) in association with Sasaki Associates. It provides a comprehensive strategic plan for the University's capital investment program, setting policies for all future University development of campus buildings and landscape through the middle of the century. In addition, the NCP establishes stewardship goals for the campus, including upholding the campus's architectural legacy and identifying landscape preservation zones.

In 2003, the Campus Planning Office developed the Landscape Master Plan (LMP) to specifically reference and tie into the overall strategies presented within the NCP, while advancing the role of the campus landscape. The LMP addresses the central campus and its direct context of the surrounding city blocks. The Plan presents a broad physical framework for the use and restoration of open space within the central campus.