The Berkeley City Club Restoration Project

The leaded glass windows as designed by Julia Morgan

The leaded glass windows as designed by Julia Morgan

2018 was a very interesting year art-wise. The most technically challenging project involved reconstructing leaded glass windows for the Berkeley City Club, designed by world- famous architect Julia Morgan and completed in 1930.

In anticipation the 100 -year celebration of this landmark building, The Berkeley City Club Conservancy undertook an extensive project to preserve the original intricate detailing that gives this building its distinctive character. They choose to begin the process by asking my studio to construct a replica of 6 leaded glass panels between the indoor swimming pool and an enclosed loggia. Sometime in the past 89 years, 3 of the panels had been replaced with opaque wire-glass, blocking the view and generally looking pretty dismal.

The project was complicated by the fact that steel frames surrounding the glass had radically deteriorated due to  constant exposure to humidity and chemicals from the pool.  Replacing the frames would have caused  damage to the surrounding concrete walls and columns.  

I suggested solving the problem by scraping out the rusted areas and using 2 steel-epoxy products to rebuild the frames.  The Conservancy decided to go with the idea, and happily the results are very satisfactory. 

Below are photographs showing the beginning of the process through the final results.  The pool, considered one of the most beautiful indoor pools in America, is now visible from the loggia.  The space, restored to how Julia Morgan originally envisioned it, is buoyant and up-lifting.

Susan Wagner