Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, is located on the corner of 8th and Hearst in Berkely, CA.
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, is the oldest church building in Berkeley, and the oldest church in continual use by its congregation in the East Bay. The building dates to 1878 and had it's beginnings in a women's sewing circle that began collecting funds from the neighborhood so that a church could be built. The church was designed by Charles L. Bugbee, one of the sons in the S.C. Bugbee & Sons architectural firm. This groups was responsible for a large number of notable Bay Area buildings, including the California Theater in San Francisco (state historical landmark no. 86), Mills Hall at Mills Seminary, the Baldwin Theater in San Francisco, and a number of Nob Hill residences.
The church is in great shape, considering its age. There is still an active congregation and they have made an effort to respect the history of their church by maintaining and preserving it. The bell tower still contains a 1,000 pound bell manufactured by the Blymer Company. In the early days of the congregation this bell served both as a call to church and a fire alarm for the surrounding neighborhood.
It was neat finding this little church off in a corner of Berkeley that I had never been to. There are some amazing old homes in this neighborhood, and it's much quieter than the rest of Berkeley, probably because it's farther away from the hustle and bustle of the university. I also got the ride down 9th St., a bicycle boulevard and one of the best cross-town routes that I've found so far. Huge shoulders, wide bike lanes, and no stop signs in the direction of travel as you move up and down 9th street. It also parallels some busier streets, so a lot of car traffic is funneled off onto them, leaving you alone on the road.
Getting There By Bike...
This one is pretty easy to find. If you're coming from Oakland, or South Berkeley, hop onto 9th St. and take it up to Hearst. The church is right there on the corner. From downtown Berkeley or the university, ride down Hearst towards the water and avoid all of the traffic and craziness on Shattuck. This is a day laborer hiring zone, so don't be surprised by the crowds of jornaleros standing on the corners and trying to find work.