I offer you an East Bay historical cycling challenge. Bring me the homes of Phillip K Dick, C.S. Forrester, Jay Ward, and Thorton Wilder. If the homes are not mobile, pictures of your bike in front will do. Please feel free to challenge me on finding a piece of obscure East Bay history as well. This could get interesting.
Of course I accepted and immediately dove into the interwebs to see what I could find. Then I got lazy and, after finding all the homes of the local notables mentioned, never got around to going and taking photos of them. Yesterday I managed to kick my ass into some kind of productivity, so here are the results. I hope they entertain.
1126 Francisco t., Berkeley, CA
|1126 Francisco St.|
This was the longtime home of science fiction author Philip K. Dick and his second wife, Kleo Apostolides. Dick had settled in Berkeley with his mother following some early moves across the country and the family ended up staying in the area. He graduated from Berkeley High School (where he was a member of the same graduating class as Ursula K. LeGuin though they didn't know each other), and briefly attended UC Berkeley before dropping out due to unexpected anxiety issues and a dislike of the mandatory ROTC training. Dick lived in this home from approximately 1950 through 1958, which encompassed some of his most difficult years as a writer. Until 1952 he was working at two area record stores, University Radio and Art Music, in order to pay the bills while working on his fiction at home. This period in his writing can be seen as a preliminary step before his greatest literary successes. While living on Francisco Street, Dick published a number of novels including Solar Lottery (1955), The Cosmic Puppets (1957), and Time Out of Joint (1959). In 1959 Dick and his wife moved to Pt. Reyes Station, CA. Though his second marriage would end almost immediately after moving Dick's time in Pt. Reyes would be the most productive period of his professional life, publishing sixteen novels between 1959 and 1964.
1570 Hawthorne Terrace, Berkeley, CA
|1570 Hawthorne Terrace|
1570 Hawthorne Terrace was the home of author Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, who published under the name C.S. Forester. His most well known works are the Horatio Hornblower series of novels which follow the eponymous British Naval officer through the Napoleonic Wars. His other well known work includes The African Queen, the film version of which is a classic of golden-era Hollywood, starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
Forester was British, but came to the United States during World War II in order to write propaganda to encourage the U.S. to join the war on the side of the Allies. He initially worked in Washington D.C. but settled in Berkeley and remained there for the rest of his working life. The house on Hawthorne Terrace was the site where Forester wrote almost all of his novels and is the home of the C.S. Forester Society, which is managed by the current resident. I'd be curious to know if the owner of the house became a C.S. Forester fan after purchasing the house, or was already a fan and the head of the C.S. Forester Society and jumped on the chance to buy the author's former home. The house is very nice, and Hawthorne Terrace is a cute little street with lots of older handmade rock retaining walls and interesting architecture.
2675 Parker Street, Oakland, CA (1906-1910)
2350 Prospect Street, Oakland, CA (1913-1915)
|Former site of 2675 Parker St.|
|Former site of 2350 Prospect St.|