Sunday, May 23, 2010

former Kress Store, Berkeley

former Kress Store, BerkeleyIt is always a great thrill to find a deco-era S H Kress & Co store especially in good condition.

This store is in Berkeley, CA and is in wonderful condition. Although the colours on the terra cotta decoration may be fading the majority of the decoration is still intact.

This store was designed by Edward Frederick Sibbert, Jr and opened on 23rd January 1934.

former Kress Store, Berkeley

former Kress Store, Berkeley

The evolution of a downtown corner, by Daniella Thompson,
Kress Store Opened Downtown 75 years ago, by Steven Finacom, The Berkeley Daily Planet, 28th January 2009


  1. David you keep finding super places. What is that red vertical on the corner of the building - some sort of neon-lit blade?

    The Daily Planet gave interesting history. A old wooden building was demolished and replaced in 1923 with a neoclassical bank. But then, only a few years later, the Kress Company demolished the brand new bank and built the deco building.

    It is difficult to believe that the Kress Co. would take such a huge risk, right in the middle of the worst recession we have had. Why not just reorganise the internal spaces of the bank downstairs?

  2. Hi Helen,
    Thanks for your comment. The 'red blade' is a sign for Half Price Books now in the former Kress store. I don't think it is neon, probably just an illuminated sign.

    It is incredible that Kress demolished the bank. It was just on 10 years old but Daniella Thompson's article suggests this was due to cheap labour costs allowing the building to be built from scratch. Still it was a huge risk during the depression.