Continuing our On The Road Again series – for Thursday, we are in Berkeley, California.
And a store that has been a Berkeley institution, one way or another, since the 1930s.
There are are former S.H. Kress stores all across America – and most of the “Five and Dime” stores are showpieces of the architecture of the time.
This particular one was built in 1933 – as you can tell by the Art Deco stylings. It was designed by Ted Sibbert Jr, an architect responsible for 25 Kress stores in his 50 years with the company – almost all of them amazing representations of the aspirational architectural style.
S.H. Kress stores began to close in the ’60s and were all gone by 1981 – but for half a century, they were a key part of many American town centres.
This particular store is still something of a centerpiece in Berkeley.
The city is, of course, home to the University of California’s Berkeley campus – and so there are book-stores everywhere.
But this one’s the Half-Price bookstore, one of a chain of family-owned bookstores.
Its location near the Berkeley Bart Station, its Art Deco shopfront, with curved windows and heavy bronze doors, and the fact that it buys used books and DVDs from penurious students makes it a popular spot.
And if you get the chance to visit, make sure you take a look at the Art Deco ornamentation – even the fire escapes have gorgeous embellishments!
Oh – and across the road there’s a bakery that makes some amazing cakes and things and a reasonable coffee – or, if you want something more alcoholic, the famed Jupiter Brewhouse is nearby.
Hmm – Beer, Books and Bearclaw baked goods .. what else could a tourist want? 🙂