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The History Behind UC Berkeley’s Architecture



UC Berkeley's Architecture

When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to attend a college with breathtaking architecture — not necessarily a well-known college, or a good college, but one with jaw-dropping buildings and awe-inspiring libraries. Growing up in the suburbs, where the landscape is flat and lifeless and the buildings look identical, I craved architecture that was diverse in style and rich in history. This dream was realized when I was accepted to Berkeley. The first time I visited campus, I fell in love with its buildings right away.

The history behind UC Berkeley’s architecture is more intriguing and complex than most people realize. Opened in 1855, UC Berkeley was originally just a two-acre campus in Oakland, then called the College of California. At the time, what we know today as the city of Berkeley was nothing more than wilderness, punctuated by the occasional piece of farmland, just a few miles north of Oakland. But in 1868, the state of California bought a small plot of land in Berkeley and officially chartered the University of California. Frederick Law Olmsted, who is famous for designing New York’s Central Park, was hired to design the new campus in Berkeley. This campus looked nothing like the campus we know today — it had a grand total of 40 students, 10 professors, and two buildings: North Hall, which has since been demolished, and South Hall, which is still standing today. South Hall’s architectural style is distinct from most other buildings on campus: its brick facade, ornamental moldings, and strikingly shaped windows are evidence of the Second Empire architectural style, which flourished in the latter half of the nineteenth century and was notable for its opulence and Gothic influence.

As UC Berkeley grew larger throughout the late 1800s, so did its need for more buildings. What we now know as some of the most iconic buildings on campus were actually the result of an architectural competition financed by philanthropist Phoebe Hearst in 1898. The International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst International Plan for the University of California, as it was called, was borne out of the rivalry between the prominent Stanford and Hearst families — two extremely wealthy and distinctly old money families from Northern California. Soon after the Stanford family founded Stanford University, the Hearst family adopted the University of California and committed to funding it. When the competition’s winner Émile Bénard declined to be appointed as the campus’ architect, fourth-place winner John Galen Howard was tasked with implementing Bénard’s plan for the campus’ design.

Howard was responsible for the distinct classical style of numerous campus buildings and landmarks, from the elaborate patterns of Sather Gate to the striking Grecian columns of Wheeler Hall. Howard utilized the Beaux-Arts classical style, which was taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he was educated in the early 1890s. This architectural style is notable for its emphasis on neoclassical, Gothic, and Renaissance designs. One of Howard’s most impressive buildings is Doe Library, one of the defining landmarks of Berkeley’s campus. The library was imagined as both the physical and intellectual center of campus and has strong Greco-Roman influences, seen in its twelve imposing columns and marbled interior. The reading rooms inside Doe, with their intricately carved ceilings, ornate wood paneling, and towering windows, offer the feel of a traditional European university.

Howard also designed what is arguably Berkeley’s most famous landmark, Sather Tower. Often referred to as “the Campanile,” due to its resemblance to the Campanile di San Marco in Italy, Sather Tower is the third-tallest clock tower in the world and, notably, houses numerous fossils from prehistoric times due to its cool and dry interior. Sather Tower is also notable for its location — on a clear day, one can stand on the steps in front of the tower and look straight across the Bay at the Golden Gate Bridge. Ultimately, Howard designed 18 buildings on campus, including Wheeler Hall, California Hall, Stephens Hall, and the Greek Theater, and established the university’s iconic look.

As he designed Berkeley’s campus, Howard was assisted by architect Julia Morgan, who attended Berkeley from 1890 to 1894. Because there was no architecture major at the time, Morgan studied civil engineering and was often the only woman in her classes. She was also the first woman to ever be admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts. Morgan was a renowned architect in her own right, designing over 700 iconic buildings in California including the Berkeley City Club and the lavish Hearst Castle in San Simeon. At Berkeley, Morgan was instrumental in helping Howard implement the Beaux-Arts style on campus. Some buildings heavily influenced by Morgan’s direction include the Hearst Gymnasium for Women, the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, and Morgan Hall at the UC Botanical Garden. The Hearst Gymnasium for Women is noteworthy for its concrete exterior and emphasis on Romantic Classicism, while the Mining Building best illustrates Morgan and Howard’s commitment to combining the esteemed classical Beaux-Arts tradition with contemporary regional influence, in that it is reminiscent of both a stately European building as well as a traditional California mission. Although Morgan’s work was essential to shaping Berkeley’s campus, her contribution is often overlooked due to the fact that she was a woman. Howard once told a colleague that Morgan was “an excellent craftsman whom I have to pay almost nothing, as it is a woman.”

One of the most interesting aspects of Berkeley’s campus is the way that it is designed completely around the natural environment. Howard was fascinated with the wildlife and nature of Berkeley, and kept this in mind when designing the campus. He painstakingly tried to preserve Strawberry Creek, the Eucalyptus Grove, and several natural glades, building around these features and incorporating them into the campus rather than destroying them. Howard especially valued landscape architecture, and felt preserving the natural environment was just as important as maintaining the built environment. The unparalleled diversity of trees, plants, and flowers on campus made the university feel peaceful and idyllic, even though it was situated in the middle of a rapidly urbanizing city. Natural landmarks on campus include the oddly shaped London Plane trees on the north side of Sather Tower in the Campanile Esplanade, the redwood trees located to the west of McCone Hall, and the tall and twisted California Buckeye Tree, located on Faculty Glade, which is the oldest native tree on campus and represents Berkeley’s natural landscape before the founding of the University.

Howard was ultimately dismissed as Berkeley’s supervising architect by the UC Board of Regents in 1924, due to his strong opinions and frequent clashes with the university administration. His successor Arthur Brown Jr. graduated from Berkeley in 1896, and is best known for designing City Hall and the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, as well as Hoover Tower at Stanford University. Brown attempted to recreate Howard’s elaborate and classical style, but faced financial constraints due to the economic conditions at the time. This was during the Great Depression and World War II, and university funds were tight, although there was also a pressing need for new buildings to accommodate the growing student body. Buildings designed by Brown, such as Sproul Hall and the Bancroft Library, echo the Beaux-Arts style but are much more minimalist in design. Additionally, the Valley Life Sciences Building, colloquially called VLSB, was designed in 1930 by George W. Kelham, yet another graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts. VLSB is notable for its sheer size of over 400,000 square feet. It was the largest concrete building west of the Mississippi at the time it was built, and is still the largest building on campus. At one point, VLSB required so much power that it temporarily broke the university’s power generator.

During the 1960s, an exponential increase in students led to a desperate need for the expansion of both educational buildings as well as student housing. By this time, the architectural style of Brutalism was popular. Brutalist buildings are characterized by their monolithic and geometric appearance, as well as their massive size and use of concrete. The Brutalist buildings on campus — like Evans Hall, Wurster Hall, and Barrows Hall — are often derided as “ugly” or “plain,” primarily because they are strikingly different from the elaborate and classical Beaux-Arts buildings on campus. The 1960s also saw the construction of the Student Union building on Sproul Plaza, which was a timely addition considering the proliferation of the student-led Free Speech Movement. During the Free Speech Movement, protestors often gathered in front of the imposing and unyielding Sproul Hall, a representation of the unsympathetic indifference of the university administration to the passion and anger that emanated throughout campus.

In recent years, campus expansion has slowed, with the campus focusing on repairing older buildings, though some new buildings have still been erected. These new buildings are notable for their sleek, modern, and minimalistic design, with an emphasis on using natural materials. Stanley Hall, which was built in 2007, is notable for its large size and white and green tiles. Berkeley’s newest library, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, has a similarly modern style, as well as distinctly East Asian influences. It is made of granite and clay tile, and is reminiscent of traditional Asian architecture through its use of the cracked ice motif on the screens outside the library. The Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, the newest building on campus, uses wood, bamboo, and lots of natural light.

Currently, Berkeley is working on retrofitting and remodeling certain campus buildings, some of which are hundreds of years old, to make them more structurally sound and earthquake-safe. In 2019, Tolman Hall, which had a seismic rating of “deficient,” was demolished. Seismic safety corrections are also being made to Giannini Hall, which was built in 1930. But there are new buildings and facilities being constructed, like the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub at Woo Hon Fai Hall. There are many new construction projects in the planning and development phase, including a new beach volleyball facility at Clark Kerr, an expansion of the Goldman School of Public Policy, and new student housing in People’s Park.

While many Berkeley students see our campus’ architectural history as interesting but unimportant, architecture and physical space have a profound impact on our everyday lives. Architecture is more than just the built environment; it greatly affects and is affected by our culture, emotions, and worldview. I am writing this article not in one of Berkeley’s many libraries, as I had planned to, but back home at my parents’ house in the suburbs, due to the pandemic that has forced so many of us to leave Berkeley and return to our hometowns. There is nothing I want more right now than to watch a sunset from the fifth floor balcony of McCone, to look up and be able to see the Campanile no matter where I am on campus, or even to get lost in the never ending hallways of Dwinelle. While these times are incredibly uncertain, to me, it is a reassuring thought that architecture and physical space are one of the few things that will be there no matter what. It is comforting to know that the buildings on my campus, the places where I spend so much time and that have undoubtedly impacted me in ways that I am still trying to understand, are unfazed by the fear and doubt that has disrupted so many of the world’s institutions — and they will remain when it is all over.

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Simplify Your Life With Easy-care Washable Carpets: The Ultimate Solution for Modern Living in Australia



Washable Carpets

Introduction to the Concept of Washable Carpets in Australia

In recent years, the concept of washable carpets has gained popularity in Australia, offering a convenient and practical solution for modern living. With busy schedules and hectic lifestyles becoming the norm, it is essential to choose home decor options that are low maintenance and easy to clean. This is where washable carpets come into play, providing an ideal flooring solution for households with children and pets.

Benefits of Choosing Easy-care Washable Carpets for Busy Households

  • Stain-resistant: Washable carpets offer a range of benefits that make them the go-to choice for many homeowners in Australia. Firstly, these carpets are designed to be stain-resistant, making them perfect for busy households with young children who are prone to spills and accidents. Unlike traditional carpets that require professional cleaning services or expensive products for stain removal, washable carpets can simply be cleaned with water and mild detergents. This not only saves time but also reduces the cost of maintaining your carpet over time.
  • Durable: Moreover, washable carpets are also more durable compared to traditional carpets as they are made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular washing without losing their color or texture. This makes them an excellent option for homes with pets who may shed or track dirt onto the carpet frequently. Additionally, these carpets have anti-static properties which prevent pet hair from sticking onto the fibers, making it easier to vacuum and maintain a clean floor.
  • For Those Who Suffer From Allergies or Respiratory Issues: Furthermore, choosing washable carpets can also benefit those who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues as they trap dust particles instead of releasing them into the air like traditional carpet fibers do. Regular washing can effectively remove allergens from the carpet surface, promoting a healthier and cleaner living environment.

Washable carpets are a practical and convenient flooring solution for busy households in Australia. With their stain-resistant properties, durability, easy maintenance, and hygienic benefits, they offer the ultimate solution for modern living. So why not make your life easier by choosing washable carpets for your home today?

How Washable Carpets Are Better for Children and Pets

For families with young children who spend most of their time playing on the floor, hygiene is a top priority. Washable carpets provide peace of mind as they can be easily washed and sanitized regularly without any hassle. Unlike hard flooring surfaces like tiles or hardwood which may harbor bacteria and germs if not cleaned regularly, washable carpets offer a soft surface that can be thoroughly cleaned without damaging its quality.

Tips for Buy the Right Washable Carpet for Your Home

Australia is known for its laid-back lifestyle, beautiful landscapes, and sunny weather. However, with our busy schedules and fast-paced lives, it can be challenging to keep up with the maintenance of our homes. That’s where the practical washable rugs collection comes in – they offer a convenient solution for those looking to simplify their lives while still keeping their homes looking stylish.

With the popularity of washable carpets on the rise, there is now a plethora of options available in the market. But how do you choose the right one for your home? Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a practical washable rug in Australia.

  • Consider Your Needs: Before making a purchase, think about where you will be using your washable rug and what kind of traffic it will receive. For high-traffic areas like living rooms or hallways, opt for durable materials such as nylon or polyester that can withstand frequent use and cleaning.
  • Look For Easy-care Features: The whole point of buying a washable rug is to make your life easier. Therefore, look for features like stain resistance and machine washability when choosing a rug. This will save you time and effort in the long run.
  • Choose the Right Size: Measure the area where you want to place your washable rug before going shopping. It’s important to choose a size that fits well in your space without being too small or too large.
  • Think About Design: With so many options available, it’s important to consider the design of your washable rug as it can add an extra touch of style to your home decor. From solid colors to bold patterns, select one that complements your existing interior design.
  • Check Reviews and Ratings: Before finalizing your purchase, take some time to read customer reviews and ratings online. This will give you an idea about the quality and durability of the product from people who have already used it.
  • Understand the Care Instructions: While washable rugs are low-maintenance, it’s still important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure that your rug lasts for a longer time and maintains its quality.
  • Consider Your Budget: Practical washable rugs come in a range of prices, so it’s essential to have a budget in mind before you start shopping. Set a realistic budget and stick to it while selecting a rug that meets your needs.

Purchasing a practical washable rug for your home in Australia can simplify your life without compromising on style. By considering these tips, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect washable rug for your home that fits both your needs and budget.

Care and Maintenance Instructions for Washable Carpets

When it comes to easy washable rugs in Australia, there are a few important care and maintenance instructions to keep in mind. To ensure that your carpet stays looking its best for years to come, it is recommended to vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. For any spills or stains, be sure to blot the area immediately with a clean cloth and mild detergent. Avoid rubbing the stain as this can cause damage to the fibers. For deeper cleaning, consider using a carpet cleaner specifically designed for washable carpets. Additionally, rotating your carpet every few months can help prevent uneven wear and fading from sunlight exposure. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your beautiful washable carpet for many years to come.


In today’s fast-paced world, it is important to have solutions that simplify our lives and make things easier for us. The use of easy-care washable carpets in modern living spaces has become a popular trend in Australia, providing homeowners with convenience and peace of mind. With their low maintenance requirements and versatility in design and functionality, these carpets are the ultimate solution for modern living. So why not join the trend and simplify your life with easy-care washable carpets? Your home will thank you for it.

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Exploring the Culinary Versatility of Dried Tomato Powder



Dried Tomato Powder

In the world of culinary innovation, dried tomato powder has emerged as a versatile and flavor-packed ingredient that adds depth and complexity to a wide range of dishes. Derived from ripe tomatoes that have been carefully dehydrated and ground into a fine powder, this pantry staple offers a convenient way to capture the rich umami flavor and vibrant color of fresh tomatoes in a concentrated form. In this blog, we delve into the culinary uses, nutritional benefits, and creative applications of dried tomato powder, uncovering its potential to elevate dishes to new heights of flavor and sophistication.


The Making of Dried Tomato Powder

The making of dried tomato powder involves dehydrating tomatoes and grinding them into a fine powder.


From Fresh to Dry

Dried tomato powder is crafted through a simple yet meticulous process that involves selecting ripe tomatoes, slicing them thinly, and dehydrating them until they are completely dried. The dehydrated tomatoes are then ground into a fine powder, resulting in a concentrated form of tomato flavor that can be easily incorporated into various recipes.


Culinary Uses and Applications

Dried tomato powder enhances flavor in dishes like soups, sauces, and marinades, adding depth and richness to recipes.


Flavor Enhancer

Dried tomato powder serves as a potent flavor enhancer, infusing dishes with the rich umami taste and aroma of fresh tomatoes. It can be added to sauces, soups, stews, and marinades to impart depth and complexity to the flavor profile.


Seasoning Blend

Dried tomato powder can be combined with herbs, spices, and other seasonings to create custom seasoning blends for meats, vegetables, and grains. It adds a savory dimension to rubs, marinades, and dry mixes, elevating the taste of grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and pasta dishes.


Ingredient in Baking

Dried tomato powder can also be used as a unique ingredient in baking, adding a subtle sweetness and savory undertones to bread, pizza dough, crackers, and savory pastries. It pairs particularly well with cheese-based recipes, enhancing the cheesy flavor and lending a vibrant color to the finished product.


Nutritional Benefits

Dried tomato powder is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, offering a concentrated source of nutrition for various diets.


Rich in Antioxidants

Dried tomato powder retains the nutritional benefits of fresh tomatoes, including being rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, supporting overall health and well-being.


Low in Calories

Dried tomato powder is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy and flavorful option for adding depth and complexity to dishes without significantly increasing caloric intake. It is also cholesterol-free and contains no added sugars or preservatives, making it suitable for a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions.


Creative Applications

Dried tomato powder can be used creatively in homemade spice blends, salad dressings, and even as a natural food coloring.

Dip and Spread

Dried tomato powder can be mixed with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise to create flavorful dips and spreads for crackers, vegetables, and sandwiches. It adds a burst of tomato flavor and a vibrant color to party platters and appetizers.

Infused Oil

Dried tomato powder can be infused into olive oil or vegetable oil to create a richly flavored oil that can be drizzled over salads, pasta, pizza, and grilled vegetables. It adds depth and complexity to dressings, sauces, and marinades, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.


Conclusion: Elevating Culinary Creations

In conclusion, dried tomato powder is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can enhance a wide range of dishes, from savory sauces and soups to baked goods and seasoning blends. Its concentrated tomato flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility make it a valuable addition to any kitchen pantry with other dehydrated food products. Whether used as a flavor enhancer, seasoning blend, or creative ingredient, dried tomato powder has the potential to elevate culinary creations to new heights of flavor and sophistication.

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Helping Kids Develop Healthy Online Relationships 



Healthy Online Relationships 

In today’s digital age, children are more connected than ever, navigating online spaces as naturally as they do the real world. As they interact with peers, play games, and explore the internet, it’s crucial to guide them towards fostering healthy online relationships. Teaching them the values of respect, empathy, and digital etiquette can lay the foundation for positive online interactions that benefit their social and emotional development. This article delves into practical ways parents and educators can support kids in cultivating meaningful and safe online relationships.  

The Evolution of Online Communication 

The digital landscape has undergone significant changes over the years, offering diverse platforms and tools for communication. From the early days of chat rooms and emails to today’s social media platforms and multiplayer games, children have more avenues than ever to connect with others. While this connectivity presents opportunities for learning and socializing, it also introduces new challenges. 

Risks and Challenges Children Face Online 

As children explore the online world, they may encounter various risks, including exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and privacy breaches. Understanding these potential challenges is the first step in guiding them towards safe and responsible online interactions. Parents and educators must stay informed about the latest trends and issues to provide timely guidance and support.  

Setting Ground Rules for Online Interaction 

Establishing Clear Guidelines 

Creating a set of clear and understandable rules for online interaction is essential for guiding children’s behavior in the digital world. These rules can include guidelines on sharing personal information, interacting with strangers, and handling disagreements online. By setting boundaries, children can navigate online spaces with confidence, knowing what is expected of them.   

Encouraging Open Communication 

Open dialogue between children and adults is crucial for building trust and understanding in online interactions. Encourage children to share their online experiences, ask questions, and express concerns without fear of judgment. This communication can help identify potential issues early on and allow for constructive conversations about navigating challenges safely.  

Educating on Cyber Safety 

Identifying Trustworthy Sources 

Teaching children to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources online is a vital skill for their digital literacy. Encourage them to verify information from multiple sources before accepting it as fact. By promoting critical thinking and research skills, you help them become discerning consumers of online content, reducing the risk of misinformation.   

Recognizing and Handling Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying is a pervasive issue that can have serious emotional and psychological impacts on children. Educate them about what constitutes cyberbullying and how to respond appropriately if they encounter it. Teach them strategies such as blocking the bully, saving evidence, and seeking help from trusted adults. Empower them to stand up against online harassment and support their peers in similar situations.  

Role-playing and Real-life Examples 

Engage children in role-playing exercises and discuss real-life examples to illustrate the impact of their online actions. This hands-on approach allows them to experience different scenarios and understand the consequences of their behavior. Encourage them to reflect on their experiences and learn from both positive and negative interactions to develop better online habits. 

Engaging in Joint Online Activities 

Participating in Online Games and Projects 

Joining children in their online activities can be a fun and educational way to bond with them while monitoring their digital behavior. Participate in multiplayer games, educational apps, or collaborative projects that interest them. This shared experience allows you to observe their online interactions firsthand and provide immediate feedback on their behavior.  

Supervising Without Hovering 

While it’s essential to monitor children’s online activities, it’s equally important to give them some autonomy to explore and learn independently. Find a balance between supervision and allowing them to navigate online spaces on their own. Trusting them with responsibilities while being available for guidance when needed fosters confidence and self-reliance. 

Creating a Supportive Environment for Open Dialogue 

Listening Actively to Children’s Online Experiences 

Create a safe and non-judgmental space where children feel comfortable sharing their online experiences. Listen attentively to their stories, concerns, and questions about the digital world. By actively engaging in these conversations, you demonstrate empathy and understanding, building trust and openness in your relationship.  

Addressing Concerns and Challenges Together 

When children encounter challenges or face dilemmas online, approach these situations as teachable moments rather than punitive actions. Collaborate with them to find solutions, discuss strategies for handling similar situations in the future, and reinforce the importance of responsible online behavior. By working together, you empower children to make informed decisions and navigate the digital world confidently.  


Navigating the digital world can be both exciting and challenging for children. By providing guidance, setting clear boundaries, and fostering open communication, parents and educators can help them develop healthy and positive online relationships. Remember, it’s not just about restricting access but empowering them with the knowledge and skills to make responsible choices. Together, we can create a safer and more enjoyable online environment for our children.   


What are the key risks children face online? 

Children may encounter risks such as exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and privacy breaches while navigating the digital world. 

How can I teach my child to identify trustworthy online sources? 

Encourage critical thinking and research skills by teaching them to verify information from multiple reliable sources. 

What should I do if my child experiences cyberbullying? 

Teach your child to block the bully, save evidence, and seek help from trusted adults, emphasizing the importance of not retaliating. 

How can I monitor my child’s online activities without invading their privacy? 

Find a balance between supervision and autonomy, trusting them with responsibilities while being available for guidance when needed. Also, you can use tools like parental control apps which have numerous benefits and uses to help you make internet safer for your child. 

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