tour of the University of California, Berkeley's historic
Hearst Mining Building, a 1907 Beaux Arts treasure being
retrofitted, rehabilitated and restored. Currently, but
only for a short time, the building has been cut free
from its foundations and can be seen "floating"
on high-tech base isolators. This provides a rare chance
to film work in progress under the building as well as
sweeping Bay Area vistas from the upper floors.
project is the most ambitious building transformation
to date on any of UC's nine campuses.
originally of unreinforced masonry, the old mining building
is located just 800 feet west of the Hayward Fault. It is
being seismically strengthened and upgraded into a teaching
and research center for the College of Engineering's highly-rated
Department of Materials Science Engineering.
century scientists working in the building used smelting
shops and crushing towers to delve into ore samples from
California's mine fields. But the planned renovation will
allow today's engineers to create, atom-by-atom, new materials
to propel technology into the next century.
building is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places. The renovation is a close collaboration of campus
faculty, community historical groups and the state historic
of the base isolators are installed below dramatic, two-story-high
piers that currently stand silhouetted against building.
The piers soon will be covered as construction proceeds.
The building, a gift from Phoebe Apperson Hearst, was
designed by John Galen Howard and features an elaborate
façade, a four-story gallery with an intricate
ceiling, and many rooms, including one with views of UC
Berkeley's mine shaft. A previously unknown brick herringbone
floor that matches the gallery ceiling was discovered
in the building during construction, unearthed under more
modern flooring. The media tour will include access under
the building. There, enough earth was excavated and foundations
removed to accommodate large dump trucks and earthmoving
equipment, which can be seen at work in the enormous cavity.