University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Along the Line: Designing and Planning BART, 1963–1976

Mon, Apr 1 '249 AM  –  Sat, Aug 31 '245 PM
Berkeley, CA, US | UC Berkeley, Environmental Design Library, 210 Bauer Wurster Hall

This exhibition presents a journey through BART's architectural history, adding context and dimension to current discussions about the system's future. It features the work of the architects, landscape architects, and planners who were involved in BART's initial design. Many of these, including Donn Emmons, Tallie B. Maule, Ernest Born, Vernon DeMars, and Lawrence Halprin, had connections to the College of Environmental Design, and most of the materials in the exhibition are drawn from the Environmental Design Archives.

BART leadership, hoping to lure middle-class passengers commuting from Bay Area suburbs to downtown San Francisco, wanted “esthetically pleasing” stations surrounded by landscapes that would both enhance the rider’s experience and “make a contribution to the community through which [BART] passes.”

Despite minimal budgets, many of the designers saw the assignment as an opportunity to make a contribution to the region’s design reputation. They seized on the chance to apply new theories and methods to the type of project they believed would characterize the majority of the work for the next generation of architects.

The exhibition, on view in the Environmental Design Library's Judith Stronach / Raymond Lifchez Exhibit Cases during regular library hours, includes sections on early plans for BART, the design of the cars and logo, the elevated track and linear parkway in the East Bay, urban renewal at the Embarcadero station, and the architecture of the Glen Park and El Cerrito del Norte stations. 

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