Past Lectures

Alameda Museum Lectures 2001-2015

Here are the prominent Bay Area authors and historians who have taken part in our series. The list is alphabetical by their last names or by topic if there was no speaker. We have standing room only for most lectures; people respond to our excellent publicity and come from other locales, visiting nearby restaurants and shops and thereby bringing commerce to our historic downtown. Many lectures are sponsored by local businesses and professionals, an indication of the Museum’s strong support in our community.

  • March 29, 2001 “Mortar Madness,” a revelation of the masonry heritage of the island of Alameda, presented by Woody Minor, author of Pacific Gateway, On The Bay and many more.
  • April 26, 2001 “1900 Meets 2000,” Bruce Bradbury, founder of Bradbury & Bradbury Wallpapers in Benicia and global pundit, will plunder B & B’s exhaustive research and archival collection for slides of turn of the 20th century interiors.
  • May 31, 2001 “Imperial San Francisco,” Gray Brechin’s slide exposé about the impact of the Hearsts and other powerful Bay Area families on the environment of California.
  • June 28, 2001 “Victorian Glory,” by Paul Duchscherer, returns to his true love with slides from his new volume from Penguin Books.
  • February 28, 2002 “Our Houses: Residential Architecture in Alameda,” by Woody Minor. Our local hero will use two projectors to take you on a breathtaking cavalcade of Alameda history and houses.
  • March 28, 2002 “A Passion for Pattiani,” an exploration of the work of renowned Alameda builder Alfred Washington Pattiani, presented by Paul Roberts, former Alameda Victorian Preservation Society (now AAPS) President.
  • April 25, 2002 “Storybook Houses,” presented by architect and author Arrol Gellner, who will discuss the captivating architectural styes of the 1920s, with a digression to Stonehenge and Stoneleigh, “a unique tract of Storybook homes in Alameda,” designed by architect Walter W. Dixon for developer Christopher Columbus Howard.
  • May 30, 2002 “Radiant Panes: Alameda Windows from the Victoria Era to the Time of Arts & Crafts,” Alameda glass artist Ken Matthias’ glorious slides are a result of his ongoing meticulous survey of decorative glass on the island. Ken will be introduced by a holographic image of glassmaster Louis Comfort Tiffany.
  • June 27, 2002 “Neon: The Living Flame,” by Mr. Art Deco himself, Michael Crowe, author of Deco by the Bay: Art Deco Architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • February 27, 2003 “Victorian Polychroming” by expert color consultant Bob Buckter, (aka Dr. Color), whose glorious slides are the result of his two decades of transforming buildings all over California.
  • March 27, 2003 “A. W. Smith: Architect” by Betty Marvin, an Oakland Heritage Alliance member who has made an intense study of Smith and his work.
  • April 24, 2003 “Red Tile Style” by architect Arrol Gellner, who will present juicy slides taken by photographer Douglas Keister, who illustrated this new book from Viking.
  • May 29, 2003 “Early Berkeley,” by Richard Schwartz, author of Berkeley 1900, “the first book to approach a true history of day-to-day life at the turn of the century,” according to Stephanie Manning of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.
  • June 26, 2003 “Percy & Hamilton: Color, Texture, and Form” by architectural historian Bill Kostura. In Alameda, their plans won the competition for City Hall. The Sharon Playhouse in Golden Gate Park, the Bourne Wine Cellar in St. Helena, early office skyscrapers, and imposing mausoleums are among their other works that will be discussed.
  • July 31, 2003 “Victorian Classics” by Alex Brammer, who spent ten years feeding his obsession with the fabulous residences of the railroad barons and silver bonanza kings atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill.
  • August 28, 2003 “Queen Victoria Down Under” by Bruce Bradbury, founder of Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers in Benicia, California and a renowned rake and raconteur.
  • March 25, 2004 “Glass Act” by Alameda glassmaster Ken Matthias, who continues his house-by-house survey of all the decorative glass on the Island. Come and be stunned!
  • April 29, 2004 “Emergence of the Modern in Alameda Architecture: From the Bungalow to the Rancher” by Woody Minor.
  • June 24, 2004 “Julia Morgan: California’s First Female Architect,” by architectural historian Betty Marvin, who will assume the dress and persona of Miss Morgan during her lecture, which will feature her dozen or so structures in Alameda.
  • July 29, 2004 “The Pardee Legacy” by David Nicolai, curator of the Pardee Home in Oakland. David will dress in character and present George Cooper Pardee’s “first person” account of his regime as University of California drum major, Oakland Mayor (1893-95), and California Governor (1903-07)
  • August 26, 2004 “Bernard Maybeck and the Secrets of the Palace” by Gray Brechin, Ph.D. author of Farewell Promised Land: Waking From the California Dream and Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, published by the University of California Press.
  • March 31, 2005 “The East Bay Then and Now” based on a new book of photographs compiled by writer Dennis Evanosky, and Eric Kos of the Alameda Sun.
  • April 28, 2005 “Nineteenth Century California Interiors” by architect and historian Hank Dunlop, whose slide show on Fernside wowed audiences during our 2003 lecture series.
  • June 30, 2005 “Preservation Power: Tales of the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society,” presented by Christopher Buckley and Company.
  • July 28, 2005 “History and Commerce on the Island,” by raconteur, author, and local historian Woody Minor. This slide show will include book signing of the new edition of Woody’s book “Taking Care of Business.
  • August 25, 2005 “Pattiani Powerpoint” by Paul Roberts, who will show an expanded version of his “Passion for Pattiani” presentation in conjunction with his new book about that prolific Alameda architect.
  • September 29, 2005 “Trains, Ferries, and Trolleys: How Transportation Shaped Alameda” by Western Railroad Museum trolley operator Bruce Singer, and Alameda ferry buff and photo archivist Grant Ute.
  • February 23, 2006 Bruce Singer and Grant Ute ride the rails for part two of their transportation extravaganza: “Ride the Alameda Red Cars” a tour of the Encinal and Lincoln lines of the Southern Pacific’s Alameda Electric Service.
  • March 30, 2006 Curator George Gunn will trot out cobwebbed images that have never seen the light of day as he presents “The Museum Archives Revealed.”
  • April 27, 2006 Melisa Gadreau and Chris Verplanck, architectural historians from Page & Turnbull, will make a PowerPoint presentation about the former Naval Air Station, “Alameda Point: History in Action.”
  • August 31, 2006 “Any Style You Want,” Paul Roberts returns with an investigation into the work of the Newsom Brothers, prominent Bay Area architects who designed the magnificent Carson Mansion in Eureka.
  • February 22, 2007 Alameda author and historian Woody Minor on “The Architecture of Ratcliff,” his new book about a century of East Bay building.
  • March 29, 2007 Leslie Freudenheim, author of Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home, published by Gibb Smith.
  • April 26, 2007 Author and historian Richard Schwartz, author, Earthquake Exodus 1906, published by RSB Books.
  • May 31, 2007 “WPA buildings in Alameda” by historian Gray Brechin, author of New Deal California, U.C Berkeley Press.
  • July 26, 2007 Architect and historian Hank Dunlop, “The Restoration of the Leland Stanford Mansion,” the centerpiece of a fabled state park in Sacramento.
  • April 24, 2008 “Alameda’s Civic Center,” by local author and historian Woody Minor.
  • May 29, 2008 “A Stroll Down Historic Park Street” presented by Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, coauthors of San Francisco in Photographs and East Bay Then and Now.
  • June 26, 2008 “Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley,” another magical tome about “Berserkeley” by Richard Schwartz, a Museum lecture circuit favorite.
  • August 28, 2008 “Musing on Modernism” by local author Richard Knight with images from Saarinen’s Quest, his new book for William Stout Publishers. Eero Saarinen was the architect for the St. Louis Arch and other visionary projects.
  • September 25, 2008 “Del Monte: Historic Past, Exciting Future.” Historian Melisa Gaudreau, with Page & Turnbull architects, will discuss the heritage of this official Alameda Landmark. SOM architects will detail its new prospects.
      • March 26, 2009 “Fair, Please” transportation buff and author Grant Ute shows how people came from all over, by ferry, train, cable car, and trolley, to see the wonders of the Panama Pacific International Exposition, AKA the 1915 World’s Fair.
      • April 30, 2009 “A.A. Cohen and Old Fernside,” by architect and historian Hank Dunlop.
      • May 28, 2009 “ A Home in Alameda,” by local author and historian Woody Minor, based on his new book about Victorian era development.
      • June 25, 2009 “Alameda: An Architectural Treasure Chest,” a look at the Island City’s domestic architecture from the Gothic Revival to the Bungalow, presented by Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos.
      • August 27, 2009 “Just Across the Pond: Oakland Point and the West Oakland Marsh,” by architectural historian Betty Marvin.
      • September 24, 2009 “Alameda Album” an illustrated talk by Paul Roberts based on two recently discovered vintage photo albums from the 1890s.
      • March 25, 2010 Paul Duchsherer: “Beyond the Bungalow.”
      • April 29, 2010 Architect and preservationist Richard Rutter “History of the Alameda Naval Air Station.”
      • May 27, 2010 “Taking Panes,” more glorious images of windows throughout the Island. ending with the stunning “Top Ten,” by Glass master Ken Matthias.
      • August 26, 2010 “A New Deal for the East Bay: Excavating the Buried Civilization of the Great Depression,” by author-historian Gray Brechin.
      • June 30, 2011 “A.W. Meets Queen Victoria” by historian and former AAPS president Paul Roberts on renowned Alameda architect A.W. Pattiani.
      • August 25, 2011 “Victoria’s Legacy in Alameda” by designer and author Paul Duscherer.
      • September 29, 2011 “The Centennial of the Red Train: Vintage Transportation on the Island” by Grant Ute, coauthor of Alameda by Rail.
      • March 29, 2012 “Underneath It All: Alameda Infrastructure,” Alameda Sun publishers and authors Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos.
      • April 26, 2012 “Designated Monuments of Alameda,” by Judith Lynch, member Historical Advisory Board.
      • May 31, 2012 “Early East Bay Women Architects – Mildred S. Meyers and her Contemporaries,” a talk by Inge Schaefer Horton, author of Early Women Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area: The Lives and Work of Fifty Professionals, 1890-1951.
      • June 28, 2012 “A Century of Public Transportation in San Francisco” Local author and transportation buff Grant Ute on his new book.
      • July 25, 2012 “Veering toward the Craftsman: Designing with Nature,” Arts and Crafts Architecture in Northern California. Another film by Paul Bockhorst Productions. Sponsored by Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate.
      • July 26, 2012 “Years of Power: Celebrating the 125th anniversary of Alameda Municipal Power,” behind the scenes in the second city in the entire United States to electrify. Slide show by Woody Minor.
      • August 30, 2012 “Research and Findings” How we discovered the truth about Alameda’s oldest commercial building, the Encinal Saloon, aka Gim’s Chinese Restaurant storage building, by Kevin “the Diligent” Frederick.
      • September 27, 2012 “An Albino Angel’s Resurrection” Architect Richard Rutter tells the saga of one of the airplanes on pylons at NAS.
      • March 28, 2013 Alameda debut of a new film, “Pursuing Beauty, the Architecture of Bernard Maybeck.” Introduced by Peter Fletcher, a graduate of Principia, the college campus designed by Maybeck. Sponsored by Peter Fletcher, Real Estate Broker, Prudential California Realty.
      • April 25, 2013 Andy Pagano Film Festival, with several movies on local history by the late Mr. Alameda. Sponsored by the law offices of Susan Jeffries.
      • May 30, 2013 “More on Maybeck: The Inspiring Saga of the Palace of Fine Arts” by Gray Brechin author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, and many other books and articles.
      • June 27, 2013 Much Ado: Celebrating 75 years of the Altarena Playhouse, a spunky in-the-round group of players holding forth on High Street. Sponsored by Robbie Dileo, President, Alameda Museum.
      • August 29, 2013“The Chicago World’s Fair and the ‘Rise’ of the Skyscraper” by U.C. Berkeley professor and architect Greg Castillo. To prepare for this talk, please read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. Sponsored by Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor Gallagher & Lindsey
      • September 26, 2013 Slide Talk: “Learning from Nature: Tales of two Ansels, Mr. Hall and Mr. Adams.” A glimpse into the life of explorer, photographer, and adventurer Ansel F. Hall, the first chief naturalist and chief forester of the National Park Service. Guiding our glimpse is Alameda resident Johanna Hall, his great grand-daughter. Sponsored by Judith Lynch, member, Alameda Historical Advisory Board.
      • March 27, 2014 “Twenty-seven Years Aglow,” a talk by Alameda architect Richard Rutter, who designed the lighting to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1987. Sponsors: the law offices of Susan Jeffries and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS).
      • April 24, 2014 “Bay Area Copper 1900-1950—Dirk van Erp & His Influence,” by author Gus Bostrom, proprietor of the Craftsman mecca California Historical Design store in Berkeley. Sponsor: Judith Lynch, member, City of Alameda Historical Advisory Board.
      • May 29. 2014 “Old Alameda,” Authors and Alameda Sun publishers Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, a slide lecture to entice people to go on the June 14 trolley tour of the three small towns later consolidated into the City of Alameda. The trolley tour benefits the Alameda Museum; to reserve tickets at $50 each, email judithal@comcast.net. Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
      • June 26, 2014 “Preserving Our History: The Six Museum Alliance of Alameda.” Art gallery exhibits and talks about the Alameda Museum, the California Historical Radio Museum, the Meyers House, the Naval Air Museum, the Pinball Museum, and the U.S.S. Hornet. Speakers: Steve Kushman, Charlie Howell, Larry Pirack, Michael Schiess, and Kurt Zeigler. Featuring an Alameda Museum walk through by Curator George Gunn. Sponsor: Debra Hilding, docent, Alameda Museum.
      • July 31, 2014 “Living in a Brown Shingle Home,” by architect Lucia Howard, a partner in the innovative firm Ace Architects and coauthor of Shingle Style: Living in a Brown Shingle Home (Rizzoli, 2013). She will elaborate on the history, variety and unique traits of Shingle style homes. Sponsor: Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate.
      • August 28, 2014 “Glamour on the Gold Coast,” Historian and author Woody Minor will delve into the origins and architecture of Alameda’s glamorous Gold Coast. Dating back to the railroad era, this leafy shoreline neighborhood boasts Alameda’s most impressive collection of fine homes and garden. To prepare for his talk, attend his annual Woody Walk in the Gold Coast, sponsored by the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society August 24. The boffo combination of the walk and the talk will set you up to really enjoy Alameda Legacy Home Tour September 28, also featuring homes… you know where! Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.
      • September 25, 2014 “The 1868 Quake,” by author Richard Schwartz on Hayward fault earthquake that was a mild precursor to what will happen here in the near (or far) future. Includes accounts of people who lived through the devastating 1868 temblor. Sponsor: Johanna Hall, member, Alameda Museum Board of Directors.
      • October 30, 2014 “Six Short Blocks That Are Long on History: A Century on Post Street from the Gold Rush to the 1950s,” Robin Seeley talks about the history and architecture of her Alameda neighborhood. Sponsor: Robbie Dileo, former President, Alameda Museum.
      • November 13, 2014 “Greenleaf House, Dr. Edith Meyers, and 50 years of Girls, Inc.” Local historian Woody Minor on the history and architecture of Greenleaf House, currently the home of Girls, Inc. and named in honor of Dr. Meyers; Janet Thoma will discuss Edith Meyers’ role in organizing and promoting the group and will present a celebration of the first 50 years of helping girls be strong and bold. Girls,Inc. will also have a display in the art gallery through mid-December. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.
      • March 26, 2015, Authors and Alameda Sun publishers Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos,  the back story of how a homesite became “Alameda’s only park that is a Monument…” or its only Monument that is a park! Sponsor: Johanna Hall, Alain Pinel Realtors
      • April 30, 2015, Author and Designer Paul Duschcherer, celebrating the release of his completely redesigned and expanded book, “Victorian Glory.” Sponsor: Judith Lynch
      • May 28, 2015, U.C. Berkeley graduate historian and Alameda resident Madeleine Seiwald, “Capitalizing on Insanity: The Alameda Park Asylum in Post-Gold Rush California.” Sponsor: Carol Kane
      • June 25, 2015, The Robles family and Ron Mackrodt reveal the fascinating lore of a little known variety of local architecture, “An Ark in Alameda.” Sponsor: Janelle Spatz, Realtor, Bayside Real Estate
      • July 30, 2015, Alameda architect Richard Rutter. Sponsor: The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS)
      • August 27, 2015, Alameda author and historian Woody Minor, “Street of Dreams, Central Avenue in Alameda.” Sponsor: Peter Fletcher, Broker, Windermere Real Estate.
      • September 24, 2015, Former Alameda Main Street director and past president Alameda Architectural Preservation Society Paul Roberts, “The Work of Alameda Photographer Edgar A. Cohen,” son of entrepreneur and railroad founder A. A. Cohen, whose estate was developed as the Fernside neighborhood after his mansion burned. Sponsor: Evelyn Kennedy, Realtor, Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc.