1910 Yosemite Ave is a stunning mid-century modern in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood of Berkeley listed by Anna Bellomo.
When researching the architect’s name from the building permits, she found out the name of the architect was A. Steiner. She assumed him to be Carlton Arthur Steiner, who back in the 1950’s had an architectural firm in Berkeley.
To get some more information, she reached out to the Palm Springs Art Museum (which keeps good records of mid-century architects) and they pointed in the direction of a couple of buildings that A. Steiner had designed.
According to the information provided by the Palm Springs Art Museum, he designed the Plymouth Congregational Church, Oakland, CA (1957-1959).
Another of the buildings he designed was the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, which had the following information on their website:
“ he had the creativity and vision needed to provide them with the bold, out-of-the-ordinary design” – First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
During this period (1950’s), Carlton Arthur Steiner of Berkeley was selected to be the architect for this challenging project. The building site included area covered by the old church building and one additional lot acquired by Webster Street. Finally the plans were drawn and approved and construction on the 1,050-person capacity “Contemporary Gothic” building began. The general contractor was Theo G. Meyer and Sons of San Francisco
At the time Carlton Arthur “Art” Steiner was chosen to be architect of the new sanctuary, he had not yet designed a church building. Holder of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from U.C. Berkeley, and for six years on the faculty there, his architectural practice included commercial and residential work. The selection committee, however, discerned that he had the creativity and vision needed to provide them with the bold, out-of-the-ordinary design they so wanted. He submitted “many, many” sketches; finally one was accepted. When asked what was the biggest challenge of the design and building process, Mr. Steiner replied, “Satisfying the building committee!”
The “bones” of the new sanctuary were 19 massive poured-in-place concrete piers that extend from beneath the basement-level upward to meet 73 feet above the main aisle. Other basic structural elements were poured in place except the roof panels, which were precast, raised by a crane, and tied together at the ridge. 1,500 brilliantly hued small glass inserts were installed from a high interior scaffold. To ensure good acoustics, the face of the balcony was undulated. The unique circular motif lighting fixtures, made of spun steel with a brass finish, weigh 600 ilbs and were bolted to the roof. (As the building neared completion, Mr. Steiner and Dr. Stuart, in a mischievous moment, scaled the scaffold to carve their initials high above the chancel!)
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