Event: Bancroft Round Table: The Campanile at 100

It will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19. Steven Finacom, who worked for 28 years as a career Berkeley campus staffer, primarily in physical planning but also in Undergraduate Affairs and community relations, will present “The Campanile at 100: Researching What We Thought We Knew.” Mr. Finacom’s work, and personal research interests, have taken him to the Bancroft reading room many times, particularly when researching the history of campus buildings. He is also past President of the Berkeley Historical Society and, for more than a decade, has written a weekly column about Berkeley history in the Berkeley Voice newspaper.

The focus of Mr. Finacom’s talk will be a work in progress on the history of iconic Sather Tower, Berkeley’s Campanile. The tower was largely completed in 1915, and 2015 will see a months-long centennial celebration. When Finacom and others began researching the history of the Campanile more than a year ago, it quickly became clear that many of the facts “everyone knows” about the tower are not necessarily true, or have ambiguous and complicated origins. How tall is the tower, really? Was the design really based on the Campanile San Marco in Venice? Did a BMOC (big man on campus) once catch a football dropped from the observation deck? The collections of the Bancroft and the UC Berkeley Newspapers and Microforms Library have proved invaluable in this continuing process of sleuthing out the actual, and intriguing, history of the Berkeley campus centerpiece.

We hope to see you there.

Kathi Neal and Baiba Strads
Bancroft Library Staff