Built in 1923 as the Hull & Durgin funeral home, this storybook-like building became the home of outdoor gear store Marmot Mountain works in 1976. In March 2012 Marmot closed up shop and the building is now for sale.
The Hull & Durgin folks had quite a colorful history going back to the late 1800s when they were half furniture store, half mortuary. The story about them and this building on the Berkeley Architectural Heritage (BAHA) website begins…
“On the morning of 1 February 1895, a Berkeley carpenter by the name of A.E. Spaulding entered Stricker’s cigar store at 2132 Shattuck Avenue. Laying a bundle of medications on the counter, he announced that he wished to leave it there. Then he walked to the rear of Durgin & Bleakley, a furniture and undertaking establishment at 2129 Center Street. Leaning against a barn, Spaulding shot himself through the heart with a 38-caliber revolver.”
There are wonderful photos of the interior and exterior of this building in its prime on the BAHA site with a fascinating story of its history. The building cost $28,000 and opened in February 1924. I hope it is restored and not torn down.
About the sketch: Drawn with Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Ex-Fine with Platinum Carbon Ink in Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and painted on site, while sitting on a pile of huge PVC sewer pipes stacked at the curb near the corner of Adeleine and Ashby in Berkeley.