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Golden Nuggets: Piedmont Avenue to Benefit from Memorial Stadium Renovation

While the focus of the Memorial Stadium renovation project is on the stadium and the SAHPC, Piedmont Avenue will also benefit.  From a new black granite curb to the restoration of its original Rhyolite curb, Piedmont will undergo a much-needed face lift.

Just as the stadium rebuild is working to preserve the outer wall that makes it distinct, the overhaul of Piedmont Avenue also incorporates the restoration of its own historic wall, one that has been missing since the original construction of Memorial Stadium in 1923.

"When they built the road, they built this stone wall on the uphill side that was removed when the stadium was built," said Jim Horner, the Campus Landscape Architect for UC Berkeley. "We call that the rhyolite wall. That wall is pretty evident throughout North Berkeley. They were also around the site where we built the Residential and Student Services office building 10 years ago. We salvaged those stones and have been holding them in storage for 10 years, waiting for this moment."

That moment is finally here. The stones represent 150 years of Berkeley history, not just University history, and their use can be traced back to the de facto father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, who, among other sites, designed Central Park in New York. The restoration of the rhyolite wall is actually part of a larger scale historical reclamation of sorts that may not be apparent the average observer. 

"One of the guiding principles in the design was to recognize that [Berkeley] was a rustic area," Horner revealed. "The contemporary architects took it as a principal that the farther away from the stadium you got, the rougher everything would be."

When fans walk up to the stadium in 2012, they'll see this process in reverse, from rough and rustic to regal and refined. 

After the jump Ted Miller pumps the sunshine, the MLB Draft selects seven Bears, and pitcher Justin Jones talks about some of his unusual quirks.