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Visitors have been finding hospitality on Berkeley’s “Holy Hill” just north of the UC Berkeley campus for decades.
In 1924, the building that is now Easton Hall was the chapter house of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley. In the 1960’s the fraternity’s next-door neighbor, Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), purchased the building.
For a number of years it served as the home of the seminary president and was the site of numerous seminary events and celebrations. Eventually, CDSP leased the building to the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT), whose priests and monks could often be seen playing basketball on a court between the school and the CDSP chapel.
In 2005, DSPT found a more permanent home close a couple of blocks north. CDSP took advantage of this move to prepare for seismic retrofitting and overall building repairs that has been urgently needed. CDSP undertook to restore the building to its original elegance and create a modern conference center and guest house that could attract visitors from around the world. The rooms in Gibbs Hall also were upgraded.
The extensive award-winning renovation and restoration (which won a Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Preservation Award) was completed in 2007, giving new life to a building imbued with an enduring spirit of learning, contemplation, and no small measure of mirth.