Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Leaders at the University of California have decided to build dorms on the storied park in Berkeley.
On the final day of September, the leaders of the University of California system voted to build student dorms near one of their biggest campuses.
With the exorbitant cost of housing in California, the decision to finance new places to live for 1,100 U.C. Berkeley undergraduates might seem an obvious, even essential, choice.
But the project’s location has made it highly contentious: Officials plan to build in People’s Park, one of the most storied plots of land in the Bay Area.
How People’s Park came to be
The story of People’s Park began in 1967, with a few dozen houses three blocks south of the main entrance to U.C. Berkeley’s campus.
University officials used eminent domain to buy the properties and raze them, saying they needed the land for dorms. Yet many believed destroying the houses was a ruse.
Berkeley had become the center of the nation’s counterculture movement, home to huge protests about the Free Speech Movement and against the Vietnam War. And thousands of those left-leaning activists had settled on the affordable south side of campus, exactly where officials were ousting residents.
So when construction of the dorms stalled, Berkeley residents decided to reclaim the dirt lot where the houses had once stood.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Soumya Karlamangla on The New York Times
Published: October 25, 2021
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