Cloyne Court Hotel
The Cloyne Court Hotel, often referred to simply as Cloyne, is a student housing cooperative located at 2600 Ridge Road in Berkeley, California on the north side of the University of California, Berkeley campus, on Ridge Road at Leroy Avenue. It is part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) system. Residents of the house are known as "Clones". The BSC is now the largest housing co-op organization in North America and Cloyne is one of the biggest cooperative houses in the country with 150 residents. Despite its size the house was entirely student-run for nearly sixty years. This changed in July 2005, when the co-op was forced to hire a live-in manager in order to renew the property lease with the University. Cloyne Court has played a notable role in the Bay Area music scene. The bands No Doubt, Operation Ivy, The Offspring, Rancid, Green Day, Elliott Smith, 24-7 Spyz, Save Ferris, Skankin' Pickle, The Mr. T Experience and Rilo Kiley played at Cloyne before becoming well-known. The house has also been host to several lesser-known bands during its many events. Cloyne has hosted as many as a dozen bands in a single evening, commonly using 2 separate stages, though sometimes as many as 4 - the dining room, the lib-ed room, the basement ("dungeon"), and the courtyard.

Cloyne Court was named after Cloyne, the village in Ireland where George Berkeley was bishop. Cloyne was built in 1904 for $80,000 by the University Land and Improvement Company, which included several University professors, University benefactresses Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Jane K. Sather, future Regent James K. Moffit, Dr. Louis Lisser, John L. Howard, Warren Olney, Dr. Kasper Pishel, Louis Titus, John Galen Howard, the architect of the building and James M. Pierce, the later owner of the hotel. The building, described as a 'high-class, modern apartment house,' originally contained 32 suites, each with bath, that were not connected by common hallways, but rather were paired onto private stairways to the first floor public areas. Each section was separated by heavy brick firewalls with automatic fireproof doors and each suite was wired for telephone. In 1911, the music room was added to the building, directly opposite the main entrance, which hosted numerous lectures and music recitals. The building was one of a rare few to survive the devastating 1923 Berkeley fire, remarkable also because all of the buildings had (and still have) wood shake siding and roofs. Pierce and his family managed the hotel from its opening in 1904 until 1914, when they purchased it from the investors. The family continued operating the hotel until it was sold in 1946. The services and hospitality at Cloyne Court were always highly complimented by the many visitors who had the pleasure of staying at the hotel. Registered compliments in the hotel guest book include:
  • Cloyne Court - Silence and peace in an insane world. - Ernest Bloch, 1944
  • Cloyne Court, a haven and a place where the gentle art of hospitality is made manifest to the unknown stranger as well as to the great ones of our day. - Mary Lambert, 1942
  • Giving people a happy home is a divine service. - Benjamin Ide Wheeler, 1923
  • I came a stranger, stayed a guest and departed a friend. - unknown
Cloyne Court was sold by the Pierce family in 1946 to the University Students' Cooperative Association for $125,000. That year, fifteen Cloyne men occupied the new co-op alongside the previous residents, whom the USCA had agreed to not displace but rather to allow to continue to live in the former residential hotel. Cloyne originally housed all men who often held dances and dined with the women of nearby Stebbins Hall and Hoyt Hall, both all-female co-ops at the time. In 1972, Cloyne Court became a co-ed house. In 1970, the USCA was forced to sell the property to the Regents of the University of California, upon the threat of an eminent domain acquisition by the University, in exchange for a peppercorn lease, most recently renewed in July 2005. On December 21, 2008, Cloyne Court was closed temporarily for earthquake renovations. It reopened at the beginning of the Fall 2009 semester. The building is one of fifty-six buildings in Berkeley listed in the National Register of Historic Places as well as a City of Berkeley Landmark.


2 photos

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova activity.buildings_person.create
    about 6 years ago via