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Haviland Hall Renewal

Plans for the home of Berkeley Social Welfare embrace communal space and state-of-the-art technology

Haviland Hall, the home of Berkeley Social Welfare, first opened its doors to the UC Berkeley community in 1924. Designed by famed campus architect John Galen Howard, the building to this-day retains many of the classic features and ornamentation influenced by Howard's training in turn-of-the-century Paris and the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

However, nearly nine decades later, time has clearly taken its toll on the intricate details of the building's exterior. At the same time, the classrooms and facilities comprising Haviland's interior have become increasingly outdated.

While Berkeley Social Welfare alumni may fondly remember the classic features and historic importance of Haviland — as evidenced by the building's designation as a City of Berkeley Landmark in 1981 and its addition to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 — there have been long-standing desires for accessible, communal spaces as well as the incorporation of technological tools to enhance students' learning experiences.

Since one of the most defining aspects of social welfare students’ graduate education are the relationships they form and communities they build with peers and faculty, one of the School's key goals in renovating Haviland is to facilitate that much-needed human interaction — all while maintaining the building’s integrity and Howard's original vision.

The School is currently embarking on an ambitious renovation plan to ensure that Berkeley Social Welfare remains at the forefront of preparing the future practitioners, educators, researchers and leaders of the social work profession.

In addition to prioritizing the construction of improved communal spaces that encourage inclusiveness and allow students, lecturers and faculty to connect and exchange ideas, our goal is to transform the School's learning environment through technology. Digital tools for classroom instruction as well as state-of-the-art videoconferencing and recording equipment to help improve communications with our partners in the field — in the Bay Area, California, the nation and throughout the world — will be the first step in ensuring the School's influence and reach extends well into the 21st century.

To help realize our vision, we have established a total project goal of $3 million. For more information or to contribute to the future of Haviland Hall, please contact Director of Development Tess Chandler at