National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County
Hearst Gymnasium for Women was a retreat for women. The building included comfortable rooms for lounging and eating and sleeping designed to benefit women students who commuted and spent long days at school.
The Hearst Gymnasium for Women was unrivaled as a lavish recreational facility for women. It was said to be the largest and most modern gym for women in the country. The 325,000 gallons necessary to fill the pools forced the City of Berkeley to build a new water treatment system on Bancroft Way.
The building was designed by two of California's leading architects, Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan. The romantic classicism of the exterior is comparable to Maybeck's other work in the same mode, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
William Randolph funded the building as a memorial to his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, to replace a previous gymnasium and social center, Hearst Hall, designed by Maybeck, that burned in 1922.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination.