National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County
South Hall, the oldest surviving building on campus, was the setting for the first graduation held in Berkeley.
South Hall is a rare example, particularly on the West Coast, of the Second Empire architectural style that swept the country in the latter half of the 19th Century. The Second Empire style was in fashion for institutional buildings such as Harvard's Boylston Hall of 1857 and Mills Hall of 1871.
South Hall was designed by David Farquharson, a Scottish immigrant to California, who also designed the first State Capitol building and the first Bank of California in San Francisco.
The building's structural system of walls of brick cells rather than continuous masonry reveals an early approach to fireproofing.
In honor of the University's Centennial, South Hall was renovated in 1968.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1982.