Sather Gate

Coordinates: 37°52′12.7848″N 122°15′34.131″W / 37.870218000°N 122.25948083°W / 37.870218000; -122.25948083
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Sather Gate and Bridge
Sather Gate in 2012
LocationUniversity of California campus in Berkeley
Coordinates37°52′12.7848″N 122°15′34.131″W / 37.870218000°N 122.25948083°W / 37.870218000; -122.25948083
Area0.2 acres (0.081 ha)
ArchitectJohn Galen Howard
Architectural styleClassical Revival-Beaux-Arts
MPSBerkeley, University of California MRA
NRHP reference No.82004649[1]
BERKL No.157
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 25, 1982
Designated BERKLFebruary 25, 1991[2]

Sather Gate is a prominent landmark separating Sproul Plaza from the bridge over Strawberry Creek, leading to the center of the University of California, Berkeley campus. The gate was donated by Jane K. Sather, a benefactor of the university, in memory of her late husband Peder Sather, a trustee of the College of California, which later became the University of California. It is California Historical Landmark No. 946[3] and No. 82004649 in the National Register of Historic Places.


Sather Gate with its metalwork removed in November 2008
Grey granite campana urn with oak and laurel leaves victor ludorum carving c. 1908 on the Sather Gate at UC Berkeley

Designed by John Galen Howard and built by Giovanni "John" Meneghetti in the Classical Revival Beaux-Arts style, Sather Gate was completed in 1910. Atop the gate are eight panels of bas-relief figures: four nude men representing the disciplines of law, letters, medicine, and mining, and four nude women representing the disciplines of agriculture, architecture, art, and electricity. They were sculpted by Professor Earl Cummings. From 1910 to 1977, the panels were removed due to differences with Jane Sather. By 1979 they were all reinstalled.[4]

Originally, the gate served as the formal southern entrance to the university campus. The university later expanded further south of Strawberry Creek, and the gate is now well separated from Berkeley's city streets by Sproul Plaza.

Between October 2008 and April 2009, Sather Gate underwent restoration that focused on its bronze and steel metal work, which had deteriorated over time. It remained open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic during the period of restoration.[5] Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., coordinated the restoration, which received a 2010 Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation.[6]

Free Speech Movement[edit]

Sather Gate is part of the historic Sproul Plaza, a major center for student activity and the scene of many protests during the Free Speech Movement. The gate is a notable subject of one of the most recognizable and iconic photographs of the Movement, a fall 1964 shot of students walking through it, carrying the Free Speech banner.[7]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System – (#82004649)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Berkeley Landmarks". Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "University of California, Berkeley Campus". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  4. ^ Stein, Ken (October 22, 2008). "Sather Gate's checkered past". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ Anwar, Yasmin (October 6, 2008). "Iconic Sather Gate to be restored to its former majesty". University of California.
  6. ^ King, John (August 17, 2010). "Architects honored for various Bay Area works". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ Stephens, Elizabeth. "Free Speech Movement Archival Collection Guides". Retrieved May 23, 2018.