Site of Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne House

Site of Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne House (HM1118)

Location: Berkeley, CA 94709 Alameda County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 53.049', W 122° 16.055'

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— City of Berkeley Landmark —

In 1858, prosperous farmer Napoleon Bryne sold his Missouri land and journeyed west with his wife Mary Tanner Byrne, four children and other relatives. Two freed slaves, Pete and Hannah Byrnes, came with the family and became Berkeley's first known African-American residents.

Bryne bought 827 acres of hillside land here beside Codornices Creek for $25 to #35 an acre and built a formal Italianate-style house. The land proved unproductive for farming, so the Byrnes moved to the Sacramento River Delta. Pete and Hannah chose to remain in the East Bay. Pete Byrne later started a whitewashing business in Oakland, and Hannah became a domestic worker.

Napoleon Byrne sold his land in Berkeley to developers Henry Berryman and Felix Chappellet. Other owners followed, and from 1951 to 1997 the property belonged to the Chinese Christian Missionary Alliance Church. The Byrne house was destroyed by fire in 1985; only the concrete wall along Oxford Street remains from the past.

In 2005, Berkeley's Jewish Congregation Beth El moved from its first synagogue at Arch and Vine streets to this building designed by architects Moore, Ruble, Yudell.

HM NumberHM1118
Year Placed2005
Placed ByBerkeley Historical Plaque Project
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 2:42am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 564405 N 4193214
Decimal Degrees37.88415000, -122.26758333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 53.049', W 122° 16.055'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 53' 2.94" N, 122° 16' 3.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)510
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1323 Oxford St, Berkeley CA 94709, US
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