Eyes on the Street: Berkeley BART Makeover

The escalators leading down from the new canopies over the rebuilt downtown Berkeley BART station. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless indicated
The escalators leading down from the new canopies over the rebuilt downtown Berkeley BART station. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless indicated

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New entrances and a new plaza opened late last week for the Downtown Berkeley’s BART station. The entrances were part of a two-year project that replaced the old brick rotunda, which was torn down, and includes a landscaped area at the surface level and glass canopies to let more natural light reach the station mezzanine below.

The new plaza above Berkeley BART
The new plaza above Berkeley BART

BART set up a time-lapse camera during the construction, so you can watch the old rotunda come down and the new canopies get built:

“The new main BART entrance is not only visually striking, it’s a major upgrade in terms of functionality,” said BART Director Rebecca Saltzman, in a prepared release. “The staircase improves pedestrian circulation and the new bus shelters and bus-only lane enhance BART and bus connections. The plaza exemplifies our efforts to ensure BART stations serve as integral parts of the communities we serve.”

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Rain gardens help deal with storm water

The new plaza also boasts LED lighting, new pavers, and on-site storm-water retention and landscaping.

The project was funded by State Prop 1B and local area grants including Measure F. The overall budget was $13 million.

And, according to BART, the project is within budget.

More pictures below.

More natural light now penetrates the mezzanine level
More natural light now penetrates the mezzanine level
The new main entrance where the rotund once stood
The new main entrance where the rotunda once stood
Thursday's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Photo: BART
Thursday’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Photo: BART
Unfortunately, Berkeley BART still has the same old slow elevators
Unfortunately, Berkeley BART still has the same old slow elevators
  • SF_Abe

    I guess that’s how you fit a square peg into a round hole.

  • LazyReader

    Hundreds of breakable glass panels….well thought out. The old one reminds me of a baseball stadium, the new one reminds me of a bridge under construction, permanently. On the plus side it matches most of the architectural garbage produced by students of the University Berkeley architecture school.

  • DrunkEngineer

    …according to BART, the project is within budget.

    Weren’t some design elements deleted, such as the glass over the southwest stairwell?

    https://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/07/26/changes-coming-downtown-berkeley-bart-station

  • Now let’s get more canopies built throughout the rest of the system.

  • Edward

    LazyReader is our resident pessimist. He has never seen a project that he likes. His favorite game is insulting everyone (and everything) to the horizon. We should take up a collection so he can get back on his meds.

  • Edward

    Yes. Canopies with the night gates at the top.

  • The first canopy along Market Street is now open at Powell Station. There’s one at Civic Center under construction that might be open now as well.

    The other 20 BART/Muni Metro station entrance canopies are being put out to bid, with construction to start next year.

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