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Parks Division
Parks Division

JOHN HINKEL PARK


LocationJohn Hinkel Park

41 Somerset Avenue between Southampton Avenue and San Diego Road -  Northeast Berkeley 

 

Getting There

Map of Parks

 

John Hinkel Park, located in a beautiful hillside oak grove offers a range of recreational opportunities as well as an amphitheatre for outdoor performances. 

 

 Features (You can click the thumbnail photo to see the full size picture) 

  • Multi-purpose turf and grassy areas 

  • Magnificent oak grovesJohn Hinkel Park

  • Play area featuring swings, slides, teeter-totters 

  • Picnic area with large fireplace and BBQ pit 

  • Hiking and trails 

  • Blueberry and Blackberry Creeks crossing the park site 

  • Stage/amphitheatre 

 

Rental

The amphitheatre is available for rental. For reservations or more information, call the City Recreation Office at 510-981-5150, or click here

 

 History

The park was built on land donated to the City of Berkeley by John Hinkel, a local capitalist and philanthropist who lived on Channing Way in Berkeley and died in 1926. It was dedicated for park purposes in 1918. 

The site was the home of the John Hinkle Clubhouse.  Between 1895-1915, Berkeley established itself as a city with distinctive architectural character and the clubhouse was one of the few publicly owned tributes to that achievement.  The Clubhouse was a pre-1920’s, 2,400 sq.ft., 2-story wood frame building with significant architectural merit due to its use of brown wooden shingles.  From 1919-1934, the use of the brown shingles was more popular in Berkeley than anywhere else nation-wide, and the city became known for them.  The clubhouse was used for dance classes with Berkeley Folk Dancers, classes in theater, and storage for the local Shakespeare festival up until 1991.  The Clubhouse was demolished in 2015 after a fire critically damaged the building on January 16, 2015.  

The stage and amphitheater was used in the 1940’s for community gatherings, music and dance productions.  In the 50’s and 60’s it was used for music and folk dances, barbershop quartets and piano, and by the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival from 1971-1991.  Today, it remains available for rental.

 

 No Restroom Available

 

Limited Parking Available

Acreage

4.19 acres              182,520 sq. ft. 

Accessibility
handicapWheelchair accessible to front row of seating in amphitheatre; rest of park is inaccessible due to steep grade and steps. 

Park Hours

6 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted 

For questions on park maintenance, contact: 

Mobile Unit 1: Landscape Gardener Supervisor, Alonzo Chess, Jr achess@cityofberkeley.info (North Berkeley & Weekend Service Telephone: 510-981-6663)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of City Parks Map of City Parks  

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Parks Division, 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94702
Questions or comments? Email: trees@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6660
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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