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Theodore C. Bernardi Collection, 1920-1934, 1955-1968
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Collection Title: Theodore C. Bernardi Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1920-1934, 1955-1968
    Collection Number: 1991-1
    Creator: Bernardi, Theodore C., 1903-1990
    Extent: 2 boxes, 1 flat file drawer
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Director.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Theodore C. Bernardi Collection, (1991-1), Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California

    Access Points

    Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons
    Historic American Buildings Survey

    Biographical Note

    Theodore C. Bernardi (1903 - 1990)
    Theodore C. Bernardi was born in Korčula,Yugoslavia (then Austria-Hungary), in 1903. A year later, his mother and uncle brought him to the United States to join his father who was already in America. In 1906 the family returned to Yugoslavia where Bernardi attended school until the family once again moved to the U.S. in 1912. Bernardi studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley; he earned his bachelor's degree in 1924 and continued with graduate studies. Over the next nine years he supplemented his academic studies by working as an architect and draftsman in a number of Bay Area firms, including the office of Timothy Pflueger.
    Bernardi obtained his architectural license in 1933, and joined the firm of William W. Wurster the following year where, during the next eight years, he lead the design and construction of major Wurster office projects, including more than a dozen government housing projects. When William Wurster left the Bay Area for Harvard University to study and later become Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT from 1944 to 1950, Bernardi directed the Wurster office in San Francisco. And in 1944, an official professional partnership between Bernardi and Wurster was formed; Donn Emmons joined this partnership in 1946 and the firm Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons (WBE) was born. Bernardi was Principal-in-Charge of many major WBE projects, including the Schuckl Canning Company office building in Sunnyvale (1930), the Master Plan for University of California Santa Cruz (1962), the Ice House renovation in San Francisco's North Waterfront (1967), and the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley (located in Kensington). His own home in Sausalito (1950) won a 1956 AIA Award of Merit in 1956.
    In addition to his work with WBE, Bernardi was a lecturer in the UC Berkeley Department of Architecture between 1954 and 1971. In 1962 he was elected to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects, and in 1965 WBE won the AIA Architectural Firm Award Medal. Though his role in the firm became less active during the 1970s, Bernardi continued to work on projects until his death in 1990.

    Scope and Content

    The Theodore C. Bernardi collection is arranged in three series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, and Project Records. The bulk of the collection consists of drawings, though some correspondence is also included. The first series, Personal Papers, contains Bernardi's student drawings, which include books of basic drawing exercises as well as elaborately rendered presentation boards. Bernardi's professional papers contain minimal correspondence, drawings of the San Carlos Presidio Church (Monterey) completed as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey and some unidentified competition boards. The final series contains records of residences designed and built for Mr. and Mrs. Russell Giffen.

    Related Collections

    Title: Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons Collection,
    Identifier/Call Number: 1976-2,
    Contributing Institution: Environmental Design Archives