How quirky is Berkeley? Painted garage doors

1331-Bonita
Painted garage doors at 1331 Bonita St. Photo: Tom Dalzell

For the last few years, Tom Dalzell has been wandering the streets of Berkeley, camera in hand, to document all the strange, fascinating, and unusual items he can spot in yards and gardens. They range from animal-themed birdhouses to Hansel and Gretel cottages to wild lawn art to unusual signs to art cars. The only criterion he has: they must be quirky.

Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,400 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means. This is the second installment in the series.

In Berkeley, we like to paint. We paint fire hydrants. We paint our houses in bright and unexpected colors. We paint our cars. We paint birds and flowers on our houses. We paint our doors. And we paint our garage doors. This is not an only-in-Berkeley phenomenon, but if you were to explore Albany or Kensington or Oakland you would not see the quantity or quality of painted garage doors that you find in Berkeley.

Let’s start out with colors and shapes, a very good place to start.


2208-Rose
Painted garage door at 2208 Rose St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
1440-Prker
Painted garage door at 1440 Parker St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
1370-Northside
Painted garage door at 1370 Northside St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
2375-Cedar
Painted garage door at 2375 Cedar St. Photo: John Storey

Moving from colors and shapes to representational painting, we paint animals on our garage doors.

1748-Marin
Painted garage door at 1748 Marin Ave. Photo: Catherine MacNeal
Painted garage door at 1421 Ada St. Photo: John Storey
Painted garage door at 1421 Ada St. Photo: John Store
Painted garage door at 2620 California St. Photo: Tom Dalzell.
Painted garage door at 2620 California St. Photo: Tom Dalzell

We paint birds:

Painted garage door at 1613 Derby St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Painted garage door at 1613 Derby St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Painted garage door at 1549 Oregon St. Photos: Tom Dalzell.
Painted garage door at 1549 Oregon St. Photos: Tom Dalzell
Painted garage door at 1549 Oregon St. Photos: Tom Dalzell.
Painted garage door at 1549 Oregon St. Photos: Tom Dalzell

And we paint landscapes:

Painted garage door at 2914 Deakin St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Painted garage door at 2914 Deakin St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Painted garage door at 37 Poplar St. Photo: Tom Dalzell.
Painted garage door at 37 Poplar St. Photo: Tom Dalzell

My personal favorites for quirky painted garage doors are barely visible anymore, faded and flaking garage doors at the southwest corner of Rose and Spruce.  The house is in critical condition, and the garage doors hint at a past glory, faded and crumbling today.  These might be everybody’s cup of tea, but they speak to me:

Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff.
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff.
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff.
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff.
Painted garage door at 220 Rose St. Photo: Colleen Neff

I know of at least one more painted garage door up in the hills near where Timothy Leary lived. I will capture it and any others lurking up there when I walk the hill streets this spring and summer. For more photos and musing on painted doors, see my full post at Quirky Berkeley.


Related:
How quirky is Berkeley? Check out these dinosaurs (03.20.14)

Make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.