How Quirky is Berkeley? Elephants!

2375 Cedar St. Photo: John Storey

This is a brief exploration of the elephants of Berkeley, both three-dimensional and two-dimensional.

The elephant at 2375 Cedar (above) was the senior sculpture project of Roxanne Urry at Sonoma State. Roxanne is the daughter of a friend of Mary Kate Morris and Dan Werthimer, owners of the home and creators of a majorly quirky home and garden. It is suggested in a Morris/Werthimer photo album that the elephant was at least once known as Penelope.

Urry’s elephant is evocative of the art made by Mark Olivier with beach detritus and displayed in front of his house at 1118 Colusa Ave. Sweet

Baboo, shown below, is now in front the house of a friend of Olivier’s on Stannage.


1428 Stannage Ave. Photo: John Storey

I have posted about the over-the-top spectacular wonderful quirk outside and inside 2333 McKinley St. Among the quirk assembled by Howie Gordon outside the house are these elephants on the front porch:

2333 McKinley. Photo: John Storey
2333 McKinley St. Photo: John Storey

I am sure that there are elephants to be found in the “small worlds” around Berkeley, assembled front-garden miniatures. The small world below is the work of Mac McIlroy. He estimates that he has spent no more than $50 on the small world housing the elephant. Most of the animals are sidewalk finds, some are left by neighbor kids.

1422 Fifth St. Photo: John Storey

I don’t know the story behind this, the last of the three-dimensional elephants that I chose for this post:

925 Ensenada Ave. Photo: John Storey

My vote for best 2D depiction of an elephant in Berkeley  goes to Eduardo Pineda’s multi-cultural mural on the U.A. Housing / Bombay Spice building on University Avenue:

1040 University Ave. Photo: John Storey

I don’t know why MacBeath lumber latched upon this elephant in its logo, but it did and it rocks:

930 Ashby Avenue. Photo: John Storey

The finest elephant art on a home in Berkeley is on a Painted Lady on Addison. The elephants painted on the front of the house are a relic from Jeffrey Masson, a previous owner. Masson wrote When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals.

1841 Addison St. Photo: John Storey

There is a newcomer in elephant images, the Funky Elephant, a relatively new Thai restaurant at 1313 Ninth St. Good reviews, tasty menu, killer graphic for the killer name logo.


1313 Ninth St. Photo: Jane Bitker

I know that there are more elephants to be found in Berkeley. If you write me with suggestions I will add them to this post.

Tom 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 8,000 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-plus-year resident muses on what it all means.  A longer and more idiosyncratic versions of this post may be seen at Quirky Berkeley.