Push to landmark Kamala Harris’ home fizzles out

The current owners of the home are concerned landmarking will disrupt the neighborhood.

As a child, Kamala Harris lived with her mother and sister in this building on Bancroft Way. Photo: Steven Finacom

The push to landmark the childhood home of Kamala Harris, at 1227 Bancroft Way, has fizzled out.

Local historian Steve Finacom, who also sits on the Landmark Preservation Commission, said he no longer plans to submit an application to landmark the building, where Harris lived for about six years in the early 1970s.

The current owners of the house opposed the landmarking, and Finacom said he is tabling the landmark application in respect of their wishes, according to a memo he submitted on March 11 to the LPC. The owners were concerned that landmarking the home would be disruptive to the neighborhood, said Finacom.

There is a preschool on the ground floor of the house, which sits between Browning and Bonar streets.


“On March 9 I heard from the owners of the house that they would prefer that the house not be considered for landmarking at this time, in part to avoid disruptions to the neighbors who make the 1200 block of Bancroft their home,” Finacom wrote in the memo.

“Berkeley does not require owner support for landmark designations, but, in this case, and given the tumultuous times, I’m happy to honor the request of the owners and will not pursue submitting the landmark application,” Finacom emailed Bay City News, which first reported his actions.

Ever since Harris was elected vice-president, people have been flocking to the neighborhood to gawk or express their good wishes. They have chalked messages on the sidewalk, danced in joy and played musical instruments.

Harris lived in the house with her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, and her sister Maya from 1971 to 1977, after which they moved to Canada where her mother had taken a new job, according to Finacom. She attended Thousand Oaks Elementary School.