A member of the Bay Area city’s preservation commission said this week he wouldn’t be filing an application for consideration, according to a report.
The reason: The current owners of Harris’ former home expressed concerns that the landmark status could be disruptive to the quiet neighborhood, Steven Finacom of the Landmarks Preservation Commission said, according to the Bay City News Service.
“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 wrote in an email, outlining the homeowners’ concerns for their longtime neighbors’ solitude.
However, the home is already well-known in the area and is regarded as an unofficial landmark. In November, supporters of Harris flocked to the home to celebrate after the Biden-Harris ticket won the presidential election, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Last week, a Berkeley city council member announced that city officials would consider a resolution that would expand eligibility for landmark status to include homes of residents who “contributed to the cultural and historic values of Berkeley,” such as the vice president, according to FOX 2 of the Bay Area.
“Her election as the first woman, African-American and South Asian American to be elected to the second-highest position in the country are historic achievements that must be honored,” Councilmember Kate Harrison said.
Currently, historical status can be granted only to homes that were part of historical events inside the city, according to the Chronicle.
Harris’ old two-story duplex on Bancroft Way is more than 100 years old, and Finacom said he would continue to research the place because “there are stories of other Berkeley families to be told, along with the Gopalan-Harris family,” according to the news service.