The Berkeley Community Fund hosted its 17th annual awards dinner on October 21, 2010 at Hs Lordships Restaurant on the Berkeley Marina. Each year at this event, there is an acknowledgement of outstanding organizations and individuals who have continued the tradition of service to the Berkeley community.
This year, the Berkeley Community Fund honored Denny Abrams and Richard Millikan with the 2010 Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal, which has been awarded every year since 1929. Abrams and Millikan have been chosen in recognition of their 32 year commitment to the development of Fourth Street - which has brought community and commerce to West Berkeley.
In years gone by, the area around Fourth Street was almost entirely industrial, with some maritime and building trades related to businesses. Today, Fourth Street is the most upscale shopping district in Berkeley and one of the most diverse and dynamic in the Bay Area. This successful evolution is due, in no small measure to the efforts of Denny Abrams and Richard Millikan. In 1978 they, along with David Kent also founder of Berkeley Mills, purchased a small parcel of land from the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency in order to create a Building Design Center. Since it's inception, the Center has gone through nine additions thus transitioning into a vibrant shopping area attractng a regional clientel. The district now generates over 400 jobs and substantial sales tax dollars for the City of Berkeley. When asked about Fourth Street, Abrams and Millikan say their proudest achievement is to have created and nurtured a beautiful public space that people enjoy.
More info regarding the Berkeley Community Fund, the Benjamin Ide Wheeler award, it's programs and beneficiaries here.
See more pictures and read more about Fourth Street's history here.
Richard Millikan and Denny Abrams
(Pictured on right) Dave Kent