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The Town and Gown Club was founded in 1898, part of the growing clubwomen movement. It was founded by Emmanuel Marie Paget, who, along with her husband, was one of the most influential figures in the cultural life of Berkeley at the turn of the century. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • Town and Gown Club
  • An advertisement for the Town and Gown Club

In the cultural and educational life of Berkeley, there are few couples as influential as Felicien and Emmanuel Marie Paget, a French couple who immigrated to San Francisco in 1876. Felicien Paget became a professor of French and Spanish at the university, and his wife taught French as a private tutor.

The couple lived on Dwight Way in a home they named Villa des Roses. The street is also home to another structure influenced by the Pagets, the Town and Gown Club. The club was formed in 1898 by Emmanuel Paget and the building was designed by famed architect Bernard Maybeck. 

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women's clubs proliferated throughout the country. Women's clubs provided their members with opportunities for education and community service and were one of the outlets available for women who wanted a life outside the home. The Town and Gown Club was open to women from both the academic community as well as other walks of life to socialize and attend lectures. 

The Town and Gown Club was designed by acclaimed architect Bernard Maybeck, and is the second-oldest surviving structure by him. It immediately attracted curiosity and controversy because of its unusual roof, which overhangs the walls by roughly eight feet. 

In subsequent years, the Town and Gown Club underwent several expansions, and only the tall center part is the original Maybeck design. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thompson, Daniella. French Couple Left Two Monuments on Dwight Way. berkeleyheritage.com. March 16, 2009. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://berkeleyheritage.com/eastbay_then-now/paget.html.

Wilson, Mark. Puliatti, Joel. Bernard Maybeck: Architect of Elegance. Layton, Utah. Gibbs Smith, 2011. pgs. 119-120