University Village

9.33 reviews
Ranked #1 in Albany hotels
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University Village, Albany, CA 94706, USA
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Local from Pleasant Hill, California, USA
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University (or UC or Albany) Village is a housing community for Cal students who are married or have dependents. Gayle and I were here yesterday (at the Community Center) for darling granddaughter's 8th Birthday party, which is also where the parent's live. We had a most enjoyable time.

The village was constructed on the Gill Tract, a marshy area at the foot of Codornices and Marin Creeks. It began as a federal housing project for some of the thousands of workers who came to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in various war industries during World War II, especially the Kaiser Shipyards in nearby Richmond. It originally extended across the city limits demarcated by Codornices Creek into an adjacent neighborhood of Berkeley as far south as Camelia Street, but after the war ended and the village was acquired by the University of California, the Berkeley section was demolished and replaced by various industrial buildings.

When I previously served on the Albany Park and Recreation Commission, the big City controversy was the attempt to preserve some of the old WWII vintage buildings (now demolished) for the sake of affordability. In recent times, Gill Tract-related issues have been at the forefront, as have the University's attempt to commercially develop their land facing San Pablo Avenue.

Over the years, I have walked through University Village with my Son as part of a nearby elementary school Halloween parade, visited family residents, watched children's soccer practice, attended Community Center gatherings, and simply passed through. Albany City Hall and the Fire Station were also located here for a short time while the main buildings were being refurbished.

UC Village provides and fascinating slice of international life, that is quite unique from the surrounding Albany and Berkeley communities. That goes for occasional visitors such as me that sometimes wish to briefly reconnect with our own treasured college memories.

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