Berkeley environmental center named for famed green leader Brower
BERKELEY – Renowned wilderness advocate David Brower’s legacy is set to extend into the urban landscape as construction gets under way on a $75 million downtown environmental center bearing his name. Contractors began laying the groundwork this week for the four-story David Brower Center, slated to house eco-conscious retailers and environmental non-profits. The building, scheduled to open in 2009, will be built with a solar-cell roof and include a restaurant with a menu conceived by Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters. Brower saw the Sierra Club’s membership grow from 2,000 to 77,000 under his leadership during the 1950s and 1960s. He led campaigns to establish 10 new national parks and founded Friends of the Earth, an environmental activist network now operating in 70 countries. “We are elated, and my dad would be, too,” said Ken Brower. “At the very end of his life he got wind of this, and he was thrilled.” David Brower, a Berkeley native, died in 2000 at 88.