The Greek Theatre

Workers preparing Greek Theatre for Fall 2000 Convocation

The Greek Theatre, whose 1903 construction was financed by notable UC Berkeley benefactor William Randolph Hearst, is located just to the east of the Hayward Fault. The Theatre's 8500 seats are often filled during the many concerts, ceremonies, and rallies held there. It was designed to resemble an ancient Greek ampitheatre, but elements of Roman architecture were also incorporated into the plans. Unlike other famous structures - among them the Colosseum (Flavian Ampitheatre) in Rome and two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which were damaged by earthquakes that threatened ancient civilizations - we hope that our Theatre will survive a major earthquake intact. With a "very poor" seismic safety rating, however, the Greek Theatre will need a retrofit to improve its chances of enduring.

Greek Theatre anorthosite slab reflecting Campanile In front of the Greek Theatre there is a nice decorative slab of anorthosite (igneous rock composed of large feldspar crystals). This slab probably comes from Scandinavia. Anorthosite composes some of the lower crust of the earth, and is also found in the highlands of the moon. It has a relatively high temperature of crystallization, and is commonly found in continental cratons, composed of the oldest rocks on Earth.