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On April 23rd 2014 CHRS took possession of this historic building.
 2152 Central Avenue in Alameda CA, will be known as
CHRS ‘Radio Central’ and is now the Permanent home
of the California Historical Radio Society and its’
programs, the Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame
and the Society Of Wireless Pioneers.
Telephone 2152 Central Avenue Bldg Ds400 Rev 1
2152 Central Avenue, Alameda in the early 1900s



 We now have 448 Donations

CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY CHRS! – Our favorite Historical Radio Society has done something that most non-profits only dream about… We have raised enough money to buy a permanent home!

To quote some beloved local balladeers…

“What a long strange trip it’s been.”

In 1974, antique radio collectors Jim Cirner, Norm Berge, Gene Rippen, Dave Brodie, Robert Middleton, Ken Miller and Peter Brickey, decided to organize. These seven collectors realized the importance of preserving radio artifacts and the history that accompanies them. They called themselves the California Historical Radio Society. They were chartered as an educational non-profit corporation, wrote by-laws and secured a 501(c)(3) IRS status. CHRS was born.

These men had the foresight to create an environment for individuals with similar interests to gather and exchange ideas about radio collecting, history and preservation. The first year, CHRS had about 25 members; today we have close to 400.

In the second edition of the CHRS Journal there was a small note that said, “the new home of the CHRS Museum would be announced soon”… that was 1974. In the blink of an eye 40 years has passed. And, thanks to generous and passionate CHRS Members, friends and supporters… We can report that the New CHRS Museum and Educational Center for Radio is now and forever located at 2152 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA, 94501. Phone (510) 522-1974. CHRS has received an outstanding 40th Birthday Present and will be telling radio’s stories at ‘Radio Central’ for generations to come.

Owning ‘Radio Central’ means that CHRS now has complete control of our destiny and you made it happen. We all should feel very proud to be part of such a fine organization that is so dedicated and passionate about keeping radio history alive.

But, we can not let up on fundraising. A big push to continue this campaign is vital. WE ARE NOT DONE  And this is why…

You have heard that in real estate, it’s all about location. We came from a location that many people could not find. So, to be able to find a building with a good location we had to get a fixer-upper. We found a fixer-upper in a great location. This building is 114 years old and in some areas shows its’ age. We have some roofing issues, asbestos issues, minor termite damage and one tiny moldy closet. Don’t be scared, this building has great bones and all these problems can be corrected. We have a Boys Room and Girls Room with many more stalls than we will ever need and a bunch of 24″ sinks. We need to turn these rooms into adult ADA bathrooms. It’s all dooable. It just takes lots of money. Oh yes… We also have to build a Museum.

And speaking of money, your Board of Directors has wisely decided that we will build this facility the best we can make it and do it right, the first time.

It does us no good to have just a building stuffed with radios because we do not have the funds to create our Museum, Hall Of Fame, Library, etc. Chairman Mike Adams says, “We will have a Million dollar warehouse.” Director Tom Bonomo says, “The CHRS team has marched 99 yards down the field and is on the 1 yard line. The last yard is the most important.” Our $1.15 Million dollar goal lets us buy the building, start necessary repairs and construction and most importantly gives CHRS an emergency fund. We feel that this a wise approach. That is why we still need $96,300 for this drive.

We are still looking for an angel who would like the building named after them. A $500,000 donation would do it. What a legacy it would be for someone.

SPRING JOURNAL HAS BEEN MAILED – It’s a great new Journal. But you won’t see another if your membership is not current. As a courtesy we are mailing Journals to people who’s Membership expired in 2012 and 2013. But this will be it… unless you renew. Now is the time as we need your support. If you have not renewed for 2014, please do it now. And don’t forget to donate heavily with your renewals. Included is a CHRS 40 year wrap up. CLICK HERE TO RENEW

THANK YOU DONORS!  Our supporters have done a great job. Please notice the notations in red next to the donor list below. These people continue to amaze us with their generosity and confidence in our efforts. Thank you!

We would like to share a note from a longtime CHRS member. We hope it will inspire you to donate:

“I am just floored at the amount of support that the CHRS team has generated to date. Back when you first began this effort it just looked like such an insurmountable task you were faced with, that I just couldn’t bring myself to chip in; I felt like it was wishful thinking that a building could be purchased to house the club’s collection for proper display and preservation. I’m now so embarrassed for about my attitude. I’ll send my check in post-haste to help you reach your goal. Knowing that all will turn out positively, I plan to donate several items from my collection to your exhibits. It is uplifting to see that so much has been accomplished by your team. Just outstanding and amazing progress.” $1,000 $5,000 $10,000 Donor,  San Jose, CA

PLEDGES DUE NOW! – We still have about $10,000 in outstanding pledges. Not so good… If you have made pledges, we need them Now. Honoring your pledge is your commitment to insure the preservation of radio history. We kindly ask you to please fulfill your pledge… Now.

HOW TO REMIT – The three best ways are to send your check made out to CHRS to our Treasurer Richard Watts, 4036 Copper Creek Drive, Modesto, CA 95355, CLICK HERE TO FULFILL MY PLEDGE or if you have stocks or securities to donate, CONTACT DIRECTOR TOM BONOMO.

SUPER DONORS – The list keeps growing. You can be part of it! EVERY donation means a great deal to CHRS. But it is worth noting several donations that are really allowing us to create ‘Radio Central’:

  • Alan Martin – $10,000 – Donation increased Times 10!
  • Richard & Janet Watts – $5,000 – Donation Increased!
  • Daryl Jones – $6,000 – Donation Increased Times 5!
  • Mike & Barbara Adams – $5,000
  • Anonymous Donor – $5,000
  • Jaime & Ann Arbona – $5,000
  • Jack Bethards – $5,000
  • Elmo & Kim Giovanetti – $5,000
  • Eugene & Marianne Haller – $5,000
  • Steve & Janice Kushman – $5,000
  • Chip Lim – $5,000
  • Robert & Reina Swart – $10,000 – Donation Doubled!
  • Geoff Day – $8,000 – Donation More Than Doubled!
  • Verne Anderson – $10,000
  • Bert Buss – $10,000 – Donation Doubled!
  • Judy Mears & Bart Lee – $10,000
  • Dennis & Susan Monticelli – $10,000 – Donation Doubled!
  • Norm Howard Lehfeldt – $15,000
  • Larry & Joan Drees – $25,000 – Donation Increased!… Again!
  • Tom & Julie Bonomo – $30,000 – Donation Increased!
  • George Patterson – $40,000 – Donation Increased!
  • Gilles Vrignaud – $26,000 – Donation Increased!
  • Tom Nelson – $40,000 – Donation Increased!
  • Norman Leal – $275,000 – Donation More Than Tripled!
  • Philip Monego – $118,000 – Donation Increased!
  • Scott Robinson – $124,300 – Donation Increased… Again!
  • John Staples – $100,000

Thank You! The response to our cause has been phenomenal! CHRS / BARM / SOWP Members and Friends have done a terrific job so far, but we’re not done yet. In addition to our Super Donors, (see above), some noteworthy pledges have come in from:

  • San Francisco Giants – $3,500
  • Sonoma County Radio Amateurs – $1,000
  • Radio Attic – $1,000
  • VictoriaRadioGroup – $203
  • Oakland Athletics – $2,500
  • Bay Area Broadcast Legends – $1,000
  • CHRS Central Valley Chapter – $3,750
  • Alabama Historical Radio Society – $1,000
  • SF Bay Area SBE Chapter 40 – $2,000 – Donation Doubled!
  • Sacramento SBE Chapter 43 – $1,000
  • Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club – $1,000
  • Art Deco Society of California – $500
  • Delaware Valley Historic Radio Club – $1,000
  • Iowa Antique Radio Club and Historical Society – $500
  • Tube Collectors Association, Inc. – $1,000
  • Oakland Radio Communication Association – $250

We are grateful to each and every person and organization supporting our efforts. Please remember to mention our efforts to friends, family and people you meet. You never know where our angels may come from.


THE NEW CHRS RADIO CENTRAL – Is an historical communications building. Not radio but…

When CHRS entered into contract to purchase 2152 Central Avenue, the best information we had was that it was built in 1920 as a church and then it became a school. We are purchasing it from the Children’s Learning Center. Walt Hayden has been doing research and this is what we know now:

2152 Central Avenue was built in 1900 by the Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company. 2152 Central served as one of the first telephone exchanges in Alameda.

Here is a picture of the interior of 2152 Central in about 1930.


This unique building was built in 1900. It is single story building with a full basement. It is 7,400+ square feet. We had 4,600 at KRE. It is in a great neighborhood, a couple of blocks from Downtown, easy to get to and easy parking. There is a driveway down one side and room in the back for several cars or outbuildings. There is a 45 car parking lot adjacent to the building. This is not part of the purchase and is owned by the Central Baptist Church across the street. We have an agreement with the Church for CHRS to use the lot.

Central Av Mashup Sign
2152 Central Avenue in Alameda Today – The New CHRS ‘Radio Central’

2152 Central 1

2152 Central3

2152 Central 4

Walt Hayden and Robert Swart show Judy Mears building progress at radio Central

Walt Hayden, Judy Mears &Amp; Robert Swart At Radio Central 10Vi14 Img_5522

Below, the “deconstructing” of Central Ave.



  •  Original Asking Price – $975,000
  • Negotiated Sale Price – $940,000
  • Closing Costs – $10,700
  • CHRS Building Emergency Fund – $50,000
  • Funds to Begin Renovation – $55,900Not nearly enough!

TAKE THE TOUR – Chairman Mike Adams takes us on a tour of our new digs. See our neighborhood and see the potential this vintage building has to offer. CLICK FOR THE RADIO CENTRAL TOUR If you have a passion for Radio, with your help, CHRS will be able to create our new permanent West Coast Educational Center for Radio.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. What is the Story on the AM Transmitter Site by Aquatic Park? I was trying to photograph a Hawk or small Eagle on the FEED DISC today, on the Tower, my camera fell apart. That as aside, (lol) The 200 Foot Tower, using the Pond as Ground, must have Great Coverage! I figure (From School) that it must be 200 or so tall, as there are 6 Guys, 4 Points.

    I recollect working on Ground Systems in Arkansas, Louisiana, etc. the Propagation was Proportional to the Number of mosquito Bites you got working on the Transmitter Site!

    Is tha a Tidal (Salt Water) Pond? Must be a Great location

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