A very old building, 2640 Grove St. housed a mortuary before it became Rainbow Sign. The organ loft from which Mary Ann Pollar orchestrated jazz and soul programs once droned with dirges and threnodies.
Some have theorized, from the discreet passages built between it and the house next door, that the building may have originally been a bordello. In any case, from 1970 to 1978 it was the Rainbow Sign, Berkeley’s hub for Black Art, music, cinema, literature, education and civic gathering.
Today the building is the site of Berkeley’s Mental Health Program, which has run its operations there for the last thirty years. Long overdue for a remodel, the next three years will see the property overhauled to better suit its purpose as a clinic. Hopefully details like like the paneled doors and hand-painted ceiling will be preserved.