Berkley Hall

Berkley Hall in August of 2003

601 Berkley Street

Berkley Hall was built in 1895. It stands at 601 Berkley Street, the northeast corner of 6th and Berkley Streets.

Berkley Hall appears in Camden’s City Directories from its construction through the 1920s. Its usage prior to 1912 is unknown to the author. Sometime in 1912 the building was being utilized by the George M. Dunlap Company, which operated a chain of grocery stores in Camden, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and elsewhere. By 1916 the Dunlap Company was operating 19 stores in Camden alone. The Dunlap Company had incorporated in New Jersey in November of 1904, the principals at the time being Thomas Bamford of Gloucester City NJ, James A.P. Park and Alexander Rolland of Philadelphia.

Although Berkley Hall is noted, the Dunlap Company is not listed in the 1917 Directory. In the 1918-1919 Directory however, most of the former Dunlap groceries are shown as being operated under the aegis of the The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, more popularly known in the latter part of the 20th century as the A & P. Founded in 1859 and with a 100 stores by 1876, the A & P was America’s first chain grocery. 601 Berkley Street would continue as an A & P grocery until the 1930s.

By 1940, A & P had begun leaving the corner grocery stores behind, in favor of the larger supermarket stores. Abraham Goldstein and Jacob Ribler operated a grocery at 601 Berkley Street as a part of the Fairlawn Stores chain. By 1959, the Fairlawn Food Market chain would consist of the store at 601 Berkley Street and another store in Westville NJ. Berkeley Hall would continue as grocery into the 1960s.

In later years 601 Berkley Street would house a pizzeria. In the 1980s the building was remodeled, and the second and third floors converted into apartments. After standing vacant for a period of time, Berkley Hall was acquired in 2003 and was redeveloped by Mark Willis, who was born and raised in Camden. Renovations were completed around the end of 2004.


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