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College towns: Berkeley and Stanford

Stanford, home to stately old buildings, was a farm before 1885, when Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, created Leland Stanford Junior University in honor of their recently deceased son. With ambitions to compete with the Ivy League, the Stanfords hired Frederick Law Olmsted to design the landscape. The first students, including Herbert Hoover, arrived in 1891. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Martin Griffith catches up on some reading outside the University Library at UC Berkeley, which simmers with undergraduate enthusiasm, intellectual fermentation and political skirmishing. The main action is in Cal’s 178-acre central core, which faces San Francisco Bay from the low slopes of the Berkeley Hills. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A student crosses campus at Stanford, whose student body — about 6,800 undergrads and 8,200 grad students — is about 39% Californian. About 21% come from other countries (mostly grad students). (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Students pass Cal’s University Library. The first buildings on the Berkeley campus were designed in the Second Empire architectural style, but then came a parade of styles — Gothic, Mission, Deco — that yielded a set of buildings almost as diverse as the students coursing in and out of them. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The biggest campus landmark at Stanford is the 285-foot-high Hoover Tower, completed in 1941 as a homage to President Hoover (who managed the football team as an undergrad). Visitors can check out the view from the tower. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Smiling students change classes on the campus at Cal, which has about 24,600 undergrads and 10,300 grad students, with about 85% of the freshmen from California(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A sculpture ponders the possibilities at Stanford — is the Palo Alto campus’ architectural style more Richardsonian Romanesque or rooted in Mission Revival? (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Cal Berkeley students cross campus near the landmark Sather Gate, which was completed in 1910 and separates Sproul Plaza from a bridge over Strawberry Creek. Student groups set up recruiting tables in the plaza. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles)
Along the main drag in Palo Alto, many businesses reference the nearby university in their names. Palo Alto counts itself among the wealthiest U.S. college towns, with a median income of $90,000 (twice Berkeley’s) and a median home price around $1.4 million. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles)
A member of the University of California Marching Band trudges across campus. In a blue-red rivalry of a non-political persuasion, Berkeley (blue and gold) and Stanford (red and white) are gearing up for Big Game on Nov. 22, the 111th since the two started squaring off on a football field in 1892. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles)
The 307-foot Campanile (a.k.a. Sather Tower) serves as a North Star to many a meandering freshman on the Cal campus. Completed in 1914, it is a copy of St. Mark’s clock tower in Venice, Italy. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles)
The Stanford campus is framed by graceful arches. The core of Stanford is mostly flat, the grassy expanses broken up by stately old buildings and dozens of sculptures from artists including Auguste Rodin, Andy Goldsworthy and Maya Lin. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The parking signs say it all on the Berkeley campus, where the university’s seven Nobel laureates get preferred parking (this may be the ultimate measure of respect here). No word on whether Stanford’s 16 living Nobel laureates get the same deal. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles)