In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools. Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books.
Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.
Elmhurst Middle School
In a June 1893 real estate ad for the Warner Tract in Elmhurst announced that
building will commence soon on a new $15,000 schoolhouse upon the Warner Tract.
Oakland Evening Tribune Jun 26 1893
Elmhurst Grammar School was formally dedicated in July of 1894. The school contained four large classrooms.
New Addition for Elmhurst
The people of Elmhurst are requesting more room at Elmhurst, Below is the proposed addition in 1903
In August of 1904, work had begun on the additions to Elmhurst School.
Elmhurst School is now Elmhurst Junior High
With the opening of the Elmhurst Annex School ( E. Morris Cox), there was a need for a junior high school. A new school was built at the site if the Old Elmhurst School at 98th and Cherry and Birch Street. The new school opened in July 1927
The new school was designed by John J. Donovan. The structure is in classical design and has 21 classrooms and shops in connection with manual training classes. Other features are an auditorium with a balcony and motion picture projection room
Modern Shops were added to Elmhurst.
In June of 1955, a $35,00 destroyed one woodshop while damaging another.
In May 1967, Elmhurst Junior High suffered $25,000 in a suspected arson fire. It was 7th school fire that year.
Elmhurst is located at 1800 98th Avenue
Elmhurst Community Prep (ECP) is a triumphant middle school located in East Oakland. ECP prepares 6th – 8th-grade students for high school, college, and career by using a host of online and digital tools
Elmhurst United website – OUSD
- $15,000 Schoolhouse to be Built – Oakland Evening Tribune Jun 26, 1893
- School Dedicated – Oakland Evening Tribune Jul 16, 1894
- Work to begin on new School – Oakland Tribune Nov 22, 1925
- $35,000 fire burns Wood Shop – Oakland Tribune Jun 19, 1955
McChesney Junior High
McChesney started out an elementary school and was built in 1913, at the intersection of 13th Avenue and East 38th Street. The school was named in honor of educator Joseph B. McChesney (1832-1912), Oakland High School‘s first Principal, who died the year before this school was finished.
The building was designed by architect John J. Donovan.
In 1989 Oakland Unified School District renamed the school for Edna Brewer (19-1986), who was the principal of the school from 1971 until 1985.
New School Built
Groundbreaking for a new school.
McChesney/Edna Brewer Today
- The decision of School site – Oakland Tribune Sep 21, 1921
- New McChesney Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 07, 1961
- Edna Brewer Junior High – website
In 1901 property was purchased for $1500 by the Melrose School District, then part of the unincorporated Brooklyn Township.
Bids opened in June of 1901. The entire amount to be used for construction and the purchase of the property was $15,000.
Melrose School was dedicated in November of 1901.
In 1905 Union High School No.4 was established at Melrose, and classes were held on the 2nd floor of the school while plans were being drawn up for the new Fremont High School.
In 1959 plans were drawn up to replace the 58-year-old Melrose School. The new building would hold 300 students plus faculty with 7 classrooms, one kindergarten, administration offices, a library, and a multipurpose room with a kitchen.
E.D Cerruti designed the school.
Dedication of the new Melrose Elementary was in December of 1960. The new school was built fronting 53rd Avenue, and the old school was fronting 52nd Avenue.
Melrose Elementary School is located at 1325 53rd Avenue
It now Bridges Academy at Melrose
Building bridges from East Oakland to college and careers by breaking barriers to create a more just, equitable, and culturally responsive community.
- Melrose nearing Completion – Oakland Tribune Aug 1901
- Melrose School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 30, 1901
- The architect for New Melrose – Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1959
- New Melrose School To be Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Dec 07, 1960
- Bridges Academy at Melrose – website
Melrose Heights school was later renamed Horace Mann (please see Part 1)
Melrose Heights grammar school was built in 1909. The building was designed by F.W. Burke, who chose the Renaissance style of architecture. The 3 story building with 12 rooms, including 8 classrooms and a basement.
Santa Fe School
Santa Fe School was formally dedicated in July of 1914. The school was designed by John J. Donovan.
New School Built
The new Santa Fe Elementary School was dedicated in February of 1960.
Santa Fe has been the temporary school for the students of Glenview Elementary while a new school is being rebuilt for them. The new school has 18 classrooms, 2 kindergartens, a multipurpose room, a library, and offices. It cost $809,879
The school is located at 915 54th St., Oakland
- Oakland Builds Many Schools – Oakland Tribune Mar 29, 1914
- New Santa Fe School – Oakland Tribune Feb 22, 1960
- School Architecture – John J Donovan 1921