In the summer of 1931, a group of property owners in the central downtown section formed an association called the Downtown Property Owners Associations.
One of the first projects they took on was the modernization some of the “elderly buildings” in the downtown area. They were losing tenants to the new modern buildings going up in the downtown area.
The association took care of all the details of the program.
“Just try to find a vacancy!”D. Frost
Jonas Building – 1932 – Northwest corner of Broadway and 11th Street in downtown Oakland, California. Abraham Jonas owned the building. He ran a clothing store for men.
The Jones building was the first to be remodeled and modernized.
The Abrahamson Building – Southwest corner of 13th and Washington streets. Opened in 1893 as Abrahamson’s Dry Goods. Owned by Jules and Hugo Abrahamson.
A five-story structure at the southeast corner of 13th and Washington Streets was the second project in the modernization program. J.H. King supervised the transformation of the building, and E.T. Foulkes was the architect.
The facelift was complete in March of 1934 with the opening of the Union Furniture Company. The firm occupied all five floors of the building.
Over the years, other businesses occupied the building.
Delger Building – northwest corner of thirteenth and Broadway
M.K. Blake Building. – A four-story store and office structure at the southwest corner of 12th and Washington Streets.
The building was stripped of the bay windows, cornices, and other ornamentation removed. New tile was placed on the exterior walls.
Glenn Building – 1308 Broadway –
According to the Oakland Tribune, the Glenn Family had owned the building for 50 years.
In 1937 work began on the Glenn Building at 1308 Broadway as part of a modernization program of the Downtown Property Association.
The improvements to the two-story cost $5,000 and included all new tiles on the front of the building. Edward T. Foulkes was the architect on the project.
Most people will recognize the building as the home of De lauer’s Newsstand.
In total, 31 buildings were rebuilt or given a “facelift.” The program was a success, buildings were filled with stores, and the stores were filled with people who were shopping.
- Plaza Building at 15th and Washington Streets
- Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank Building at 13th and Franklin
- S.H. Cress Company on 14th and Broadway.
- Federal Telegraph Building at 12th and Washington streets
- Fuller-Sparks Building on 14th Streets.
- Masonic Temple Building on 12th Street for the new Lerner Store
- Today Vacancies Are Not A Problem – American City Magazine Vol 54
- Modernization – Oakland Tribune Jun 19, 1932
- First Item in the New Program – Oakland Tribune Jun 30, 1932
- Gets A New Dress – Oakland Tribune Aug 06, 1932
- Remodeling Plans Studied – Oakland Tribune Feb 23, 1933
- Washington Street Chosen – Oakland Tribune Feb 13, 1934
- Union Furniture Company Opens – Oakland Tribune Mar 02, 1934
- Zukors Expands – Oakland Tribune Mar 20, 1934
- Program Works Wonders – Oakland Tribune Feb 27, 1935
- Rogers Fashion in new Quarters – Oakland Tribune Nov 02, 1939
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)