Oakland’s oldest flatiron building resides at the juncture of Peralta, Center, and 17th Streets in West Oakland. Built in 1879 for William Walsh, the two-story redwood structure initially housed the Center Junction Exchange Saloon with apartments above.
A native of Ireland, Mr. Walsh purchased the Peralta Street lot in 1877. Peralta Street was one of the main avenues to Berkeley.
By 1877 the saloon had evolved into the Junction Cash Grocery and Liquor Store. In 1894 Mr. Walsh partnered with Austin O’Brien. The firm of Walsh & O’Brien was described as:
“importers selling direct to families, groceries, wines, cigars, home furnishing goods, hay, feed, and grain.”
Mr. Walsh bought out O’Brien’s share of the company in 1901 and changed the name to Walsh & Co.
The Flatiron Today
1615 CENTER ST OAKLAND 94607
- At the Junction – Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Oct 24, 1883
- Extensive Improvement – Oakland Evening Daily Tribune Feb 16, 1884
- Walsh’s Grocery – Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Apr 03, 1884
- Surprising – Oakland Evening Daily Tribune Mar 08, 1886
- William Walsh – Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1901
Oakland Heritage Alliance News, Winter 1996-97, by William W. Sturm