Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 13

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.

John Swett Elementary School

John Swett Elementary School was constructed in 1926 and opened in January 1927 and closed in 2004.

Oakland Tribune 1926

The school was named after John Swett (1830–1913), who is considered to be the “Father of the California public school” system. He served as the 4th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1863-1867.

Boys Build Amphitheater

Oakland Tribune May 09,1928

John Swett Today

School Sign – OUSD

John Sweet Today

The school is now a K-8 community school called Roses in Concrete.

Our mission is to develop youth committed to lives characterized by self-discipline, integrity, love, and hope in the pursuit of justice and equity for all communities.

Roses in Concrete – Website

More Info:

Located at 4551 Steele St, Oakland, CA, 94619

Parker Elementary School

Bids for a new two-story school at the corner of Ney Avenue and Ritchie Street in April of 1948. Parker School was to be the first permanent building to be constructed from the 1945 school bond.

Dedication ceremonies were held in November of 1949

Oakland Tribune Nov 7, 1949

Parker Today

Parker School 7929 Ney – today

Roosevelt High School

Groundbreaking for a new school at 19th Avenue and E. 19th Street took place on November 11, 1922. The cornerstone was placed on March 24, 1923. The school cost $917,452.43 to build. The school was named after Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt in 1923

The school was built to accommodate 1500 students. The dedication took place in September 1924.

From 1923

In 1934 the main school building was closed (I assume due to it being unsafe).

Roosevelt Today

Roosevelt is now a middle school.

More Info

1926 19th Avenue

 

Tompkins School

Oakland Tribune 1877

Tompkins School opened on January 07, 1878, at 5th and Linden Streets in West Oakland, named after State Senator Edward Tompkins. There were 231 students enrolled.

Sanborn Map

C.H Clement was the first Principal from 1877 to 1881.

Edwin Markham was the principal from 1891-1900.

Observation School

Oakland Tribune October 1894

In October of 1894, Tompkins became an observation school under the supervision of the University of California Department of Pedagogy.

Many Firsts

Tompkins school was known for its many “firsts.”

  • First Kindergarten – in Oakland
  • First American Flag to fly – in Oakland
  • First Scientific Child Study Club
  • First Health Study Club
  • First Observation School
  • First Parents and Mothers Club
  • First of the Experimental playgrounds

The first American Flag to fly over an Oakland School was raised over Tompkins in 1890.

Experimental Playground

In 1909 the first two experimental playgrounds were set up at Tompkins and Prescott Schools.

Fire Destroys Tompkins

In August of 1914, the school was destroyed by a fire. Arson was suspected. There were seven school fires in four weeks during July and August.

Plans for a new school were put in place at once. The new school opened on October 11, 1915. There was a $96,000 six-room addition added in 1924. In 1954 another addition costing $148,000 was added.

No More Schooldays

In 1965 the school was razed to make room for the Acorn Projects.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1965

More Info:

Woodland Elementary School

Woodland Elementary School started out being called the Lockwood-Highland School. It was built to relieve the overcrowding in Lockwood and the Highland Schools.

On January 4, 1960, the school opened with 540 students. The one-story school with 14 classrooms, a kindergarten, a library, an administration office, and a teacher’s lunchroom. It was the 29th of 51 school projects proposed in the 1956 school bond election. The school costs $432, 296 to build.

Dedication

Oakland Tribune Apr 26, 1960

A new multi-purpose building was dedicated in November of 1961. Then Municipal Judge Lionel Wilson spoke on “The Role of the Parent in the Eyes of the Judge.”

Oakland Tribune Nov 22, 1961

Woodland Today

Today the school is called Acorn Woodland Elementary (AWE)- At ACORN Woodland Elementary (AWE), we employ a variety of strategies to ensure that a solid base of grade-level skills is mastered, while fostering creative and critical thinking among our students.

Woodland Today – OUSD
Woodland Today – OUSD

Acorn Woodland Website – OUSD

More Info:

1025-81st Avenue Oakland

The End

Posted in Allendale, Buildings, East Oakland, Laurel, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 8

 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.

Fruit vale Public School” Fruitvale No. 1

The Fruit vale (as it was sometimes spelled) School district was formed in 1889 to build a new schoolhouse.

Fruit Vale Public School
Fruitvale School, the early 1880s situated on ‘the field
Standing in front of the school are the female teachers and the children 
OMCA Collection

San Francisco Examiner Jun 04, 1989
Oakland Tribune Jan 07, 1889
Oakland Tribune July 26, 1889

From what I can tell is the school was in the same general location of where Fruitvale Elementary school is today, at the corner of Boston Street and School Street.

New Life as Church

In 1896 after the Fruitvale No. 1 was built, the old school was moved and remodeled for use as a church. It was re-dedicated as the Higgins Methodist Episcopal Church in Mar of 1896.

SF Call Mar 09, 1896

SF Examiner Mar 1896

Fruitvale No. 1 – Fruitvale School Elementary

SF Call – Aug 27, 1895

In 1894 the  Fruitvale School district, the trustees were forced to meet the demand and take steps to build a larger school. The new school replaced the old Fruitvale School building from the 1880s.

The present quarters a ramshackle shanty, will be moved and a new building will be erected in its place.

SF Examiner Mar 29, 1895

SF Examiner Mar 29, 1895

The pastures of the Empire Dairy surrounded the school from 1880-1901

Oakland Tribune 1970

Back in 1885, the site at Boston and School Streets overlooked the city of Oakland and the Bay of San Francisco.

Fruitvale School circa 1901

The style of the new building was the Italian Renaissance. The architects were Cunningham Bros. of Oakland.

The plans called for a $13,000 2-story building with a concrete basement. Each floor was to have four large classrooms and lunchrooms for the teachers. The principal’s office was on the first floor, and space was reserved for a library. In the basement, there were separate playrooms for the boys and girls, janitor rooms, and a heating apparatus.

In 1913 Fruitvale School No. 1 was changed to just Fruitvale School.

New School Built

Oakland Tribune Nov 1949

The new Fruitvale School was dedicated on December 1, 1950. The new school has 14 classrooms, a library, a cafeteria, a kindergarten, and an auditorium. The school was designed by Ponsford and Price Architects and cost $497,700. The school has room for 569 students.

The dedication was attended by William Taylor, a long-time resident of the Fruitvale District, he was a student at the “old Fruitvale School “in the 1880s. Oakland Tribune June 1962

  • Fruitvale School website – OUSD

More on Fruitvale Elementary

Fruitvale School No. 2 Hawthorne School

Oakland Tribune July 1903

In 1905 an addition to the school added 9 more rooms.

In 1913 Fruitvale School No. 2 name was changed to Hawthorne School. The school was on Fruitvale at East 17th (Tallant Street)

In 1923 a concrete culvert was built, and Sausal Creek was filled in.

School Destroyed by Fire in 1923

New School Built

The district purchased the property fronting on East 17th Street, adjoining the playground. The new school was built away from the noise and traffic of Fruitvale Ave.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1924

In September of 1924, they laid the cornerstone of the new school building. The school was designed by John J Donovan.

The new school is located at 28th Avenue at East 17th Street across the street from where the old Fruitvale School No 2 was located. The old school building was destroyed by fire the year before.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1924

The following items were put into the sealed cornerstone:

  • Minutes of Board of Education May 1924
  • Minutes of Board of Education June 1924
  • Outline of the school plans
  • Program from Cornerstone ceremony
  • History of the PTA
  • Names of all the pupils enrolled
  • Group photos of all the classes.
  • School Directory

The new school opened in January of 1925.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1925

The school is located at 1700 28th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

Hawthorne Now

Today Hawthorne is the home of the Achieve Academy.

Achieve Academy (TK-5) serves students in the Fruitvale neighborhood and is one of the highest performing elementary campuses in Oakland.

Google Maps –

Google Maps –

Google Map – today

Fruitvale No. 3 – Allendale School

Fruitvale School No. 3 was built in the Allendale neighborhood in 1904.

Before 1904 children living along High Street had to make the long walk to Fruitvale School No. 1 on School Street in Boston. Allendale was chosen because of its central location to the children from Laurel Grove District (Laurel District) to High Street and down to Foothill Blvd, then known as Old County Road.

The 1904 school building cost $107,437 to build. The first years’ enrollment was 809. A four-room addition in 1910 and another four-rooms costing $49,458 were added in 1928.

Oakland Tribune July 1910

Miss Alice V. Baxley was the first principal of Allendale School from 1904-1913.

Fruitvale No 3 –
Renamed Allendale 1913

In 1913 Fruitvale No. 5 was renamed Allendale School.

Oakland Tribune Mar 19113

Oakland Tribune Mar 1914

Dangerous and a Hazard –

The school was deemed unsafe and closed in 1953. At the time, it was one of the oldest school buildings, there were 2 others from the pre-1906 era still standing. The old school building withstood the 1906 earthquake.

San Francisco Examiner Dec 1953
SF Examiner Dec 20, 1953

17 portables were placed on the site to house the students until the fall of 1959.

Oakland Tribune 1957

The day of reckoning has come for the old Allendale School building which has been razed”

Oakland Tribune Jul 14, 1957

Oakland Tribune Jul 14, 1957

Oakland Tribune 1957

Oakland Tribune 1957

New School Built –

Plans for a new school were drawn up by architects George E. Ellinger and Roland Gibbs to cost $363,250.

Oakland Tribune June 18, 1958

Bids for a new school with 13 classrooms, library, multipurpose room, one kindergarten, and administration offices opened in 1958.

The school was completed in the fall of 1959.

Moving Day June 1959

Oakland Tribune Nov 8, 1959

Allendale Today

  • Allendale School Website – OUSD

Fruitvale – Allendale Junior High

A new Fruitvale School to be built in the Rhoda Tract at Hopkins Blvd ( MacArthur Blvd). The school to cost $100,000.”

Oakland Tribune 1909

Oakland Tribune 1909

The new school was called the Allendale – Fruitvale Junior High and was constructed at the Hopkins (MacArthur Blvd) and Coolidge Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1928
Oakland Tribune Nov 09, 1928

The name of the Allendale – Fruitvale Junior High was changed to Bret Harte Junior High at a school board meeting in 1929; the other name under consideration was Dimond Junior High.

The school was named after  Bret Harte, who was an American author and poet and best known for his somewhat romanticized accounts of pioneer life in California. He lived in Oakland from about 1854 to 1857 at the home of his stepfather, Colonel Andrew F. Williams, who was later Oakland’s fourth mayor.

The school was the last to the new school to be built out of the 1924 Bond issue. It was constructed at the cost of $120,000.

The building contained 22 classrooms and had 699 pupils enrolled on opening day in 1930. The school took graduates from Fruitvale, Allendale, Sequoia, and Laurel Schools.

The school opened in 1930.

The school’s auditorium gymnasium building was constructed in 1950.

In 1957 the school district opened bids for a new building at Bret Harte.

The new building was built on the campus in 1959, another major expansion took place in 1979.

The 1930 time capsule in a copper box found during the 1979 construction was never opened and was since lost.

The school is located at 3700 Coolidge Avenue Oakland, CA 94602

Bret Harte Middle SchoolToday

Google Maps
  • Bret Harte Middle School – website

More on the Fruitvale District Schools

The End

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 5

 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.

Brookfield Village School

Brookfield Village school opened for the new school year in September of 1944, the latest of Oakland’s 77 schools.

Brookfield Village Elementary School opened without the benefit of bells.

Oakland Tribune Sept 17, 1944

Brookfield was Oakland’s newest public school, which opened under wartime handicaps. Money and supplies were tight. Classes were being held in 19 portables that arrived in the 3 weeks before school started.

There were 767 boys and girls were enrolled just 33 less than anticipated in that first year.

New School

In February of 1950, they held a groundbreaking ceremony for Unit 1 of the new Brookfield Village School.

Oakland Tribune

The school unit was designed by Confer and Willis. The new building had 11 classrooms, a library, and an auditorium. It was a one-story building of wood frame construction.

Oakland Tribune Apr 24, 1951

New Addition

Oakland Tribune Oct 1957

In November of 1957, they broke ground for new addition costing $286,680. The new building will include a cafeteria, 10 classrooms, a kindergarten plus 2 special class classrooms.

Brookfield Today

Brookfield Lions: Learning and Thriving with Pride.
Brookfield Today

The school is located at 401 Jones Ave. Oakland, CA 94603

Clawson Grammar School

Clawson School dates back to the 1880s, as seen in the image below.

Clawson in 1895

Clawson Elementary School was built in 1915. This Neo-Classical design had two stories and utilized extensive terracotta ornamentation. The ornamentation around its front doors. The building was designed by

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

The Clawson Elementary School was listed as standing near the intersection of 32nd Street and Magnolia Street in Polk-Husted’s Oakland, California, City Directory, 1918

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Kindergarten

Entrance to the Kindergarten CLassroom
Clawson School pergola, Oakland, California (1916) 1
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Principal’s Office

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Auditorium

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Bathrooms Boys and Girls

clawson-boys-bathroom
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Clawson Closed

The building functioned as a school until it was closed sometime between 1971-1973. OUSD closed 3 schools in 1973 rather than spend the money needed to retrofit them, including Clawson School. Clawson couldn’t meet the new stricter seismic standards that went into effect in 1973.

New Life

Clawson Lofts – Realtor.com

After extensive remodeling and structural upgrading, the building reopened as The West Clawson Lofts in 1999.

Location 3240 Peralta Street Oakland CA

  • Clawson School – Oakland Local Wiki
  • Clawson School – American Architect
  • School Architecture – 1921
  • West Clawson Lofts – webpage
  • Clawson School – PCAD

Emerson Elementary School

Emerson School 1912
John Galen Howard collection of progress photographs, ca. 1905-1910
The Bancroft Library UC Berkeley

Emerson Elementary School was built in 1913. It was designed by John J Donovan and John Galen Howard. The total cost of the school was $163,879. It was located at 49th and Shafter Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1912
Oakland Tribune 1912
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

The address is 4803 Lawton Avenue. In 1978, it was torn down because it was considered seismically unsafe.

Emerson Today
Emerson Today

The End

 

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Elmhurst, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 3

 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.

Updated Dec 26, 2919

E. Morris Cox School (Elmhurst Annex)

The new Elmhurst Annex Elementary School was completed in Oct 1926. The Italian Renaissance-style building was designed by Howard Schroeder. The new school contained thirteen classrooms, a kindergarten, and an assembly hall. It cost $140,000 to build. The school is located at 98th Avenue and Sunnyside Street.

Oakland Tribune 1926

Renamed

The Elmhurst Annex school was renamed to honor of E. Morris Cox who died in 1925. Cox was the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

In 1960 a new building was added to the school.

Located at 9860 Sunnyside Street

  • E.Morris Cox School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 10, 1926
  • Cox Academy Website – OUSD

Garfield School

Garfield Grammar School opened in March of 1887 with two classes the seventh and the eighth grades. The teachers will be Miss Murray and Miss Ellen Gibbs.

The school was named for the 20th U.S. President, James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.

Oakland Daily Evening Tribune Mar 24, 1887

The school was designed by John & T.D. Newsom (Newsom Brothers)

Garfield School 1893

In 1910 Miss Ellen Gibbs retired after 16 years as the principal of Garfield Grammar School.

Garfield School circa 1905
OMCA
Harry Courtright | Commercial Photo View

Fire

In 1926 a suspected arson fire destroyed the original school that was built in the 1890s. The school was a combined elementary and junior high. This was the fourth school to be destroyed by fire in nine months.

Oakland Tribune Sept 11, 1924

New School Built

A new Tudor style building was approved by the school board. The new three-building with 26 classrooms was designed by Miller and Warnecke.

Oakland Tribune Dec 16, 1925

A cornerstone for the new school was laid in Sept of 1926.

Oakland Tribune Sep 28, 1926

1959

Bids were open to build a new school on the present site.

Oakland Tribune 1959

Located at 1640 22nd Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94606

Jefferson School

Jefferson School was designed by John J Donovan and Washington J Miller. The school was built around 1911 to 1913.

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921
School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

In 1959 bids were open to build a new school at the same site.

Oakland Tribune May 27, 1959

2035 40th Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94601

Jefferson School – Today

It is now the Global Family Elementary is a TK – 5th grade, dual immersion school located in the East Oakland-Fruitvale corridor near Foothill avenue. Our dedicated staff prepares students to be bilingual and bi-literate to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

Lazear School

Lazear School originally designated as the Park and Division School was built in 1913-1914. The school cost $75, 595. Fred Voorhees was the Architect.

The school was named after Dr. Jesse Lazear was an American physician and member of the commission that proved that the infectious agent of yellow fever is transmitted by a mosquito.

New School

In 1959 a new school with 12 classrooms, a kindergarten, library, and offices was built to replace the old one. The new school cost $162,456.

824 29th Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94601

Lazear Today

It is now Lazear Charter Academy 

The End

Updated Oct 21, 2019

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 2

 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.

Updated Dec 28, 2019

Campbell School

The school was built in 1869 as the Grove Street School. The name was changed in 1906 to Campbell School when it was named after Fred Campbell’s superintendent of Oakland schools from 1870-1870 and 1886-1890. He was the state superintendent of schools 1880-1883.

Oakland Tribune Jun 09, 1926

Campbell’s daughter Mary was the principal of the school from 1898-1926.

In 1907 a new school was built. The Mission Style school was designed by Architect F.E. Voorhees. It contained seven classrooms and offices for the principal. It cost about $38,000 to build.

Oakland Tribune Mar 1907

In 1954 due to the school not being earthquake-safe, it was closed and the students were sent to Tompkins School. The school was sold and demolished in 1954. A commercial building was built on the site.

More Info:

The school was located at 416 Grove Street.

Cleveland School

The first drawing – Oakland Tribune Jul 09, 1912

In 1912 the first drawing for a new Peralta Heights school was submitted to the school board. John J. Donovan was the architect. Donovan designed many schools for the district.

Peralta Heights is a small neighborhood in what is now known as Cleveland Heights.

Bids to build the school were submitted in 1912, based on the below photo. They held a formal opening of the school in Jan of 1914.

Sometime during the late 50s or early 60s the old school was removed and a new replaced it.

Cleveland Today

Cleveland School Today – Google Maps

More Info:

California Distinguished School for 2020

serves the very diverse and historically underserved city of Oakland, with a large percentage of students living in poverty and a large percentage of English learners

Press Release California Department of Education

Press Release – OUSD

Cleveland Elementary School is located at 745 Cleveland Street.

Cole Grammar School

Cole Grammar School was opened in 1885 in West Oakland on 10th Street between Union and Poplar Streets.

Oakland and Surroundings 1885
Oakland Local wiki

 It was named for Rector E. Cole an early Oakland dentist and member of the city council, and member and then president of the Oakland Board of Education.

Jack London attended Cole starting in 1887. He graduated 8th grade in 1891

Front doors of the Cole School building with several children standing on the sidewalk.
Circa 1908
Jack London Photographs and Negatives, Huntington Digital Library
https://hdl.huntington.org/digital/iiif-info/p16003coll7/19

Cole School was located at 1011 Union Street.

As of 2013 Cole School is the headquarters of the Chief of Police.

Cole School Today – Google Maps

Piedmont Avenue School

The Piedmont Avenue School as seen below was built in 1891.

Oakland Tribune Feb 13, 1892

Prior to that, there was a two-room schoolhouse up closer to the Mountain View Cemetery. Classes we held for a time at the home of G.W. Hume who lived in a large estate where the school is located now.

The school at that time was used by both children from Piedmont and Oakland. The building was designed by William Kirk and cost about $10,000 to build. The school had a bell tower with a 350-pound bell. There was a large assembly room, a library, a hothouse for plants, classrooms on both floors and a large lighted basement where the children could play during wet weather.

Oakland Tribune Feb 20, 1892

The school was dedicated on Washington’s Birthday in 1892.

Engraving of the Piedmont District School at Webster Avenue in Oakland, Alameda County, California, from the book “Illustrated album of Alameda County, California” by Jos, 1893. Alex Colquhoun. Courtesy Internet Archive. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

In July of 1938 while the students were on summer break the school was destroyed by a fire that was considered arson. Ten firemen were injured four of them seriously.

Oakland Tribune July 25, 1938
Oakland Tribune July 25, 1938
Oakland Tribune July 25, 1938

The new school was dedicated in March of 1941 with funds provided by “The Living New Deal” Works Progress Administration (WPA).

This Art Deco school building is complete with auditorium, library, kindergarten classroom, kitchen, offices, and regular classrooms. There is still a WPA sidewalk marker in front of the school.

More Info:

Prescott School

Prescott School started in 1866 as a one-room primary school. It was located at Ninth and Campbell Streets which was dirt roads surrounded by woods.

Oakland Tribune 1877

In 1869 a new two-story building with four classrooms on each floor opened the largest and it was the most up to date school in Oakland.

Exterior Prescott Grammar School
Oakland History Room

Prescott school building was heavily damaged in the historic 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

Prescott School with damage from the 1906 earthquake
UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/hb1m3nb284/
Prescott School, 9th & Campbell 1906
Owning Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/hb6d5nb5w4/

New School

Prescott Primary school was constructed in a record time of 187 workdays by Lawton & Vezey, a local contractor.

Oakland Tribune Oct 24, 1926

The new school was a two-story Spanish style steel-framed building with a basement and seventeen classrooms.

accepted by the school board, who considered it one of the best in the recent school buildings”

Oakland School Board – October 05, 1926
Exterior of Prescott School circa 1918
Towns (Royal E.) Papers
Oakland Public Library, African American Museum

Ida Louise Jackson, Oakland’s first African-American teacher, taught there starting in 1925 — 13 years before any other school hired a black teacher.

Unsafe and Condemned

Oakland Tribune 1958

In 1954 Prescott Junior High (somewhere in time it was changed?) was condemned for being unsafe and a hazard to the students. At that time there was no money in the budget to replaced it.

Prescott Today

Prescott is located at 920 Campbell St.

Prescott School Today – Google Maps

The school has been operating under the name PLACE @ Prescott (Preparatory Literary Academy of Cultural Excellence @ Prescott) since 2006, serving Kindergarten through 5th-grade children

More Info:

  • 150 Years of Prescott OUSD
  • Prescott website- OUSD
  • Place@Prescott website – OUSD

Swett Grammar School

Swett School was located at 12th Avenue and East 19th Street.

Views of Oakland 1893
Swett School – 1906 earthquake damage
Owning Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/hb9199p3sm/

Woodrow Wilson Junior High

Woodrow Wilson Junior High started out as Mosswood Junior High in August of 1923. It was located at the corner of 48th and Webster Streets. In 1924 the school’s name was changed.

In 1926 they laid the cornerstone for a new school.

Oakland Tribune October 26, 1926
Oakland Tribune Oakland Tribune Nov 14, 1926
Woodrow Wilson Junior circa the 1970s

In the early 1970s Woodrow Wilson Junior High School was demolished and a new school was built. Sometime in the mid-1970s, the school was renamed the Verdese Carter Middle School.

Demolition of Woodrow Wilson School in the 1970s
from Adrienne Broach
Demolition of Woodrow Wilson School in the 1970s
from Adrienne Broach

Woodrow Wilson Today

The School Today – Google Maps

In 2007 the Oakland Unified school district opened its first school that enrolls only immigrant students. Called the Oakland International High School, it is modeled after international high schools in New York City for newcomers to the United States. The school is still open in 2019.

More Info:

The school is located at 4521 Webster St.

  • Oakland International High School – OUSD
  • West Coast District Uses East Coast Model – August 2007

The End

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Laurel, Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 1 – A

My 100th post!

This is the first in a series of posts on Oakland Schools.

I hope to show Then and Now images of most of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school I show. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings, postcards, or from the pages in 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

Updated Dec 28, 2019

Castlemont High School

Castlemont High School is in Oakland, California, United States, formerly known as East Oakland High School. The Castlemont name was selected by a vote of the students. Castlemont High School was founded in 1929 in a medieval-style building. The school is located at 8601 MacArthur Boulevard.

 Castlemont High was designed by Chester Miller and Carl Warneke, Oakland architects. Oakland Local WIki – Castlemont High.

Pouring the Foundation
Castlemont Under Construction
CAstlemont Under Construction
Castlemont Under Construction

On August 12th, 1929, East Oakland High School opened at the cost of $670,000. Still, the name was short-lived, by a vote of the students and faculty in 1930 the name Castlemont was officially brought to prominence before being nationally designated the most beautiful school structure in the country.

Castlemont Entrance – Reflecting Pond
Castlemont Shops

The buildings’ main entrance accessed from Foothill Blvd down six steps to the reflection pool then ascends six steps to the extended terrace and the four entry solid redwood doors.  The full length of Castlemonts grounds adjacent to Foothill having been magnificently landscaped.

Castlemont High circa 1929

Castlemont High circa the 1930s

The building was replaced in 1961 as the old one was not earthquake safe.

Castlemont is demolished
Castlemont is gone.

Castlemont Today

Castlemont Today
OUSD Today

Castlemont High Today

For eight years, from 2004 to 2012, the large school housed three separate smaller schools called the Castlemont Community of Small Schools. The smaller schools were known by the names:

  1. Castlemont Leadership Preparatory High (10-12)
  2. Castlemont Business and Information Technology School (10-12) (CBITIS)
  3. East Oakland School of the Arts (10-12)

Dewey School

Dewey School was established as an elementary school at 38th avenue and East 12th Street in 1899. It was a part of the Fruitvale School District.

It was named after Admiral George Dewey, who was a hero in the Spanish-American War that was being fought at that time.

Oakland Tribune April 28, 1899

In 1964 Dewey became the first continuation high school in Oakland. Below is how Dewey looked in 1964. In 1913 an addition was added to the original school, and it was still in use in 1964.

Oakland Tribune June 12, 1964

Dewey is now located at 1111 2nd Ave, Oakland, CA, 94606

Dewey Today

Franklin School

Oakland Tribune March 1928

The Brooklyn School was a two-story building built in 1863-64 at the cost of $5,000.

Oakland Evening Tribune Jan 20, 1887

Brooklyn was annexed into Oakland in 1872. After the annexation, the nine-year-old school was renamed Franklin Grammar and Primary School.

Dec 30, 1874

An addition to the school was added in 1879 at the cost of $3,217.

Oakland Tribune Dec 30, 1902

On December 02, 1902, the school was destroyed by fire.

Oakland Tribune 1904
Oakland Tribune April 18, 1906

When the SF earthquake of 1906 struck, the new school building was almost complete. The brick and steelwork were done, and the building was ready for the roof. When the school was finally complete, the total cost was $204,343,45.

Franklin Grammar School – Cheney Photo Advertising Circa 1912

Franklin School

In 1923 an oblong-shaped assembly hall was built at the rear of the school on 10th Ave and E16th. The cost $40,000.

Oakland Tribune 1926

In 1943 the schools’ address was 1530 Ninth Avenue.

In 1953, the 1906 brick building was declared unsafe. In 1955, it was demolished to make way for a new building. The new school was a principal part of the Clinton Park Urban Renewal Project. The school opened in Sept 1956 and was dedicated in Jan of 1957. The new school cost $467,000.

In 1956 a man while remodeling his store found an old report card from 1875.

Oakland Tribune Dec 20, 1956

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Mar_27__1960_ (1)

Oakland Tribune Mar 27, 1960


Franklin Elementary – today

More Info:

The school is located at 915 Foothill Blvd

Fremont High School

The John. C. Fremont High School was the successor of Fruitvale High School and was organized in 1905 by Frank Stuart Rosseter.

Oakland Tribune 1910

John C Fremont High School

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910

The old building was destroyed in an arson fire on the night of January 1, 1930.

Oakland Tribune Jan 2, 1930
Oakland Tribune Jan 3m 1930

New School

Oakland Tribune Jul 29, 1931
Oakland Tribune Jan 10,1932

The school reopened on April 19, 1932. It was constructed with the assistance of the federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds.

Fremont Today

Fremont School Today –

More Info:

Frick Junior High

Frick was built on the Boulevard between Baker and Bay View (now Foothill and 62nd). The school takes its name from W.P. Frick, who donated the lot the school is to be built on. It was then part of the Lockwood District. The school was dedicated on March 17, 1909.

W.P Frick School

circa 1913 Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

The first school was kindergarten through the seventh grade. The building had 8 rooms. With the rapid growth of the area around Frick School, it was decided to make Frick school a junior high in 1923.

New School

Oakland Tribune May 30, 1926

In 1927 a new school was built on adjoining land and was called Frick Jr. High School. The style of the new building Spanish and Moorish architecture.

Oakland Tribune Jun 05, 1927

Another New School

In 1953 it was determined that the 1927 building was an earthquake risk. In 1957 the was broken for a new school fronting Brann Street. The old building was razed during the summer of 1960. The present school has been in use since 1960-61.

Frick Middle School Today

Frick School today – Google Maps

It is now called Frick Impact Academy

More Info:

Hamilton Junior High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High was built in 1922. The school is located at 2101 35th Avenue.

Athletic Festival at Hamilton Junior High

It was named after Calvin Simmons sometime in the early to mid-1980s. The school was renamed United for Success Academy in 2006.

The school today. Google Maps

More Info:

Horace Mann Grammar School

Horace Mann was built in about 1910-1912. The school is located at 5222 Ygnacio Avenue. It was known as Melrose Heights School first.

Horace Mann Grammar School
Ygnacio and Vicksburg Avenue

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1912

Groundbreaking for the new Horace Mann school after it was determined to be not earthquake safe was in 1959. The new school was formally dedicated in 1961.

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1959

Horace Mann today – Google Maps

More Info:

Sequoia Elementary School

Sequoia Elementary School is located on Lincoln Avenue at Scenic Avenue. It was built in 1910. Ida M. Hammond was the first principal. The building below is facing Scenic Avenue. The address of the school is 3730 Lincoln Avenue.

Original Sequoia School
Lincoln Avenue and Scenic Street

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910

In 1926 a new school building was built adjoining the original. The new building will have 13 to 14 rooms and an auditorium. It will face Lincoln Avenue, as seen below.

The original building is razed to make room for a new $235,880 addition. The addition added seven classrooms and a cafeteria.

Oakland Tribune Nov 28, 1958

Sequoia School today. Google maps

More Info:

Please see Part 1 B for University High School

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, Schools

Old Lockwood School

Oakland Tribune Oct 10, 1965

In 1858 Miss Julia Aldrich was contracted to run a small private school on Isaac (Issac) Yoakum’s farm. Yoakum had built his house on the site of the present Lockwood School, he later moved that house and replaced it with a small building to be used as a school (see above).

The school was located at the intersection East 14th Street (County Road No. 1525 and now International Blvd) Mary Street, then 68th Avenue, and later 69th Avenue. The schoolhouse remained in use for another 42 years, with a small addition in 1892.

The first year Lockwood had 12 students enrolled.

Map from 1912 – the Redline is East 14th -68th

In February of 1876, there were 28 boys, and 10 girls enrolled in the school. The teacher was Alonzo Crawford.

Oakland Tribune Mar 01, 1876

In August of 1876 (typo in the newspaper), there were 20 boys and 21 girls enrolled.

  • The Damon Family owned a general store at the corner of E.14th & 66th
  • The Kinsell Family lived on 94th Avenue just below E. 14th
  • The A.H. Merritt family lived on 66th Avenue
  • The Moss home was at 82nd and Foothill
  • The Silva’s owned a saloon at 84th and E. 14th

New School – 1902

The new school was built on the corner of East 14th Street and 68th Avenue in 1902. Charles H Greenman was the principal. The school was demolished (need to verify this) in 1936.

Lockwood Public School
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company
Oakland Tribune 20, 1902
The Oakland Tribune Collection, the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of ANG Newspapers circa 1917

Greenman died while fighting a fire in the school playground in 1919. In the 1950s, they named the athletic field after Greenman.

Oakland Tribune 1909

Across from the school was the 282-acre dairy belonging to William Machado. The big pasture was later used as the landing field of Weldon Cooke, an early Oakland aviator. In 1910 Wickham Havens subdivided into what we now know as Havenscourt.

Old School is Sold – 1903

Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1903

Class of 1904

Oakland Tribune May 1948

Lockwood Junior High – 1912

Lockwood School – Havenscourt Area
East 14th Street (now International Blvd) and Mary (now 68th) Avenue
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

Also known as Havenscourt Junior High

Now the Coliseum College Prep Academy – OUSD

Old Timers Reunions

For many years the former students of the school would hold an annual reunion for all graduates of the school.

Class of 1898
Oakland Tribune Feb 16, 1932
Class of 1894
Oakland Tribune May 13, 1959
CLASS of 1898
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1951

The Lockwood Quill

Lockwood School Band

Lockwood Band 1905
Oakland Tribune May 1947
Oakland Tribune November 03, 1905
Oakland Tribune Aug 05, 1909

Traffic Reserve

The first traffic reserve unit was formed at Lockwood in February 1928.

More Info on Lockwood

The present Lockwood School building was built in 1953-54

In 2007 Futures Elementary School opened as a small school on historic Lockwood campus, which has been home to students for more than 100 years.

  • Futures Elementary School – OUSD

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Tract or Subdivisions

Toler Heights – The Homes

Toler Heights – SF Examiner 1907

The Toler Heights subdivision changed hands so many times before the 1930, it seems they never really got around to selling the area with photos of new homes being built. The following is all I could find.

Lawlor Street

9703 Lawlor Street
Oakland Tribune Oakland Tribune Oct 27,1913
Address now is 9703 Lawlor St
9703 Lawlor St – today
Google Maps
Unknown location
SF Examiner May 1922

MacArthur Blvd

Along Foothill Blvd (now MacArthur) circa 1919
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company
Another view of photo above – circa 1919
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company
9224 and 9230 MacArthur today – Google Maps
9124 MacArthur today – Google Maps
9036 MacArthur today – Google Maps
8802 MacArthur Blvd –
Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1923

Thermal Street

8727 Thermal Street – built 1917
Oakland Tribune Mar 09, 1923
8727 Thermal St – 2014

The End

Posted in East Oakland, History, Oakland, West Oakland

Backyard Fence War

In June of 1965 the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) began what was called a “Beautification Program”.

Under the housing authority’s plan, fenced in yards were to be removed and replaced with turfed areas in the following projects:

According to the tenants of the Peralta Villa housing projects in West Oakland, they first heard about the program when the a group of boys from the Alameda County Central Labor Council (funded by a grant from the War on Poverty) started demolishing the backyard fences and flower gardens.

The fences were removed, Housing Authority officials say, as the first step in a program of “beautification”

The tenants were really angry because some had paid the OHA for the fences and planted their gardens. No advance notice was given – the workers just started tearing everything up.

They Organize

The War on Poverty ran into a major obstacle this week – the War on Poverty

Oakland Tribune June 30, 1965

As a part of the War on Poverty‘s a work-study program was funded to provide the salaries of University of California students to work with the tenants .

The students worked with the residents of Lockwood Gardens to help them develop a sense of community identity and to learn how to help themselves.

It was these students that encouraged the tenants to form the Lockwood Improvement League .

The program funded by the War on Poverty the same people funding the “Beautification Program” and removing their fences.

The tenants of Peralta Villas met at Cole school and formed the Peralta Improvement League. Thirty tenants volunteered to form their own “human fence” they wrote up a list of demands and began their fight to save their gardens.

  1. Stop tearing down the remaining fences
  2. Rebuild the fences already taken down
  3. Reimburse the tenants whose private property was destroyed
  4. Consult the tenants first before doing any further work
Oakland Tribune July 1965

The labor for the “Beautification Program” was provided by the Alameda County Labor Council through a grant from the War of Poverty.

Lockwood Gardens

The OHA decided to on June 25, 1965 to “beautify” the projects. They started with Lockwood Gardens.

The people of Lockwood Gardens newfound sense of community identity was outraged.

Each of the thirty- plus dwelling units in Lockwood Gardens had its own yard and most had fences. Some had lawns and some had shrubs and flowers.

The enclosed yards gave the tenants a sense of individuality, security, and pride.

All backyard fences would come out, the lawns, shrubs and flowers would be dug out. A common turf area without fences would replace individual yards.

Oakland Tribune June 30, 1965

They had been using my yard as adverstiment for years.

Jim Sorenson 1137 65th Ave – Oakland Tribune
Oakland Tribune June 30, 1965

They were also upset by the lack of advance warning. They got 200 signature in favor of keeping the fences.

The Lockwood Gardens tenants were all for beautification but not at the expense of their backyards. One tenant was upset because he had just rebuilt his fence. Not all the tenants of the tenants took care of yards or kept their fences in repair. But they felt the OHA could work it out with those tenants.

The Protests

The tenants of both Peralta Villa and Lockwood Gardens protested and managed to halt or limited the amount of work that could be done at either of the projects.

Oakland Tribune July 13, 1965

The OHA laid out a new backyard fence policy Residents must keep their backyards neat and in repair; no new fences could be installed; no satisfactory fence will be torn down now, but eventual elimination of all fenced areas can be expected”

In August of 1965 the OHA board voted to poll each family of Campbell Village, Lockwood Gardens and Peralta Villa if they want a fence. Everyone was to be asked even the people who lived in the 2nd floor. There was a total of 916 total units in the three projects.

The tenants were given 2 choices in the questions asked :

Oakland Tribune Sep 01, 1965

It appears to be a lower-the-cost- maintenance program

The Pro-Fence group leader

In July 1966 all the fences had been removed and the place looked like a dump reported one tenant. The lawn was dead in most places as it wasn’t being watered.

More on the Beautification Program

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Montclair

1933 – Oakland Hills Fire

The fire started in the Redwood Road area and raced through to Sequoia Park (Joaquin Miller Park) and down Dimond Canyon and also spread some into Shepard Canyon. 

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

The fire, which began around 7 am on November 13, 1933, swept through the East Oakland Hills, burning a man to death, injuring two others, and destroying at least a dozen homes.  It was under control by 2 pm.

The municipal zoo in Sequoia Park (now Joaquin Miller Park) was surrounded by a ring of flames as the fire approached the animal cages. The zookeeper’s we preparing to shoot the animals, the fire stopped just 100 yards from the cages.

‘The Abbey’ is Spared

The flames spread through the homestead of the late Joaquin Miller and destroyed the home of Miller’s late mother, which was occupied his widow, who was 83.  Many of her treasures were lost, but she escaped. The historic Abbey was saved!

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

Shift in Wind

AT 9:20 am, the fire was fast approaching the Sequoia Riding Club at 2923 Mountain Blvd. The stable grooms led the frightened horses through the smoke to safety. A shift in wind saves the stables.

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
  • Mrs. Abbie L. Miller widow of Joaquin Miller with her niece
  • Carmela Ward and a couple of the 60 horses she rescued.
  • Juanita Miller helping fight the fire
Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
  • Removing the body of Wm J. La Marr who burned to death
  • All the was left of one hillside home
  • Schoolboys who went class to fight the flames along Mountain Blvd

List of Homes

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

More on the Fire

The End