Requests for bids to build the school were made in July of 1886.
The completed school was small at only 32×36 feet, with just one classroom. It was Gothic in design with a graceful looking bell tower. It had two entrances, one for the boys and the other for the girls, with each entry having a 6×6 vestibule. The sash bars of the windows are all horizontal, copying the style of schools in Europe.
The construction cost about $2,500 and took about two months to build.
The architects were Goodrich & Newton.
The dedication of the school was held in October 1886. It was attended most of the families that lived in the area. Opening remarks were made by Judge EM Gibson and W.H Mead. Some of the families in attendance:
Entertainment provided by the students from the school under the direction of their teacher Miss Lucy Law. The following students performed:
Hays School was the scene of brightness and beauty on Friday June 14, 1901. Friends and family gathered to witness the closing exercises. The four graduates were:
In 1904 appointed Mr. S. Morrell and Mr. Johnson to fill the vacancies caused by the removal of George Hunt and G.W. Logan.
Attendance for the year ending 1911 for the Hays School was 11 students.
The school was closed around 1913, and the building was demolished. It was probably due to the Oakland, Antioch, and Eastern Railway construction, later known as the Sacramento Northern. For more on the Sacramento Northern, please go here. The East Bay Hills Project
In 1927, the Montclair firehouse was built on the same site. The storybook style building was designed by Eldred E. Edwards of the Oakland Public Works Department.
A bit of history of some of the mansions that once graced the streets of Oakland. More to come at a later date.
Burnham Mansion was at the corner of Lakeside Drive and 17th Street. The three-story mansion was built in 1902 by John Russell Burnham.
The Burnham family selected the site on Lake Merritt’s edge because of its similarity to Lake Geneva.
The distinctive features of the house were the first stall shower in the city and an automobile garage. The Burnham’s were the owners of one of the first two automobiles in Oakland.
At the beginning of WWII, the mansion was turned over to the American Red Cross for a hospitality center. Alcoholics Anonymous occupied the home until 1955.
In 1956 construction was to begin on ne 60-unit apartment building. The new structure was expected to cost $2.5 million. Each of the 60 apartment ran completely through the building with views of Lake Merritt. Other features included parking on two levels, the elimination of corridors, extensive elevator system, individual patios, and a roof top garden.
The old home of Anthony Chabot, founder of Oakland’s modern water system, was torn down in 1952. The city declared the house a fire and health hazard.
The Chabot family hadn’t lived there for some time. Ellen Chabot Bothin still owned it.
The building had been used as a rooming house for years, taking in enough money to pay the taxes.
The home was a modest one considering the owner was a millionaire. The house was two-stories with an attic, its rooms with high ceilings, marble mantels, and velvet embossed walls.
The Chabot’s name is a part of our history, with the following named after them.
Edwin Goodall built an elaborate mansion in 1880. The house was located at 1537 Jackson Street.
The home had paneled walls, and a bed carved out of mahogany, a small theater with dressing rooms.
In 1918, Dr. M.M. Enos purchased the home, operated it as the St. Anthony Hospital until 1923, when it became theJackson Lake Hospital.
In 1960 the hospital was razed to make room for an apartment building called the Jackson Lake Apartments.
Charles H. King built his mansion in about 1884.
King City a rural community in the Salinas Valley was named in 1886 for Oakland’s Charles H. King.
In 1971 the old and neglected King family Mansion still stood at 1029 Sixth Avenue and East 11th Street. The home at one time had 38 rooms. Not sure exactly when the home was razed.
The mansion of Capt. Thomas Mein was located at the corner of Jackson and 15th Street.
The three-story 16-room Victorian was built in 1899, included a winding staircase and marble fireplaces.
In 1964 home was razed to make room for a new 34-unit apartment called the Delphian.
Palm Knoll, was the home of Governor (later Senator) George C. Perkins (1839–1923). The 24-room mansion Vernon and Perkins Street, was built in 1890.
Palm Knoll was razed in 1947 to make room for apartments.
Ely Welding Playter, a successful hardware merchant in San Francisco, built a mansion in 1879 at 14th and Castro Streets. The area was the center of Oakland’s elite.
Playter was the 24th Mayor of Oakland. He served two terms, 1885 and 1886, and was a Republican.
In 1906, the house became a refuge for “working girls” after being purchased by the YWCA.
It was a three-story structure with long narrow windows.
The house was torn down in 1948 to make room for a service station.
In accordance with Alameda County’s order for residents to ‘shelter in place’ for the well-being of public and staff related to COVID-19 precautionary measures, Oakland Zoo will be closed Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until the order is lifted.
Henry A. Snow, a naturalist, collector, and African big game hunter, established the Oakland Zoo in downtown Oakland. The first Zoo was located at 19th and Harrison. The area is now known as Snow Park.
In February of 1923, the city of Oakland accepted Snow’s collection of wild animals. The collection was valued from $30,000 to $80,000.
“On behalf of the city of Oakland, we are delighted to accept this valuable collection.”
Oakland Tribune Feb 1923
Two lion cubs and a boa-constrictor formed the nucleus, with various monkeys, bobcats, a cinnamon bear, a mountain lion, and a badger completed the menagerie.
After many complaints were filed with the city council and the park board from the neighborhood residents around the Zoo, who said the collection of animals were a nuisance.
The new location was in Sequoia Mountain Park (now a part of Joaquin Miller Park.)
In 1926 Henry Snow had a stroke and died in July of 1927. Snow’s son Sidney Snow continued in father’s footsteps.
In 1936, Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society.
The new Society was seeking to move the animals to the 500-acre Durant Park.
In 1939 the Zoo moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
Durant Park was once the home to R.C. Durant, the President of Durant Motors. Before that, the land from owned by F.C. Talbot. The park is located at the top of 98th Avenue.
Knowland State Arboretum and Park and Zoo
Visitors enter the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park through the landscape of the Historical Park and Arboretum. The trees throughout this area are the remnants of the Frederick Talbot estate (see Edenvale.)
A row of Canary Island Palm marks the park entry. There are Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya Trees from Australia in the meadow and picnic grounds. These trees were all planted early part of the 1900s.
Knowland Park consists of approximately 443 acres, of which 350 acres are in the undeveloped Upper Knowland Park. The Zoo (in 1996) had 56 acres within the Historical Park, and 37 acres are in the Zoological Park.
Under a contract with the City of Oakland, the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS) has full responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and development of the 37-acre Zoo and the 443 acres of Knowland Park.
The first significant addition was the construction enclosure for Miss Effie, the elephant, at the cost of $15,000. The move from the lower park to the upper area began. Video of Miss Effie in 1965 can be seen here: website
There was a 60-foot cylindrical gibbon tower at the entrance to the Zoo. The baby zoo was located in the lower area of the new Zoo.
“The Zoo, when completed, will be the most modern and beautiful one in the country.”
Oakland Tribune 1960
By 1967 the Zoo had relocated entirely to a canyon rising to a mountain overlooking the entire East Bay Area.
The Skyline Daylight a miniature train complete with a “Vista Dome” coach.
The Baby Zoo was completed in 1965 and totally rebuilt in 2005.
When completed, the Zoo would be 100 acres.
Sidney Snow Dies
People Came to See
Zoo Under Fire
In 1983 the Zoo was listed as number six of the “The 10 ‘worst’ zoos.’
The Humane Society of the United States said the conditions at the Zoo were so adverse that the elephants might be better off “serving five to ten years in Leavenworth.”
The Zoo was “a random collection of animals maintained in amateurish fashion and failed to meet even one criterion of an acceptable zoological garden.
They called the Zoo “concrete oasis.”
The report noted that there were no signs of cruelty to the animals, and they were generally healthy.
The Zoo’s response was, “it will be a first-class zoo in a few years.”
Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.
New and Improved Zoo
In his tenure, Dr. Parrott has turned the Zoo entirely around, making it one of the best in the country.
Many new exhibits have been created, including those for the hamadryas baboons and the chimpanzees. A new, spacious elephant exhibit was built in 1987.
The current sun bear exhibit was finished in 1995 and was featured on Animal Planet “Ultimate Zoos.” The white-handed gibbons now live on a lush island in the heart of the Rainforest. The African Savannah, with camels, lions, elephants, meerkats, hyenas and more, was completed in 1998.
The Zoo Today
In the summer of 2005 the 3-acre Valley Children’s Zoo opened with spacious new animal exhibits along with plenty of interactive play-structures for children. The ring-tailed lemurs, century old Aldabra tortoises, the interactive Goat and Sheep Contact Yard along with the river otters can be found in the Children’s Zoo. The popular American alligators, the bats, the pot-bellied pigs, the Old-World rabbits along with the Bug Room, and the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room are also in the Children’s Zoo.
June 20, 2018 – Almost three years since breaking ground and more than two decades in the making, Oakland Zoo’s highly anticipated California Trail opens. The expansion more than doubles the Zoo’s current size from 45 acres to 100 acres.
The California Trail also includes the interactive California Conservation Habitarium, Conservation Action Tent, California Wilds! Playground based on California’s diverse eco-zones, and Clorox Overnight Experience ‘safari-style’ campground.
Timeline of the Zoo
1936– Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society.
1939-moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
1948 – Became a State Park
1949: State Park property is leased to the City of Oakland for 50 years, and the City of Oakland subleased the zoo property to the East Bay Zoological Society.
1950: -The zoo property changed its name Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.
1964 –City Parks Dept and Society run zoo
1965 – The baby Zoo opened
1975 Knowland State Park was conveyed to the City of Oakland.
1982 –East Bay Zoological Society took over the maintenance, operation, and development of the city-run Zoo. The 10-year lease agreement saved the city almost $315,880 a year. The Society signed a ten-year contract.
1985 – Joel Parrott was appointed the Executive Director. A 20-year renovation plan was put in place,
1994- Renews 10-year lease.
Timeline of Major Developments
Hamadryas Baboon Exhibit 1982
Chimpanzee Exhibit – 1988
African Elephant Exhibit – 1989
African Lion Exhibit – 1992
Siamang Island Exhibit – 1993
Malayan Sun Bear Exhibit – 1996
African Savanna – 1998
Maddie’s Center – 1999
Warthog Exhibit -2000
Mahali Pa Tembo – Elephant Exhibit 2004
Wayne & Gladys Valley Children Zoo Opened 2005
Baboon Cliffs – 2009
Wild Australia – 20110
Veterinary Hospital – 2012
The East Bay Zoological Society has operated and managed the Zoo for the City of Oakland from 1982 until August 2017, when it was renamed the Conservation Society of California to reflect better Zoo’s evolving purpose mission in its commitment to conservation.
Before “The Montclarion” newspaper rolled off the presses in 1944, there were two earlier editions of the paper. The Montclair Garden Club published a newsletter called the Montclair Clarion in the early 1930s and then the Montclarion.
In January of 1935, a small booklet of community news and poetry appeared in mailboxes in the Merriewood area. It was sponsored by the Merriewood-Pinewood Improvement Club.
The Montclair Clarion was distributed free of charge. It included poetry, stories, and community activities, advertisements, and a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.
The cover was a pen and ink sketch by Schuler of two pines, grass, and a view of the hills beyond. The sketch tool on slight variations, reflecting the seasons.
The editor was Margery Lane Schuler, who lived at 5646 Merriewood Drive. Schuler was also the advertising manager, copyreader, publisher, and art director.
In her first editorial, Schuler wrote that she hopes the Montclair Clarion will “have a great many people become more aware of the beauty of the district of the district and promote a desire for our living amongst the trees and nature, living close to God, thereby establishing us to live richer fuller lives.” We want them to see our sunset, to breathe our pines; and everyone should hear our birds sing in the morning, they like it too, out here.”
Some news from the Clarion
Mrs. Emerson’s garden party with an entrance charge of 50 cents.
The Women’s club was booked solid.
Realtor Ione Jones had a pine lot available for $1,500.
Montclair Realty at 6466 Moraga announced the permit for the Hamilton Market.
New street sign at the blind corner of Merriewood and Sherwood Drives.
On the cover of the April 1935 edition, it boasted a circulation of 1000, and by September 1935, the little book was less than ten pages.
In 1940, the first issue of the Monclairion still a typed, mimeographed newsletter appeared. Promising its readers, “a personal newssheet will keep you informed on the interesting and important events in your community.
The area’s monthly news source was published by the Montclair Townsite Association, “of, by and for the people of Montclair from Piedmont to Skyline.” The yearly subscription price: $1.00.
The editor, realtor Beatrice Pause of the Montclair Realty Co., had a staff of three nurserymen Elmer Warren, local resident Damond Woodlee whose forte was “scandal,” and her sister Pierette DeVincenzi.
A popular and controversial column, “Well What Do You Know” by Yehudi, reported the goings-on of hill residents and merchants. “Yehudi” kept things stirred up by tattling on everyone, even himself.
“What local golf wizard took what local scribe’s pants at what club?” began a column in July 1940. “Little did he suspect this local scribe had shed his longies.” (and editors’ note read: Yehudi to be released from local klink Monday)
Five months after that first issue appeared, The Montclarion became a weekly, six to eight-page publication that included the “important events of the community” gossip, meetings, gardening and cooking tips, new neighbors, and help-wanted columns.
Four months later, the paper was delivered by carriers every Friday to 2,150 homes.
Advertisements on the letter-size news sheet reflected the hill area growth.
Charles Huenneke had taken over the Montclair Pharmacy at the corner of Moraga and La Salle.
Gil’s Market opened at 6120 La Salle.
Edward’s Cleaners and Hatters opened.
The following year four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, urged residents to enroll in civilian defense classes.
But despite its popularity 2000 papers every week, the Montclarion died quietly som time in 1942 a victim of wartime shortages and rising production costs.
For nearly two years, the Montclarion was nothing more than a copyrighted title.
Fred and Micky Graeser bought the title for $100.00 and rented printing equipment and set up shop in their home on Sobrante Road. They sold the paper in 1977.
The first issue was on October 27, 1944, and started as a four-page semi-tabloid whose pages varied in size.
Over the years, The Montclarion moved their offices at least eight times.
In 1909 a newly appointed commission met at city hall with then Mayor Frank Mott to assume the responsibility of establishing a public playground system.
Oakland was the second city in California to establish a playground system; the first was Los Angeles in 1905.
Superintendent of Playgrounds
In May of 1909, the commission appointed George E. Dickie, the first playground superintendent, and that summer, the city opened two “experimental” playgrounds at Tompkins and Prescott Schools.
Before 1909, the Oakland Women’s Club operated summer playgrounds for two years at West Oakland’s Tompkins and Prescott’s schools at their own expense.
With a budget of $10,000, the commission opened three municipal playgrounds in 1910.
The first was opened on January 10, 1910, at de Fremery. The park included a dozen swings, two long slides, a baseball diamond, two regulation tennis courts, and courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.
Two weeks later, they opened Bushrod Playground at 60th Street and Shafter. The land was deeded to the city in 1904 by Dr. Bushrod Washington James of Philadelphia with the stipulations that it is maintained as a public park forever.
The first recreation “center” was built at the site, and the structure remained standing until 1943.
They then provided playground equipment to the West Oakland Park (which later became Bayview, and is now Raimondi Field)and Independence Park ( now San Antonio).
Recreation for Everyone
In 1911 the city charter was revised to include the role of recreation in the community, this resulted in disbanding the commission, and a board of playground directors was created to oversee the parks. The Parks and Recreation Department was formed
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!”
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
There have been many discussions and articles about the name “Uptown” for an area in downtown Oakland. Most people hate it, except for the new people who just moved here, who call it “hip” or “trendy” (this is just my opinion I did not conduct a poll).
Most recently on one of the Facebook groups, I belong to. Just about everybody who commented hates the use of word uptown. Only two people actually read my comment about the history of the name. One still didn’t buy my explanation, and the other thanked me.
No as a native oaklander we have never used the word uptown it was always downtown”
Gentrification definitely gentrification”
We went Downtown
Growing up in Oakland, we always went downtown and never uptown because we went home.
It still is downtown to us and will always be! I will not argue that!
People are assuming the name “Uptown” comes from newcomers or “gentrifiers” that are taking over the area.
I know I questioned it, thinking they (the developers) were trying to make it sound like New York.
“The use of “Uptown” to refer to what is really part of downtown Oakland is relatively new and followed the city’s massive gentrification project to renovate the Fox Theater and build 10,000 new units of housing around Grand Avenue and Telegraph in the early 2000s.”
A couple of years ago, I decided to research the name a little more. I was reading an old report from the redevelopment agency from the 1980s and I saw a reference to the “Uptown District”. That got me to thinking and the rest is history.
A bit of history follows.
During the first fifty years of Oakland, the primary business activity centered around 9th and Broadway. The first map of Oakland, drawn in 1853, marked 14th street as the northern boundary of the city.
Businesses initially were built near the waterfront at 1st and Broadway. As transportation improved and the population increased, buildings moved further up Broadway.
A prominent sign of upward commercial advance was the completion of the First National Bank in 1908 at Broadway and San Pablo, along with the Cathedral Building and City Hall.
Uptown Historic District
The Uptown Historic District runs from 18th Street to 21st Street along Broadway at the north end of Oakland’s central business district. It includes three blocks of the triangular gore between Broadway and Telegraph Avenue, plus the Fox Theater on the west side of Telegraph and portions on the eastern side of Broadway at the 19th Street intersection.
The district represents a phase of the expansion of the central business district, in the 1920s and 30s. The new shopping and entertainment center was at the north end of the turn of the century downtown, anchored by the new Capwell department store and developed by Capwell’s 20th and Broadway Realty Company.
The district is an essential collection of small to medium scale commercial buildings of the 1920s and 30s, historic brownstone and terra cotta buildings from the 1920 and colorful Art Deco Terra Cotta from the 1930s.
Capwell’s, I. Magnin buildings, the Fox and Paramount Theaters, and the Flora Depot building are excellent examples of each of the styles.
Uptown the Beginning
In 1895 the Tribune’s new was located “Uptown.”
In the early 1900s as Oakland grew from the waterfront people started calling the area past 14th Street “Uptown.” By 1903 the area just below 14th Street was called getting crowded and the large mercantile businesses were reaching out for more space. They could only go uptown.
The real expansion uptown began in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Capwell’s was built in 1928.
Pioneers in “Uptown Oakland”
Smith Brothers new “Beautiful Uptown Store”
It was reported in the Oakland Tribune on March 24, 1936 that 19 new leases were signed in Oakland’s uptown business district.
In 1944 the new Hibernia Bank was built in “Uptown.”
After 17 years on 14th Street Walson’s moved “Uptown” to 2000 Franklin in 1968.
I could go on and on but I won’t.
There have been walking tours of the “Uptown District” since the early 1980s.
I like that the “old” name was used and not changed to something awful like the following:
“NOBE” is possibly the baldest and most obnoxious attempt to rename part of Oakland. Devised by realtors, the name is an acronym referring to North Oakland-Berkeley-Emeryville.”
East Bay Express
“Baja Dimond” This is a ridiculous name that some realtors have tried foisting on the part of the Fruitvale just below the Interstate 580 freeway across from the actual Dimond neighborhood. It’s the Fruitvale, not the Dimond.
East Bay Express
Just remember that Uptown is a part of Oakland’s History.
War work in the Oakland Public Schools during 1918 was considered one of the most essential items in the curriculum by both the school administration and the teachers.
They felt the first duty of the schools was to aid the national government in winning the war to the best of their ability.
Service became the keynote of all work. Oakland’s boys and girls realized that they had a particular part to play in making the world a safe place to live in.
Sewing and Knitting Classes
During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.
Boys and girls of all ages learned to knit, and tireless little hands were busy every spare moment making garments for sailors, soldiers, and people of stricken countries.
School and Home Garden Army
The urgent need for higher food production led to the organization of the School and Home Garden Army in Oakland. Fifteen thousand children enlisted, and 6,00 brought their gardens to successful harvests.
Jackson Furniture Companyoffered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.
Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.
Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.
The Art Department devoted its time propaganda of publicity of the was needs through posters.
The Manual Training shops worked closely with the Red Cross. They created items needed for hospitals.
When Oakland became a city in 1852, there was no free public school. There was a private school at the corner of 2nd and Broadway run by Mrs. Monroe.
The town trustees saw the need for a school, so they rented a room at the rear of a dance hall called a Fandango House at 2nd and Washington. The room furnished with half a dozen wooden benches, a table for the teacher, a blackboard, a map of the world, and a rawhide whip. 12 to 15 children attended this school.
For control of the area around the harbor, Horace W. Carpentier donated a school building to the city. Oxen teams from the hills brought redwood lumber, and a small structure was erected at 4th and Clay Streets. It was 30 x 20 feet with a 12-foot ceiling and a shingled roof. A belfry with a little bell. Carpentier called the building, “substantial, elegant, and commodious.”
In June of 1853, when the school opened, the citizens held a parade, and 16 students carried a banner that read, “Our Duty to Our Country, First, Last, and Always.”
The first teacher of the school was Miss Hannah Jayne. She taught until 1856 when she resigned to marry Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s pioneers.
In 1853, the First Presbyterian Church used the building for services. The current sanctuary of the church (built-in 1914) memorializes the schoolhouse in one of its stained glass windows showing church history.
By 1855 there were 155 children of school age in Oakland. The little schoolhouse could not house them all.
The old Carpentier school was replaced by a slightly larger building between Jefferson and Grove ( now Martin Luther King) 11th and 12th Streets.
The city continued to grow, and so did the need for schools. By 1873 there were 13 buildings with more than 2000 children receiving instruction. By 1875 there were 3,225 attending school an increase of 1000 in 2 years.
First A.M.E. Church
The First A.M.E. Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of Oakland residents and is the oldest African American church in Oakland. The church founders purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building.
According to the article below the building was still there in 1921
In 1943 the school district celebrated its 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with almost 45,000 students.
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 September 20, 2020
Golden Gate Elementary/Junior HighSchool
Bay Public School was the first school in the Bay School District which is now the Golden Gate district. The 2-room schoolhouse was built in about 1875.
In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced
More to come on the transformation from Bay School to Golden Gate School.
Preliminary plans for the second unit of the new Golden Gate Junior High. The arrival of the plans came a week after the residents of the Golden Gate district complained and at a school board meeting that the
the old school is now so rickety that it is becoming dangerous
Residents Golden Gate District Dec 1926
The new school building was completed in November of 1928 at a cost of $119,232 and had space for 700 students.
A new shop building was added to the school at a cost of about $30,000. It was located at 63rd and San Pablo and included auto shops and machine shops.
Plans for the new Clawson-Longfellow Junior High School were drawn in 1928. It was the last school to be built using the 1924 bond issue of $9,600,000.
The school’s cornerstone was laid on March 4, 1929, the same date as President Hoover‘s inauguration as the nation’s 31st president.
Herbert Hoover Junior High school, located at Thirty-third and West Streets, opened on August 12, 1929. The school was formerly known as the Clawson-Longfellow Junior High School
The school was designed on a modified English Tudor style of architecture with large arched entrances.
The building was designed by John L. Easterly, an Oakland architect and cost $460,000.
The school had a large assembly hall which could seat 1200. At one end, there was a stage that could hold 200 people. There were dressing rooms on each side of the stage. There was also a moving picture booth with the latest equipment.
The administration suite with the principal. Vice-principal and attendance offices. Next on the first floor was a textbook room, library, a faculty cafeteria, a student cafeteria, and a quick lunch counter.
On the second and third floors, there were more than 25 classrooms.
The official dedication events for the school held during American Book Week, November 11-17, 1929
Herbert Hoover Junior High School (1929–1974) was located at 3263 West Street.
In 1972 the School board approved the replacement of 3 schools. The schools deemed unsafe in an earthquake.
The schools were Clawson and Durant Elementary and Hoover Jr. High. A new k-4th Grade was to be built on the Hoover site and a 5th – 8th at the Durant site.
The school was demolished in 1974, to be replaced with a more earthquake-safe lower school.
I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.
Longfellow Elementary school was opened in 1907 and was located at 39th and Market Street.
In March of 1907, a couple of the school board members questioned the name of Longfellow for the school. One thought it was too close to the Berkeley school with the same name. The other questioned the school being named after a dead poet who never did anything for the city. The name stayed with only one dissent.
In 1957 plans were drawn up by the firm of Alexander and Mackenzie. The plans call for 16 classrooms, kindergarten, library, special education room, multipurpose room, and administrative offices at a cost of $623, 600.
The new Longfellow Elementary School was formally dedicated in November of 1959. The new school replaced the multi-storied building built after the 1906 earthquake. It Cost $595,000.
Just Say No to Drugs!
First Lady Nancy Reagan met with a group of elementary school students and their parents Wednesday to talk about ways to fight drug abuse, one of the biggest problems facing the city of Oakland. UPI – July 1984
Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.
The new building cost between $288,000 and $ 320,000 (depending on what I read). The building fronted on Myrtle Street at 14th Street.
Groundbreaking – 1927
Cornerstone laid – 1927
Dedicated Jan 1928
Howard Schroder noted Oakland architect designed the school.
Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.
In 1937 the old McCymonds High School was abandoned, the students joined Lowell, and then it was known as Lowell-McClymonds. A year later, the name changed to McClymonds-Lowell. The Lowell students were moved to Prescot Junior High in 1938.
When McClymonds was built on Myrtle Street. It became Lowell Junior High School, again.
The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.
Earthquake – 1955
The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.
The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 1959.
The new school located at 1330 Filbert Street cost $1,656,083 and was designed by Warnecke and Warnecke.
The new building had 18 general classrooms, 5 special Ed, 3 Art rooms, 3 homemaking rooms.