Posted in Buildings, Early Montclair, History, Schools

Hays School District

In March of 1886, the Board of Supervisors created a new school district.  That took from portions of the Piedmont, Peralta, and Fruitvale districts and representing about 44 children. 

Hays Canyon Schoolhouse
Students pose with their teacher. In this photo and of the 6 children sitting down. Walter Wood 2nd from the left, his brother Alfred Wood is 4th from the left Harry W. Logan is seated on far right and his brother Maurice Logan (the painter) is standing far right. The Logan’s and the Wood’s lived at Lake Temescal.
c 1900-1910 Oakland History Room

The new district was called the Hays School District, in honor of the late Colonel John Coffee Hays

The superintendent appointed the following residents of the area as trustees:

  • W.H. Mead
  • J.H. Medau
  • Mrs. Susan Hays

Land Donated

The land for the school was given to the district from Hetty S. Henshaw.   The Montclair Firehouse was built in the spot in 1927, using the front part of the lot.

Hays school -
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1886

New School House Built

Requests for bids to build the school were made in July of 1886.

Oakland Tribune July 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. 

Hays School House -
Oakland Tribune Jul 07, 1886

The construction cost about $2,500 and took about two months to build.

Oakland Tribune Jul 1886

The architects were Goodrich & Newton.

Dedication

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:

  • Clara Gibson
  • Gussie Gibson
  • Carrie Mead
  • Daisy Mead
  • Susie Mead
  • Mattie Mead
  • Edith Medau
  • Louise Medau
Oakland Tribune Feb 11, 1888
Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1889

Graduation 1901

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:

  • Jessie Logan
  • Robert Shepherd
  • August Carson
  • Scott Monroe
Oakland Tribune June 1901

School Trustees

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.

Oakland Tribune Aug 01, 1911

School Closes

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

Montclair Firehouse

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.

Storybook firehouse on Moraga Avenue in the
Montclair district of Oakland, California. 1934, ohrphoto.districts.031.
Oakland. Buildings Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Misc Articles

Oakland Tribune 1881
Hays school -
Oakland Tribune May 14, 1890
Oakland Tribune 1889

Controversy

The End

Posted in Buildings, Districts/Neighborhoods, East Oakland, Public Housing, Schools, Urban Renewal

Clinton Park Urban Renewal Project

The nation’s first federally assisted rehabilitation project.

Oakland Tribune

Federal Housing Act of 1954

In 1955 a 125 block area bounded by E. 21st Street, 14th Avenue, E. 12th Street, and Lake Merritt was chosen as the “study area” for urban renewal.

Clinton Park urban renewal plan (project no. Calif. R-2), City of Oakland, California -November 1957-HathiTrust

In October of 1955, Oakland applied to the Federal Government to formally designate an 80 block area of East Oakland bordering Lake Merritt as its first urban renewal project.

First in the West

The area was Oakland’s first concentrated action against blight and substandard housing.  

Clinton Park was a conservation project, the first of this type in the Western United States. 

When the project began in July 1958, the area covered 282 acres contained approximately 1,358 structures and 4,750 dwelling units. Clinton Park Project is bounded by Lake Merritt, 14th Avenue, East 21st. and East 14th Streets

The field office for the project was located at 1626 6th Avenue. The field office, an example of urban renewal in action –was a 50-year old house that was located at 1535 10th Avenue.

Oakland Gets U.S. Grant

In December of 1955, the Federal Government earmarked $1 210,000 for Oakland’s Clinton Park Urban Renewal Program. This amount was two-thirds of the anticipated total cost.

New School – Recreation Center

“heart of the Clinton Park urban renewal area.”

The new Franklin School served as an educational and recreational facility and the nucleus of the project. The revised plans for the site called for the additional area and a recreation center to be added. The school replaced the old school building condemned as an earthquake hazard.

Oakland acquired property to double the playgrounds of Franklin School.

The new school opened in September of 1956.

Oakland Tribune September 1956
Franklin School Today – 2020 by Littledots

Due to many problems in acquiring property for the expanded facility, the Recreation Center and Playground area’s completion was delayed until the summer of l 961.

Oakland Tribune October 1960
1010 East 15th – today

Our City Oakland

In 1956 the Oakland Junior Chamber Committee of the Chamber of Commerce produced a movie on Oakland’s urban renewal program.
The movie, entitled ” Our City Oakland.”

Our City Oakland – American City 
Dedicated to Oakland Urban Renewal program for the elevation of human and property values of its neighborhoods .

The film (in color with sound)shows examples of Oakland’s slum dwellings, and census figures at the time showed Oakland more than 15,000 such structures (Wow!)

The film also tells of the work in Clinton Park.

Project Launched

In July of 1957, a wrecking crew started the demolition of eight houses near the new Franklin School. This would be the location of the new recreation center.

Oakland Tribune July 1957
Oakland Tribune June 30, 1957

Older Home Gets New Life

In 1956, the Greater Eastbay Associated Homebuilders purchased a 50-year-old home at 1535 10th Avenue.

Oakland Tribune April 1956
Oakland Tribune April 1956

Home and Garden Show

The house was moved from its lot to become an exhibit at the Home and Garden Show.

Oakland Tribune April 1956

It was completely remodeled as a part of Oakland’s Operation Home Improvement Campaign.

Oakland Tribune April 1956

 Following the show, the home was moved to and used as the Clinton Park Project field office.

The office was located at 1621 6th Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1963

Looks like the house was moved sometime in the mid 1960s. A church is there now.

A Rehab Project

The homes at 624 and 630 Foothill Blvd

Many New Apartment Buildings

From 1956 to 1962, 57 new apartment buildings were constructed. By 1960 $4,000,000 had been spent on new apartment construction.

First Project

The ground was broken in May of 1956 for the first significant construction project for Clinton Park.  

Robert A. Vandenbosch designed the 32-unit apartment building at 1844 7th Avenue and East 19th Street.

 The three-story structure was built around an inner court that has balconies overlooking the court from every apartment.

Now called Casa Simone –

New Apartment Project

Looking from East 18th towards 12th Avenue Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising 1919

A new 12-unit apartment building replaced a “dilapidated” single-family dwelling at 12th Avenue and East 18th Street.

Oakland Tribune

The old structure was located at 1755 12th Avenue, was built in 1900. It had been converted illegally to an eight-unit apartment.

The structure costs $75.000 to build.

1133 East 18th Street

Garden Type Apartment

In 1958 a new $400,000 apartment was built at 1125 East 18th Street.

Oakland Tribune 1958

Two old homes and their outbuildings were razed to make room for the 40-unit two-story building with parking for the 24 cars on the ground floor.

1125 East 18th – Google Maps

An eight-unit apartment building at 645 Foothill Blvd was under construction at the same time.

Clinton Park Manor

Clinton Park Manor, a 144-unit complex, was built in 1958 at the cost of $1,400,000.  

  • 24 efficiency units
  • 50 one-bedroom units
  • 46 two-bedroom units
  • 24 three-bedroom units

Architect Cecil S. Moyer designed the four three-story structures with a landscaped courtyard in the middle.

It is now called Oakbrook Manor – 1229 East 19th Street

The complex is bounded by 12th and 13th Avenues and East 19th and East 20th Streets.

Google Maps

One of Oakland’s first schools, Brooklyn Grammar School, was built on the site in 1863. It was renamed Swett School in 1874, and in 1882 a new school Bella Vista was built there. Bella Vista School was razed in 1951.

The Valhalla Apartments

In March of 1960, a three-story 48-unit apartment building was built on the northeast corner of 12th Avenue and East 17th Street at the cost of $556,000.

Architect Cecil Moyer also designed this building. The new building contained (it might still have the same layout):

  • 3- bachelor apartments
  • 24- one-bedroom apartments
  • 11- two-bedroom apartments
  • 10- three-bedroom apartments

The courtyard had a swimming pool.

1720 12th Ave Google Maps

Six old homes, some dating back to the 1890s, were demolished to clear the site.

Today it is call Cambridge Terrace Apartments

Apartments

A partial list of the new apartment buildings

  • 2225-7th Avenue – 1957
  • 1618-6th Avenue – 1957
  • 1640 -6th Avenue -1957
  • 602 Foothill – remodeled
  • 1925-35 10th Avenue – 1960

New Supermarket

In 1960 Safeway Stores Inc. built a new 20,000 square foot building and a parking lot on 14th Avenue.

The Architects were Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons of San Francisco.

1711 14th Avenue – Today – Google Maps

Loops’ for Traffic

To meet the problem of through traffic on a residential street, which caused neighborhood deterioration. Forty-seven intersections were marked to be altered, either to divert automobiles to through streets by way of traffic “loops.” or slow them down with curb extensions.

The traffic-diverting “loops” will be landscaped areas extending diagonally across intersections.

The result of these intersections was that through traffic in the project area is limited to 5th, 8th Avenues, north and south, East 21st Street, Foothill Blvd, and East 15th Street, east-west.

The Diverters -Google Maps

Diverters were placed at East 19th Street and 6th and 11th Avenues and East 20th Street at 7th and 10th Avenues. Also at East 20th Street and 12th Avenue.

Discouragers were also placed at East 20th Street and 13th Avenue and East 19th Street and 13th Avenue.

New Mercury Lights and Traffic Signals

Excerpts of articles from the Oakland Tribune 1960

Other features of the program included:

  • New Recreation Center
  • Widening of several streets and the installation of curbs and sewers.
  • Planting of 1,600 trees about 20 per block.
  • Construction of pedestrian overpasses over Foothill Blvd and East 15th Street for safe access to Franklin School.
  • Installation of new street lighting, street signs, and traffic signs.

Beautiful Homes of Clinton Park

Project Report

By March of 1962, 1,081 structures, containing 3,056 dwelling units have been repaired to eliminate all code. Violation. There have been ll7 structures demolished during the same period.   

Final report of Oakland Renewal Foundation, Inc. on Clinton Park Project, Oakland, California. – @HathiTrust

During this same period, 57 new apartment buildings were constructed within the project area, adding l,l08 new units to the existing housing supply. 

More Info:

Oakland (Calif.). Housing Division. (, 1962). Clinton Park: a historical report on neighborhood rehabilitation in Oakland, California. Oakland, Calif.: The Dept.

Clinton – Oakland Local Wiki

The End

Posted in Black History, People, Schools, West Oakland

Oakland: The Mellow City

I love Oakland with much of my heart. I look forward to Oakland’s change, growth, virtue, and beauty in the years of the future, glorifying past and forgone years.

My dream is that people who read this book of our city will also strive for a more wonderful Oakland.

By: Jacqueline Taylor

Oakland Tribune 1969

Oakland, The Mellow City Week

By official proclamation of Mayor John Reading Sunday, October 12, 1969, was the first day of:

“Oakland, The Mellow City Week.”

Oakland Tribune Oct 1969

The observation honored more than 200 eighth-grade authors and artists who produced a book about their home city.

“The Mellow City” was researched and illustrated in the spring of 1968 under the guidance of teachers from Hoover Junior High.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1969

Students were asked to base their work on the response to one question:  

“If you were to develop a book to help other students learn about Oakland, what would you include”?

Oakland Tribune

After six weeks of intensive work, they had 76 pages of essays, poems, and more than 50 original watercolors and pen and ink illustrations.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1969

Financing

Money for the project which required field trips, camera equipment, and teacher time was available through Elementary Secondary Education Act funding.

The Oakland Junior League voted to underwrite the expense of printing 2,500 copies.

Sample Page

The students also worked with printers in selecting the paper, typeface and cover design, including

The Cover
  • Jacqueline Taylor
  • Wanda White
  • Valerie Hickman
  • Marvin Miles
  • LaTanya Johnson
  • Glenda Walker
  • Coynell Smith
Oakland Tribune Oct 1969
Sample Page

More Info:

The book is still available (July 2020) to purchase at:

  • Oakland: The Mellow City – Amazon
  • Oakland: The Mellow City – ebay
  • Oakland: The Mellow City – biblio
  • Oakland: The Mellow City – abebooks

The End

Posted in Buildings, Fruitvale, Schools, Uncategorized

Fruitvale Open-Air School

About Open-Air Schools

The schools were a single-story building with integrated gardens, and pavilion-like classrooms increased children’s access to the outdoors, fresh air, and sunlight. They were mostly built in areas away from city centers, sometimes in rural locations, to provide a space free from pollution and overcrowding. 

New School House

School Children Enjoy the Open Air – SF Chronicle July 15, 1910

Free education and fresh air has interested educators from as far away as Paris, France

Oakland Tribune – May 13, 1913

The first open-air school in Oakland was established at the Fruitvale School No. 2 (now Hawthorne School) on Tallent Street (now East 17th). When it opened, there were forty students enrolled, from grades third through seventh. Miss Lulu Beeler was selected as the teacher because she had prior experience working in an open-air school in the East.

 The school designed to help cure ill and tubercular children. The focus was on improving physical health through the infusion of fresh air in the classrooms and into the children’s lungs. The school was established as a medical experiment. The school reserved for children judged to be of “weak” disposition.

The Fruitvale school is decidedly a health school”

Oakland Tribune May 13, 1913

It was constructed at the rear of the playground, one hundred feet from the existing main building.

“Fruitvale School. The fresh air school, 5-18-13.” Negative shows a group of children, boys and girls, posing in front of what looks like an enclosed porch on the back of the building. Two adult women and a man are standing with the children on a set of stairs leading up to this room.
OMCA

The square, the wood-framed building was raised to prevent underfloor dampness.

Fruitvale School. Saluting the flag, 5-18-13.” Negative shows a group of children with their right hands to their foreheads. One girl is standing in front of them holding an American flag on a pole.
OMCA

Each of the sides had a different treatment to reflect the sun. The southern side had tall windows that, when open, didn’t seem to be enclosed. The east side was opened to the elements with only half of a wall. A screen protected them from insects.  In case of storms awnings can be pulled down to protect the students.

Fruitvale School.” Negative shows school children hanging out the windows of the school, posing for the photo. A male teacher is standing on the ground outside the windows looking up at the first floor windows filled with the students.
OMCA

The school was to be the first in a series of open-air schools installed on the grounds of Oakland’s existing city schools.

Objections

Fruitvale School. The outdoors brought indoors 5-18-13.” 
OMCA

There was some objection in opening the school, from the parents of the selected children and the children themselves. The parents did not want their children singled out; the children worried they would be teased as being “sick.” These fears were realized, and the teachers struggled with how to deal with the repeated taunts

Oakland Tribune May 13, 1913

The idea of the open-air classroom was incorporated in many of the new schools built in the 1920s. I don’t know how long the Fruitvale Open Air school was open. I will update if I find more information.

More Info:

Growing Children Out of Doors: California’s Open-Air Schools and Children’s Health, 1907-1917 – Camille Shamble Los Gatos, California – May 2017

Open air school – Wikipedia

Collection of Photos – OMCA 

The End

Posted in Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – McClymonds High School

In 1951 the students referred to their alma mater as:

the school that couldn’t stay still.”

Oakland Tribune 1951

In the first 36 years, the school changed location five times and gone by eight different names.

A Bit of History

In January 1915, McClymonds High School started in a small building formerly occupied by Oakland Technical High School at 12th and Market with sixty students. Originally called the Vocational High School and was the first public school in California to offer vocational training.

J.W. McClymonds directly inspired the organization of the school, superintendent of the Oakland Schools between 1889-1913 (Oakland Tribune Mar 09, 1924), and the name was changed to McClymonds Vocational School.

In 1924 the school was moved to a new building at 26th and Myrtle, and its name was changed to J.W. McClymonds High School.  

It became just plain McClymonds High in 1927. The building was condemned in 1933, and classes were moved to Durant School.  

In 1936 McClymonds High School and Lowell Junior High School were merged to form a new high school on Lowell Site at 14th and Myrtle Streets. McClymonds High thereby became a four-year high school.

 In 1938 the name changed from J.W. McClymonds to Lowell-McClymonds, then in July of the year to McClymonds-Lowell High School

Finally, in September 1938, they moved back to the old site at 26th and Myrtle Streets after the buildings were reconstructed at the cost of $330,000. The alumni won out, and once again it was McClymonds High School as it is today.

Dedication

The new high school occupying the entire block at 26th and Myrtle Streets, erected at the cost of $660,000 was dedicated in March of 1924.

The school was named in honor of J.W McClymondswho had died two years earlier. The ceremony was held on Mar 09, 1924.

Oakland Tribune 1924

McClymonds High School was completed in 1924 as a part of the school building program of 1919.   The new building contained 35 classrooms, 11 shops, administrative offices, storerooms, science, millinery, and art rooms and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1000. There were shops for forge work, auto repair, machine work, pattern making, woodworking, electrical engineering, and printing. The machinery in the shops costs several thousands of dollars.

Mcclymonds High School – undated
Oakland History Room

Millinery Courses 

The milliner’s art “so dear to the hearts of the fair sex” was introduced as a course for girls in schools of Oakland. Mcclymonds had a shop with machinery for fabricating and molding the millinery.

  

“The girls are virtually flocking to the new course, which teaches the latest in chic, feminine headgear.”

Oakland Tribune

Out With The Old

Oakland Tribune 1951
Oakland Tribune 1951
Oakland Tribune 1951

New School

Oakland Tribune 1951

In 1954 a new three-story reinforced concrete structure was dedicated.  

The structure designed for 1200 students and contains 42 classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria, and library. Corlett and Anderson of Oakland were the architects.

The auditorium is in the two-story south wing and classes in the three-story building.

A class of 75 students was the first to graduate from the new McClymonds High in 1954.

New Gym

The Old Gymnasium – 1928

In 1953 the old gym was condemned as an earthquake hazard and wasn’t replaced until 1957.

The new Gymnasium 1956

The new gym was the first Oakland school building to be built with tilt-up wall construction in which concrete wall sections are poured flat on the ground then raised into place.

Folding bleachers will seat 875 spectators. A folding partition will divide the main gymnasium into boys and girls for physical education classes.

The building also included an exercise room, shower and locker rooms, first-aid rooms, instructor’s office, and storage areas. Ira Beals designed it at the cost of $427,000.

McClymonds Field Dedicated – 1960

Oakland Tribune 1963

The new $625,095 track and field facilities was touted as one of the finest in the East Bay when the it was dedication ceremony was held.

The new tennis courts adjacent to the gym were dedicated to the memory of Earl M. Swisher, a former teacher, and tennis coach.

The Field Today – google maps

In 1964 three McCLymonds High School seniors drowned in the icy waters of Strawberry Lake in Tuolumne County.  

Oakland Tribune 1964

The victims were:

  • Gloria Curry – Age 17
  • Carolyn Simril – Age 17
  • Melvin Lee Moore – Age 16

The trip was for the about 150 students called “honor citizens” because of outstanding community and school service.

Pinecrest Lake 1964

Most of the students were on the ski slopes, and sled runs at Dodge Ridge. Between 15 and 20 of them were on the frozen lake when the ice gave away.

The students said there were no signs on the lake warning of thin or rotten ice.

A heroic rescue by three boys and two men saved the lives of at least ten students when the ice broke about 150 yards from the shore.

Carolyn Simril died while trying to pull somebody out and fell in herself.

Feb 1965

A large crowd waited in front of Mcclymonds High for the three buses to return. They knew that three students had drowned, but they didn’t know who they were.

More Info:

Oakland Tribune 1930
Oakland Tribune 1930
Oakland Tribune 1960
Photo by Joanne Leonard
circa 1964
Gift of the artist in honor of Therese Thau Heyman
2003.139.35

McClymonds Today

McClymonds High School is a highly valued icon of the West Oakland community as it is the only full-sized OUSD High School in the region. It is located near the intersection of Market Street & San Pablo Avenue in the Clawson neighborhood, which contains a mix of residential and commercial development with a handful of industrial yards

The school is located at 2607 Myrtle Street Oakland, CA 94607

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools – Part 20

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.  

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.  

Montera Junior High

Montera and Joaquin Miller Schools are located where Camp Dimond owned by the Boy Scouts once was. The camp opened in 1919 and closed in 1949 when the land purchased by the board of education.

Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in December of 1957. The school was next to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  Speakers at the event were Peter C. Jurs, member of the board, Mrs. Robert Hithcock, President of the Joaquin Miller PTA, Zoe Kenton, eighth-grade student, Jim Ida seventh grade student, and Supt Selmer Berg. Rev Robert H. Carley led the invocation.

Malcolm D. Reynolds and Loy Chamberlain designed the school. The new school featured: Administration Offices.

Construction

Jan 1958
1958
Parking Lot – November 1958
Gymnasium
June 1958
Russ Reed Photo

Naming the School

Montera Junior High – Nov 1959

The school was temporarily called Joaquin Miller Junior High that was because it is adjacent to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  

As is the case of all new Oakland School, the students, faculty, and community help choose the name of the school. 

Recommendations to the school board from the school’s parent -facility club were as follows:

  1. Jack London Junior High
  2. Montera Junior High
  3. Pineview Junior High

They were set to vote on the name at the next board meeting. Before they could vote, they received a second letter from the parent-faculty club at the school withdrawing the recommendation of Jack London Junior High.

The parents said that

London was not a fit person for the honor.

Parent – Faculty
SF Chronicle – Oct 1959

 A student representative said, “Montera Junior High” was the top choice for those attending the school. The area was known historically as the Montera District.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1924

School Dedication

The school was formally dedicated as Montera Junior High on November 10, 1959

November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959

Film Festival

Oakland Tribune 1971

Montera Today

Montera is located at 5555 Ascot Drive.  

Montera Toros
Montera-OUSD Photo
Montera – OUSD Photo

In 2011, Montera became a California Distinguished School. The woodshop is another source of school pride, having celebrated over 50 years of teaching children the arts of woodcraft. It is the only remaining woodshop in an Oakland middle school.

More Info:

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

Then & Now – Oakland Public Schools – No. 19

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.  

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.  

Skyline High School

Skyline High School is located on a 45-acre ) campus at the crest of the Oakland hills. The school is near the Redwood Regional Park and has a panoramic (through the trees)view of the San Francisco Bay Area on one side and Contra Costa on the other.

My School Id

Hill Area High School

Where will Oakland’s proposed new hill-area school be located”

Oakland Tribune Sep 05, 1956

Talks about a new “Hill-Area High School began in the early to mid-1950s. After weeks of field trips and meetings the possible sites for the new school were reduced from eight to three.

They finally they decided on a 31-acres site at Skyline Blvd and Fernhoff Road – No 1 above and below.

The new hill area high school costs were expected to be almost $4,000,000, with nearly $3,000,000 earmarked for site development and construction.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1958

For 1,500 students, the plans called for fifty-four classrooms, a library, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, an auditorium, and administrative offices. The number of classrooms would be increased to 67 for 2,000 students.

The Oakland architectural firm of Warnecke and Warnecke were hired to design the new school.

Construction

The grading and excavation was complete by July of 1959 at a cost of $182,000

Montclarion 1961

Architects Warnecke and Warnecke estimated the school building would cost $3,650,600 in addition to the money already spent on the site, and development would bring the total to $4,623,301.

Some of the suggestions to cut the cost was.

  • Omit a $500,000 auditorium
  • Omit the covered walkways for a savings of $97,000
  • Substitute 13 portables classrooms for permanent buildings to save $266,800
Oakland Tribune Jan 25, 1959

The contract to build the Hill Area High School was awarded to Branagh and Son, at a cost of $4,140,500 for 50 classrooms.

Construction was set to begin in November of 1959

The school was set to open in the fall of 1961.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25, 1961

Loud protests that the “tentative” boundaries for the new Hill Area High School would keep low income and minority groups prompted the Board of Education to request further study on the matter in January of 1961.` 

Representatives of the NAACP told the board members that keeping attendance boundaries in hill area would make the new facility a

“private prep school supported by public funds.”

The existing boundaries of the four high schools in Oakland then had lines extending to the eastern limits of the city allowed for a wide divergence of racial and economic backgrounds.

The proposed boundary for the new school stretched along the top lines of the hills would only allow for “horizontal mobility.”

David P. McCullum, president of the Oakland NAACP, stressed that “Negros would not be the only ones deprived of a chance to attend the new school but that all races in the lower economic group would be cut out.

” It is not just a color problem-it is a total problem.”

Henry J. Kaiser Jr was the chairman of PACE (Oakland’s Public Advisory Committee on Education), and he wrote in a letter to the board of education that. 

“This is the time when all of us-the Negro people and the white people-should face common problems together and work them out to our mutual satisfaction, to the end that the community is strengthened and our school children are given the maximum opportunities for development.”

McCullum said:

Skyline boundaries don’t just shut out Negroes, but create general “economic” segregation which also affects many white people.

The new attendance boundaries brought charges of gerrymandering.

The Segregation unintentional School Official Decries”

April 03, 1962

But today there are many Negro children in junior highs which feed into Skyline High School”

Selmer Berg Apr 1962

The discussion on Skyline’s borders went on for a few more years. In 1964 an ‘Open” enrollment plan was proposed, and eventually, it was accepted.

Oakland Tribune Feb 26, 1961

The new boundary did the best job of following present junior high attendance lines, and in giving relief to Castlemont, Fremont, Oakland High and Technical High.

The Name Skyline Wins!

In January of 1961, Dr. George C. Bliss was appointed the first principal of Skyline. Dr. Bliss had with the Oakland schools for 36 years most recently as the principal of Technical High School.

School board members received suggestions that the new Hill Area High school be named Sequoia or Skyline High.

Montclarion 1961

In February of 1961, Oakland’s newest high school had an official name.

The board voted at the regular meeting to call the $4.5 million school “Skyline High School”.

Athletic Shakeup

To fill Skyline, they planned on taking the following students from:

  • 700 from Oakland
  • 400 from Fremont
  • 200 from Castlemont
  • 125 from Technical

Seniors could stay at their present school and graduate with their class, and junior within the new boundaries also had that choice. Sophomores had no choice. They must go to Skyline.

This meant that some of the star athletes would be leaving their school for Skyline.

Oakland’s starting basketball guard and the best high jumper in track and field were bound for Skyline. 

Oakland High was set to lose Paul Berger, their coach of nine years.

Ben Francis was the sophomore starting basketball guard at Oakland High, who must switch to Skyline. Others were Craig Breschi,Glen Fuller, Jim Ida, and Ed Huddleson.

Oakland Tribune Nov 03, 1962

Ben Haywood Oakland’s best high jumper was bound for Skyline.

JUNIOR BEN HAYWOOD WIND FOUR EVENTS

Oakland Tribune Mar 03, 1962

It was announced in April of 1961 that no varsity football would be played the first year at Skyline, by principal Dr. George Bliss.

“Football depends a great deal on size and weight.” the principal said, ” and we’ll be outnumbered two and three to one in seniors by the other schools.”

Skyline High circa 1963

Dedication

Sky’s the limit

All we have to do is develop the finest school that’s possible-one that everybody can look up to”

Dr. George Bliss – Aug 1961

The formal dedication for the school was held in November of 1961. The ceremony was held in the auditorium, with music provided by the Skyline Concert Band and Choir.

Oakland Tribune Dec 04, 1961

The formal presentation was made by Selmer Berg the Sup. of the Schools with Arch W. Host and Leroy D. Smith accepting on behalf of the students and faculty.

In a surprise feature to the program the auditorium was named the Selmer H. Berg Hall in his hoor.

The school newspaper is the Skyline Oracle and the yearbook is the Olympian. These publications have existed since the early decades of Skyline High history. The participants of each publication are involved by taking the offered courses. The Skyline Oracle has won numerous honors over the years for the quality of its publication.

Skyline Mascot

Arson Fire

From Chris Treadway

In January of 1973, an ex-student of Skyline who at the time was AWOL from Fort Ord broke into the 20 Building in search of food or money. He said he threw a lighted match into a can of cleaning fluid. He said he tried to put the fire out but fled and pulled the fire alarm. When the fire department responded, they were unable to find it. Neighbors later saw the flames and called the fire department by this time the 20 Building was gone.

From the Skyline Yearbook

After leaving Skyline, he broke into a church down the hill and was arrested by the police; he had set off the silent alarm. While in police custody, he confessed to starting a fire at Skyline.

Oakland Tribune Jan 31, 1973
Oakland Tribune Feb 1973

Skyline High Today

Skyline High is located at 12250 Skyline Blvd.

More Info:

Skyline Website – OUSD

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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 18

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.

Dag Hammarskjöld School

Sorry I wasn’t able to find any pictures of the school. Let me know if you have any.

The new Columbia Gardens school on Empire Road was a temporary school that was established in 1961 as a “bonus” project from the 1956 bond issue.

The school was officially named Dag hammarskjöld School after the late secretary-general of the United Nations in October of 1961.

Dedication

The school was dedicated in March of 1962.

Oakland Tribune Mar 21, 1962

More Info:

  1. Dag hammarskjöld – Wikipedia
  2. $40 Million School Program Ends – Oakland Tribune Feb 02, 1964

Lincoln Elementary School

Lincoln Elementary School is one of the oldest schools in the Oakland Unified School District. The school had several incarnations before becoming Lincoln Elementary School.

Lincoln School history goes back to 1865 when the Board of Education established Primary School No. 2 “the Alice Street School” at Alice and 6th Streets.

The school was moved to Harrison Street and renamed Harrison Primary.

The lot for the first school cost $875, and the two-room school cost $1324. There were 60 students registered that first year.

In 1872 (1878), Lincoln Grammar School was built on its present site at Alice and 10th Streets. They paid $7, 791 for the land, and the building complete with “modern speaking tubes for communication” (??) cost $20,000.

Lincoln School in 1887

Lincoln School in 1898

1906 Earthquake

Drawing of the New Lincoln School

The 1906 Earthquake interrupted the construction of a new school building with 22 classrooms that was replacing the school from 1872. New plans were drawn to make an earthquake-proof structure. There were many delays, but the school was finally open in the fall of 1909.

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1907

New Lincoln School ended up costing between $150,000-$175,000.

Lincoln School offered the first manual training and homemaking classes in the city. During the flu epidemic of 1918 meals for prepared for and served to 200 daily.

New School

Preliminary plans for a new two-story concrete building were authorized in October of 1957. The cost was estimated at $535, 000.

The 1906 building was demolished in 1961 due to seismic safety concerns.

Oakland Tribune October 06, 1959

A new building was erected in 1962. The cost of the building was $617,000 and had 16 classrooms, offices, an auditorium, a library, and a kindergarten.

A bronze plaque of the Gettysburg Address was presented to the school.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1961

The school grew in size and began to use portable classrooms to accommodate the new students.

Lincoln Today

The school is at 225 11th St. in Oakland.

The school has a long history of serving families in the Oakland Chinatown neighborhood as well as children from other parts of Oakland. Today, the majority of the children at Lincoln come from immigrant families from across the globe. To learn more about the history of Lincoln Elementary, please visit the Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project.

Lincoln Today

In 2004 the new annex building was built to replace eleven portable buildings.

Lincoln’s alumni include famous Oaklanders: Raymond Eng (first Chinese-American elected to Oakland’s city council), James Yimm Lee (author and student of Bruce Lee), and Benjamin Fong-Torres (famous rock journalist and author).

Distinguished School

  1. 2006: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  2. 2007: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  3. 2008: Lincoln Elementary is named a California Distinguished School and wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  4. 2009: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  5. 2010: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award and named a National Blue Ribbon School
  6. 2011: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  7. 2012: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  8. 2019: Today, Lincoln Elementary serves over 700 TK-5 students.

Lincoln School Website – OUSD

More Info:

  1. Chinese Children”Yellow Peril” – Oakland Tribune Aug 21, 1906
  1. The steel framework of new Lincoln Grammar – Oakland Tribune Jul 06, 1907
  2. The Disgraceful Record of the New Lincoln School – Oakland Tribune Mar 16, 1909
  3. Lincoln School is Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Oct 15, 1909
  4. The End of Old Lincoln School – Oakland Tribune Aug 08, 1909
  5. Preliminary Plans for New School – Oakland Tribune Oct 31, 1957
  6. Groundbreaking for New Lincoln School – Oakland Tribune Oct 06, 1959
  7. Old Lincoln School Goes and New Rises – Oakland Tribune Apr 16, 1961

The End

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

Then & Now Oakland Schools – Part 17

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 — some are a work in progress. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.

Bella Vista Elementary School

The original Bella Vista Annex
2410 -10th Avenue

“Bella Vista was a name once given to a two-teacher school of the primary standing.’ This school will become an annex of the new “Bella Vista School.”

In 1924 the Bella Vista School moved to the “Old” Intermediate School No. 1 at 1930 12th Avenue.

From the Views Oakland

The Old Bella Vista school was located at 13th Avenue and East 19th Street. The building that was being torn down in 1951 traced its lineage back to 1863 when the first school on the site was built by the Brooklyn school district. When the Brooklyn school was annexed by the Oakland system, the school became the Franklin school formally but was known by the residents as the East Oakland school. Later it was renamed the A.W. Swett School (see Then & Now Oakland Schools Part 2)

Showing 1906 Earthquake Damage

The building in the above clipping was built in 1892. It was described as a “well-planned building of nine-rooms.” The building cost $52,952 and was designed by Howard Burns. In the 1912 Swett School was renamed the Intermediate School Number One, and 12 years later, in 1924, it became the Bella Vista School, and the name is held at the time it was condemned in 1934.

After the condemnation, only part of the building was in use until the new school was built in 1951.

New School and Location

Oakland Tribune

The new school building is located on East 28th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues a few blocks from the old site.

Oakland Tribune 1949

In October of 1949, construction began on the new $538,213 Bella Vista School.

Reynolds and Chamberlain designed the building.

The new building has:

  • 17 Classrooms
  • A kindergarten
  • Cafeteria
  • Auditorium

Built for a capacity of 630 and is a two-story structure of concrete and steel.

Oakland Tribune Dec 10, 1950

The dedication was held on February 7th, 1951.

Bella Vista Today

The school is located at 1025 East 28th Street.

Google Maps

Bella Vista – OUSD photo

Bella Vista – OUSD photo
  • Bella Vista Website – OUSD
  • Bella Vista Oakland Local Wiki – page

More Info:

Glenview Elementary School

Glenview started as McChesney Annex School and was located at 13th Avenue and East 38th Avenue.

In 1924 the board approved a new school on a new site in the upper part of the district.

Oakland Tribune July 1927

The laying of the cornerstone was in January of 1927. The two-story mission-style building was ready in April of 1927.

  • Eleven Classrooms
  • Assembly Hall
  • Administration Offices

Locker-RoomsThe McChesney Annex name was changed to Glenview Elementary School in October of 1927.

Glenview Elementary school was formally dedicated in a ceremony with the Native Sons of California in November of 1927. The school cost about $110,000 and was designed by architects Williams & Wastell

Glenview School in 193
From the Brenkman Family

In 1938 the students were moved to portables while the main school building was reconstructed.

Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1938

The school was ready for occupation in March of 1939.

Glenview Class of 1938
From the Brenkman Family

Glenview Baseball Team 1941
From the Brenkman Family

Glenview Today:

The school is located at 4215 La Cresta Avenue

New Campus: August 2020

New Campus

The new classroom building will also feature:

  • New Multipurpose room with a new stage
  • Storage under the step for chairs
  • Folding cafeteria tables
  • Striping for basketball for indoor physical Education
  • Modern and efficient plumbing, electric HVAC, and WiFi systems

Students at Glenview Elementary are currently being housed at the Santa Fe school site. At the same time, their new state-of-the-art facility is being built at its permanent location (4215 La Cresta Avenue) in the Glenview neighborhood.

More Info:

Harbor Homes School

No pictures of Harbor Homes School

Location of Harbor Homes

Harbor Homes School was located in the  Harbor Homes Housing Project. Harbor Homes Housing Project was a temporary housing project built by the federal government in 1943 during WWII.

When the war ended, the temporary housing remained. The board of Education decided there was a need for a temporary school for the children living there.

Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1947

A school was constructed for $85,000, and 266 students enrolled for classes on Mar 9, 1948. In the beginning, the ten portables were heated by a pot-bellied coal-burning stove.

Oakland Tribune Mar 8, 1948

In 1951 Benjamin Hargrave was the first-ever African American principal of an Oakland Public school.

Oakland Tribune Feb 8, 1954

The school reached its peak enrollment in February of 1961 with 456 students. Over 4000 students passed through its doors in the 15 years it was opened.

Oakland Tribune Dec 29, 1960

Oakland Tribune February 8, 1963

The final day was Friday, February 8th, 1963. Mrs. Lillian Clancy held a class with just five students; Stanley Watts, 11; Earl Watts, 10; Steven Watts, 9; Lee Jones, 10; and Jackie Jones, 6. Charles Cline was the Principal

Oakland Tribune Feb 8, 1963

By June of 1963, all of the Harbor Homes buildings were gone, including the school.

More Info:

The address of the school was 1740 Ferro St

Washington School

In February of 1905, F.H. Danke’s bid of $3,100 for laying the cement foundation of the new Washington School was accepted by the board of Education.

Awards Contracts for Work

The Board of Education awarded contracts for the building of the Washington School to a variety of bidders. The list is as follows.

Brick and Stone Work P.J.Walker $20,799
Structural Steel Work Judson Manufacturing $5,551
Fire Proofing Roebling Const. $8,845
Galvanized Iron/Roof Pacific Ref. Roofing Co. $794
Plaster Work William Mehady $3,681
Tile Work Columbus Marble Co. $369.94
Plumbing Ingram Hardware Co. $1,507
Carpentry H.E. Brown & Co. $15,821
Painting W.H.Blake $1,913

They started building the school on Aug 31, 1905.

Before 1906

The new school was a ten-room two-story building, fire-proof throughout, constructed of red brick and terra cotta. The building was designed so that later additions can be made at either end, and when it was completed, it was to contain twenty-two class-rooms.

1906 Earthquake

The school still under construction sustained considerable damage in the 1906 earthquake.

In June of 1906, the school board reported they needed $100,000 to repair the damage and make the school earthquake-proof.
Judson Construction Company was re-awarded the contract to rebuild the ironwork and E.J. Walker for the brickwork.

In April of 1908, it was reported that the school would be ready in August.

Oakland Tribune August 1908

In 1927 a new $45,000 assembly hall was built.

Principal C.E. Hudspeth

C.E. Hudspeth was the principal of the school from 1905 until his retirement in 1942.

CE Hudspeth 1909

For recognition of his service, the auditorium was named Hudspeth Hall.

The Washington School Alumni Association was formed in 1939. They held annual get-togethers to discuss the old days.

Oakland Tribune 1951
Oakland Tribune Oct 16, 1963
Oakland Tribune 1913

The school after the new additions in 1913
Circa 1913

New School

Oakland Tribune 1951

A new two-story reinforced concrete structure designed by William E. Schirmer was built in 1952, costing $634,000.

  • Fourteen Classrooms
  •  Kindergarten
  •  Cafeteria
  •  Auditorium
  • Library

Oakland Tribune Dec 1953

Washington School Today – OUSD Photo

The school is located at 581 61st Street, Oakland, CA.

The school is called Kaiser-Sankofa.

Kaiser and Sankofa are two Oakland elementary schools that will be merging together into one school on the Sankofa campus starting in August 2020. To learn more about the two existing schools, you can visit the following sites.

More Info:

The End

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

Then & Now – Oakland School Part 16

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 from home and online — a work in progress for some.  I have been updating my posts with new information or corrections.

Let me know of any mistakes or additions.

King Estates Junior High School

In 1956 the city of Oakland and the Board of Education (OUSD) agreed to purchase a 46-acre tract on Mountain Blvd. near the Oak Knoll for future development as a combined school and recreation area.

Central National Savings Bank Map 1923

They purchased the land from the heirs of Arthur Dale King a Hillsborough millionaire, who died in 1952.

Under the agreement, 19 acres of the total 46 were for the two new schools.

In June of 1958, the Board of Education approved the plans for the new King Junior High School on Fontaine Street.

Groundbreaking Oakland Tribune Feb 1959

The estimated cost of the school was $1,638,445. The school was designed by the firm of Confer and Wills.

Oakland Tribune Jun 1958
 

Oakland Tribune Jun 1958
  • Twenty-six classrooms
  • Gymnasium
  • Library
  • Multipurpose room
  • Administrative Offices
  • 800 Students

In October of 1960, the board ok’d the name “King Junior High” for the new school in King Estates.

 

Oakland Tribune Sept 06, 1960

School Shooting

 

Oakland Tribune March 18, 19

Oakland Tribune March 1973

In March of 1973, 15-year-old Leonard Key watched his mother die by a sniper’s bullet outside the school gym. Leonard’s mother, Mrs. Kay Key, and two sisters had just seen him play in an all-star basketball game.

Police arrested two 15-year-old boys who confessed to firing random shots onto the campus with a sawed-off shotgun and a .22-caliber pistol.

King Junior High Today

 

Google Maps
 

Google Maps
 

OUSD Photo
 

Google Maps
 

OUSD Photo

In 2005 two small highs schools opened at the campus; they are the Youth Empowerment School and East Oakland Community High School.

Now Rudsdale Continuation School and Sojourner Truth School are there.

More Info:

Ralph J. Bunche Elementary

No early pictures of Bunche Elementary

 

Oakland Tribune

Named in Honor of

The school named for Ralph Johnson Bunche (1903-1971). He taught Political Science at Howard University and was the first African American to get a Ph.D. in political science from an American university. He worked with helped Martin Luther King Jr. He was the first African American to be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. He helped form the United Nations and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy.

Bunche Visits the School

In 1966 Ralph Bunche paid a visit to the school that bears his name.

“I have been waiting to come and see you since the school was established. I’ll try not to do anything that would anything that will embarrass you.”

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

He spoke to the 450 students in the play yard of the school. He then spent about an hour shaking hands with all the children and signing autographs.

After the event, some of the children said:

“He’s real nice, I liked the way he talked,” said Claudia Mason age 10

“He’s an intelligent man,” “He’s a real fine gentleman “
said Wayne Jackson age 10

Tribute to Bunche

Ralph Bunche Day was held on November 19, 1971. The children of the school paid tribute to the man the school is named after.

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1971
 

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1971

Ralph Bunche died on December 9, 1971.

As good as anyone”

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Bunche School Today

Ralph J. Bunche Continuation School – 9-12

The school is located at 1240 18th Street

 

Ralph J Bunche Today _ OUSD
 

Ralph J Bunche Today _ OUSD
  • Ralph J. Bunche website – OUSD
  • Who is Ralph J. Bunche – OUSD

More Info:

McFeely School

No early pictures of McFeely School

McFeely elementary school opened in Sept pf 1947. The school was located at the corner of Fifth and Peralta Streets.

 

Oakland Tribune 1947
 

Oakland Tribune
 

Oakland Tribune 1949

The school was closed in the early 1960s because it was in the way of the New Post Office in West Oakland

More Info:

Redwood Heights Elementary School

No early photos of Redwood Heights

The school was called the Laurel Annex School and was organized in May of 1935.

The name officially changed to Redwood Heights School in June of 1935.

 

Location of the first School

The first school was located at 4359 Bennett Place.  Avenue Terrace Park is there now.

New School and location

The Oakland Board of Education officially broke ground on the site of the new school at Mountain Blvd and 39th Avenue. The new school was the tenth building as part of the 1948 tax election.

The two-story building had 11 classrooms, a kindergarten, an auditorium, and a library. Donovan and Kerr were the architects.
4401 39th Ave, Oakland, CA 94619

 

Redwood Heights Construction 1959
Oakland History Room Photo

Redwood Heights Today

4401 39th Ave, Oakland, CA 94619

 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD

Westlake Junior High School

No early photos

The Board of Education approved plans for the new school in February of 1927.

The plans called for a two-story steel and concrete structure at an estimated cost of $260, 000. The “Spanish type” building constructed in the form of an L and had 35 classrooms, a gymnasium, shops, and an auditorium.

 

Oakland Tribune 1928

Westlake Junior High was known as Lakeview Junior High.

Dedication Ceremony

The formal dedication of the school was held on March 14, 1928.

Name Change

Renaming the school became necessary to avoid conflict with Lakeview elementary school.

The students wanted the school named after Col. Charles Lindbergh. The board decided against that. Lakeview Junior High became West Lake Junior High in May of 1929

One hundred sixty-two students graduated from West Lake Junior High on June 06, 1929. “The Biggest Class Ever.”

Oakland Tribune June 1928
 

Oakland, CA December 13, 1953 – Heralds from Westlake Junior High School opens the Christmas Pageant at the Oakland Auditorium. (Russ Reed / Oakland Tribune Photographer) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images)

Westlake Today

2629 Harrison Street, Oakland, California 94612

  • Westlake Middle School website – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD

More Info:

The End