Posted in Homes, Then and Now, Tract or Subdivisions, Uncategorized

Oak Knoll Homes

Rolling Hills, Pleasing Climate

Situated in eastern Oakland’s rolling hills, it enjoys a warm, balmy climate and provides ideal home sites with an unobstructed view, a perfect place for children

New Developer at Oak Knoll

David D Bohannon well-known subdivider and developer of San Francisco property, formed a new company called Oak Knoll Land Development Company.  The company was to sell and develop the Oak Knoll area.

300 Home Building Plan

In June of 1937, David D. Bohannon Organization announced a vast building program of 300 new homes for Oak Knoll.

“beautiful detached homes of distinctive and individual architectural design, all situated on lots of generous dimensions.”

said: Bohannon

The Plan

  • Distinctive Architecture
  • FHA Inspection
  • FHA Financing
  • Restrictions Guard Oak Knoll*

*In developing Oak Knoll, reasonable restrictions have been set up to maintain what Nature has already done so well. Oakland Tribune June 06, 1937

Photo taken 1929-1930 by Milton W. Molitor.

The building in the distance is either Holy Redeemer or Oak Knoll Country Club. If the photo is of Oak Knoll Ave (was Cabrillo Ave) then it would be Holy Redeemer.

3649 Oak Knoll in the late 20s Built by Milton W. Molitor.
Photo taken 1929-1930 by Milton W. Molitor.

The Plan in Action

This photo below shows progress of their building plan. This is from the Oakland Tribune 1937. You can see Molitor home in the bottom right hand corner

List of homes in the above photo.

  1. 3500 Calandria Ave
  2. 3514 Calandria Ave
  3. 3775 Margarita Ave
  4. 3478 Margarita Ave
  5. 3439 & 3442 Margarita
  6. 3448 Margarita Ave
  7. 3443 Mirasol Ave
  8. 3501 Mirasol Ave
  9. 3517 Mirasol Ave
  10. 3583 Mirasol Ave
  11. 3539 Granada Ave
  1. 9408 Granada Ave
  2. 3649 Oak Knoll Blvd
  3. 3641 Oak Knoll Blvd
  4. 3541 Mirasol Ave
  5. 3500 Mirasol Ave
  6. 3616 Mirasol Ave
  7. 3509 Oak Knoll Blvd
  8. 3517 Oak Knoll Blvd
  9. 9527 Granada Ave
  10. 3606 Oak Knoll Ave

New Oak Knoll Home – 3500 and 3501 Mirasol Ave

Oakland Tribune 1937 – Showing 3456 and 3500 Mirasol Ave

A two-story Early California Style home opened July 4, 1937.  

3500 Mirasol and 3456 Mirasol Google Maps
Oakland Tribune 1937
3500 Mirasol Avenue – google maps

Attractive Home in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1938
3443 Mirasol Avenue – google maps

Open in Oak Knoll

This home is located at 3533 Mirasol Avenue

Oakland Tribune
3533 Mirasol Avenue – Google Maps
Oakland Tribune

Activity in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1937
3501 Mirasol Avenue – Realtor.com
Oakland Tribune 1937
3517 Mirasol Ave – REDFIN

Oak Knoll Display Home

“The Home You’ve Read ad Dreamed of…Priced Lower Than You Dared to Hope.”

The first of the Oak Knoll Display Homes opened in June of 1937. The home was furnished by Breuner’s. ( I don’t know the location of this home)

Oakland Tribune June 1937

A spacious central living room with two bedrooms and a bath on one side, and inviting library-guest room with a bathroom and convenient, sunny kitchen on the other.

Oakland Tribune July 11, 1937
  • Beautifully designed electric fixtures in all rooms
  • Extra tile-top kitchen work table
  • Indirect lighting over the sink
  • Generous cupboard and drawer space…carefully planned.

Oakland Tribune July `18, 1937

One of Many New Oak Knoll Homes

OaKland Tribune July 11, 1937 I don’t know the location of this home.

Oak Knoll’s Exposition Home

The ‘Exposition’ home is located 9333 Murillo Ave opposite of Mirasol. The 1700 square foot house has beautiful view of the bay and bridges

  • Built-in bookcases
  • Peerless Kitchen
  • Breakfast Nook
Oakland Tribune 1939

The Golden Gate International Exposition was going happening on Treasure Island in 1939 and 1940. Hence the name Exposition Home and I can imagine they could see Treasure Island from the house.

Oakland Tribune 1939

One unique feature of the home was the 14 x 40 foot children’s playroom. In the backyard there was a fenced playground with recreation equipment. (I wish I had a picture of that!)

9333 Murillio Ave –
9333 Murillo AveGoogle maps

Unique Opportunity!

Oakland Tribune 1931
Oakland Tribune 1931
3465 Oak Knoll Avenue – REDFIN
3465 Oak Knoll Avenue – google maps

Bus Service in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1938
Oakland Tribune 1938
Oakland Tribune 1938

Open to View in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1940
3465 Calafia Avenue – google maps

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Oakland, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then and Now – Downtown Oakland

My 150th Post!

I thought I would show you a little “Then and Now” images for downtown Oakland.

Enjoy!

Washington St – West Side from 7th and 8th

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Washington Street between 7th and 8th Streets. Hersh’s Apparel, Grutman’s Army and Navy Store in view. DATE: 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps
South side of 8th Street between Washington and Clay Streets. Drug store and pharmacy in view. DATE: 1958, Mar. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room. FILENAME/TITLE:ohrphoto.dpoa1.050
Google Maps

Washington Street West Side from 8th to 9th

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Washington Street between 8th and 9th Streets. TV Tradin’ Post, Brick’s in view. DATE:1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google maps
West side of Washington Street between 8th and 9th Streets. Oakland Household Co. in view. DATE: 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps

Ninth Street – North Side from Washington to Broadway

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
Northeast corner of 9th and Washington Streets. Arlington Hotel in view. DATE :circa 1937 SIZE M.L. Cohen Co., photographers, for Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google maps

Washington St – East Side from Ninth to Tenth

East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets. Savemore Dry Goods, Kaplan’s Army Surplus, Acme Market in view. DATE 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets circa 1913 Cheney Photo Advertising
East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets circa 1937
Google Maps

Broadway West Side from Ninth St to Tenth St

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Broadway between 9th and 10th Streets. White Onion, Eagle Loan Co., Moler Barber College in view. DATE 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
West side of Broadway between 9th and 10th Streets. Lucky Club, A. Binneweg, Hill’s Loan Office in view. DATE 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Broadway West Side from Ninth St to Tenth St – Google maps

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California

West side of Broadway between 8th and 9th Streets. Stag Clothing Co. in view. DATE: 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
West side of Broadway between 8th and 9th Streets. Stag Clothing Co. in view. DATE: 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info:

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Then and Now, Uncategorized

A Storybook Firehouse

In the beginning

 There was temporary station at the corner of Moraga and Hampton (now La Salle). Local builder Cos Williams a local builder donated the use of the land. 

An average day

Report at 9 am – They would report for duty at the station and 13th and Hopkins (now MacArthur), and drive the hook and ladder up to Montclair. They did all their cooking on an outdoor camp stove

Off at 7 pm – At the end of they would pile onto the truck again and drive down the hill.

Lieutenant F.H. Waldron was the commanding officer. 

  • L.W. Parks – driver
  • E.E. Terrell – driver
  • F.W. Cochran – hoseman
  • C.A Stone 

They fought two fires on their first day.

Engine Company No. 24

In June of 1926, $11,000 was appropriated for a new firehouse in Montclair. The city purchased the land from the school department in December of 1926 for $4,500. The final construction cost was $18,900.

Original Blueprints – Eldred E. Edwards 1927

Construction of the new firehouse got underway in early 1927.  Fire Commissioner Colburn officially accepted the firehouse in August of 1927.

The land that the firehouse is on was once the Hays Canyon School.

Plans were drawn up by Eldred E. Edwards of the Oakland Public Works Department.

The style of architecture is primarily Old English. The construction method was unique among firehouses at that time, being pre-cast of cement, molded on the ground. All the plumbing fixtures and water pipes, conduits for electrical wires were cast in cement.

Storybook-style fire house in the Montclair district of Oakland, California. 1928 ohrphoto.firedept.006.


The roof consisted of 100 curved slabs of concrete set in grooved beams and held in place with slotted bolts.


Doubled copper strips run along the ridges and form decorative motifs at the gable peaks. These decorations simulate fire, which follows along the peaked roofline and leaps into flames and gable corners. The copper has been painted white.

Work was done in 1934 as part of the WPA. Oakland Tribune 1934
A firetruck for fighting hills fires on view in the foreground. 1934, ohrphoto.districts.031.

Fire Captain Killed in the Line of Duty

Fire Captain Joseph F. Pimentel was killed, and three firemen were injured when their fire truck skidded out of control at the corner of Taurus and Broadway Terrace. Pimentel was pinned against a tree.

The fire truck was headed to a small blaze at the home of Otto R. Johnson at 6356 Crown Avenue.

January 22, 1942

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1942

The injured firemen were Patrick S. Doyle, John Baratini, and Ray O. Wells.

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1946

Oakland’s Best Decorated Firehouse

In 1951 Engine Company No. 24 was awarded the first prize of $500.00 for being Oakland’s best decorated firehouse. The Oakland Tribune also awarded the firehouse a perpetual trophy, which was installed in the house.

The firehouse was an old church scene, with a “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” arriving. Animated choir boys accompanied by an old pump organ, are shown singing Christmas carols.

Christmas Chapel with Choir1951

In 1952 they erected an old-time country store… complete with pot-bellied stove and family photographs and animated figures. Inside a clerk is showing a blushin customer, a lady, a pair of “long john” underwear. Nearby is a blacksmith shop. There was a large holly wreath on front of the firehouse.

Oakland Tribune December 1952

In 1953 the firehouse was decorated as a church with a choir loft and organ. A special merit award was given to the house by the SF Examiner.

Oakland Tribune Dec 18, 1953

Montclair Fires and Such

Montclarion 1955
Oakland Tribune 1953
Montclarion 1957 on the 30th Anniversary

Teddy of Engine No. 24

Oakland Tribune

Earthquake Hazard – 1960s

The Hayward Fault runs right down the middle of Moraga Avenue in front of the firehouse.

Because of that, the firehouse was determined to be an earthquake hazard and could not be repaired. The city hired Anderson, Simonds, Dusel and Campini to provide architectural services for a new firehouse.

Oakland Tribune 1962

The city was prepared to tear down the Montclair firehouse and build a new one for $165,000. After an outside firm determined it was indeed unsafe to that day’s standards.

Oakland Tribune December 27, 1963

City Delays Replacing Firehouse

In October of 1962, Oakland’s City Council held up the money to build a new firehouse and wondered if the money could be used to “repair” it instead.

The firehouse is called ” the country club of the city” and “if it is unsafe so’s my house.”

Councilmember 1962

There was a dispute over the city manager’s report that the firehouse was damaged enough during a recent earthquake (??)to make it a hazard to its occupants. One architect said it could be repaired at little expanse with some structural steel.

“two independent consultants said the building is unsafe and should be replaced.

Oakland City Manager 1962

I can only assume that Oakland had money problems b they were no longer going to build a new firehouse. Instead, the council approved $22,000 for structural reinforcements, waterproof, and more habitable.

Contract Awarded

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1964

In January 1964, a contract was awarded to M.W. Garing for $13,975 to repair the firehouse.

Loma Prieta – 1989

The firehouse was damaged in in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. The house was decommissioned in 1991.

Oakland City Landmark #34

On March 18, 1980, the old fire station was designated as Oakland City Landmark #34 

Address: 6226 Moraga Avenue, Oakland, California

Firehouse Today

  • Fire Station was decommissioned around 1993 due to concerns that a facility for first responders should not be located on an active earthquake fault,” a city report stated.

In 2018 City officials announce that they were seeking development or purchase proposals for two parcels on Moraga Road. One is a vacant property totaling 24,000 square feet and the other totals 16,000 square feet and contains the Montclair Fire Station, also known as Firehouse No. 24.

Firehouse For Sale – Loopnet 
Firehouse For Sale – Loopnet 

More Info:

You can view the set of blueprints here:

Montclair Firehouse Blueprints – Dropbox

The End

Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History, Then and Now

“The Newspaper With The Hillside Slant”

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

Montclarion – Thanks to Chris Treadway

Montclair Clarion

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.

Montclarion 1992

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.

Montclair Clarion Feb-Mar 1935 Thanks Chris Treadway

You can look at the above issue here: Montclair Clarion – Oakland Local Wiki

Montclarion

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.

July 13, 1940 –Thanks Chris Treadway

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.

Thanks Chris Treadway

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.

Vol 2 No 54 July 1941

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)

Vol 2 Oct 1941 Thanks Chris Treadway

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.
Thanks Chris Treadway

The following year four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, urged residents to enroll in civilian defense classes. 

Vol. 3 No 1 Jan 1942 – Thanks Chris Treadway

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.

The Montclarion

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.

Montclarion

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.

Montclarion

Various Issues

Monntclarion June 1949 – Thanks to Chris Treadway
Montclarion March 1952 Thanks Chris Treadway
Montclarion August 1953
Montclarion Nov 17, 1955
Montclarion May 1957
Montclarion April 1957
Montclarion 1962

Thanks to The Montclarion for their history.

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Then and Now

Four Restaurants and a Bagel Shop

A bit of history of 2062 Mountain Blvd. According to the OHA, the building was constructed in 1946 for Klee’s and designed by Frederick Dyer-Bennet. An addition was made in 1951, designed by John Carl Warnecke. The building was divided and the facade changed c.1990.

I could only could find one photo of the Equinox.

Klee’s Smorgasbord

From the collection of Dorothy Londagin

Johnnie Lee Jackson was the chef in 1948-1949. Johnny Radell was chef in 1949

From the collection of Dorothy Londagin

Flagg’s Restaurant

Forgotten Montclair Group

In 1951, the restaurant was purchased by A. J. Flagg and John S. Flagg, who already owned Pland’s Restaurant. A. J. spent considerable time and money remodeling the restaurant before opening it in March 1952. Joe Kiklas was manager, and famed maitre d’hotel, Jerome DeFelice was host. 

Montclarion
Flickriver –View on black
From the collection of Dorothy Londagin
Oakland Tribune 1952

Sanford’s Restaurant

In 1953, the restaurant was sold to Sanford Cohn. Sanford’s closed in 1972.

1964 Telephone Book
Oakland Tribune Jun 04, 1953
Montclarion
Oakland Tribune 1972

Equinox

The Equinox opened in 1972 and closed in 1990.

Forgotten Montclair Group
Sf Examiner 1990

Today

Google Maps

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, People, Then and Now, Uncategorized, West Oakland

Walsh’s Flatiron

Walsh & O’Brien’s Store, junction 18th, Peralta & Center Sts., Oakland, CA, ca. 1898″
OMCA – Gift of Mrs. Brent Howard
H26.1429
Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1901

Oakland’s oldest flatiron building resides at the juncture of Peralta, Center, and 17th Streets in West Oakland. Built in 1879 for William Walsh, the two-story redwood structure initially housed the Center Junction Exchange Saloon with apartments above.

Oakland Tribune Feb 11, 1884

A native of Ireland, Mr. Walsh purchased the Peralta Street lot in 1877. Peralta Street was one of the main avenues to Berkeley. 

Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1901

By 1877 the saloon had evolved into the Junction Cash Grocery and Liquor Store.  In 1894 Mr. Walsh partnered with Austin O’Brien.  The  firm of Walsh & O’Brien was described as:

importers selling direct to families, groceries, wines, cigars, home furnishing goods, hay, feed, and grain.” 

Mr. Walsh bought out O’Brien’s share of the company in 1901 and changed the name to Walsh & Co.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1901
Plate 100

From Oakland 1902 Vol 1, California
Published by Sanborn Map Company in 1902

The Flatiron Today

1615 CENTER ST OAKLAND 94607

Google Maps – 1615 Center
Google Maps – 1615 Center
Google Maps

More Info:

Oakland Heritage Alliance News, Winter 1996-97, by William W. Sturm

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Then and Now

Hamburger Joints in Montclair

Most who grew up in the Montclair District of Oakland have fond memories of Mort’s Drive-in on the corner of Moraga and Medau. My memories of Mort’s are from when it was on Thornhill Drive next to the 7-11. The smell of french fries (the best!)wafting through the air and into our classrooms would make our mouths water. I can still remember how good they smelled and tasted. Yum!

Long before Mort’s opened at the corner of Moraga Avenue and Medau Place, the land was part of the Medau Dairy. (read about the Medau’s here).

FYI – I don’t know why McKeen’s was sold. I am thinking the owner’s political life was taking up a lot of his time. But that is just my opinion.

The Corner of Moraga and Medau – 6420 Moraga

Here is how the corner looked like in 1954. 

Moraga and Medau in 1954
Public Works Photos, Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey

McKeen’s Charcoal Broiler

McKeen’s in 1958
Montclarion

On a shakedown run, they sold three hundred “Big Mac’s” in four hours.

“Big Mac” & “Little Mac”

Montclarion July 1958

In 1958 Robert “Bob” Mckeen, a local realtor, opened a delightful contemporary style barbecue restaurant. The ex-Cal basketball star planned on eventually having a chain of them, and Montclair was the first one. It offered both take home and on the site dining.

Bob McKeen 1958

“Montclair claims Big Bob and his natty new spot.”

Oakland Tribune July 1958

Mort’s Drive-In

Montclarion March 1961

Morton “Mort” and Gertrude Saunders bought McKeen’s in 1961 and reopened it as Mort’s Drive-In.

Montclarion March 1961
Montclarion March 1961

Arson Suspected!

In April of 1966, fire swept through Mort’s Drive-In, causing several thousand dollars in damage.

The building was broken into through a rear window. Police believe the intruders were disappointed in not finding any cash on the premises. Papers and rubbish were piled in the middle of the room and set on fire.

Mort Sauders, the owner, offered a reward of $100 for information.

Montclarion April 13, 1966
Montclarion April 13, 1966
Montclarion April 13, 1966

Going, going gone!

Crown Liquors and Cleaners

In 1967 a new building replaced the Drive-In.. Crown has been there ever since.

Oakland Tribune 1967
Oakland Tribune 1968

More Info:

A special thanks to Chris Treadway for the clippings from the Montclarion.

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, History, Then and Now

Downtown Modernization Program

In the summer of 1931, a group of property owners in the central downtown section formed an association called the Downtown Property Owners Associations.

One of the first projects they took on was the modernization some of the “elderly buildings” in the downtown area. They were losing tenants to the new modern buildings going up in the downtown area.

The association took care of all the details of the program.  

Just try to find a vacancy!”

D. Frost
Oakland Tribune 1933

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.

Jonas building, northwest corner of Broadway and 11th Street in
downtown Oakland, California. Three Star Cafe, Normal Pharmacy, Broadway Theater in view.
1932 Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
Jonas building, northwest corner of Broadway and 11th Street in downtown Oakland, California
1934 – Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

The Abrahamson Building – Southwest corner of 13th and Washington streets. Opened in 1893 as Abrahamson’s Dry Goods. Owned by Jules and Hugo Abrahamson.

Abrahamson Building – circa 1931
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland Tribune 1931

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.

Abrahamson building, southeast corner of Washington and 13th Streets in downtown Oakland, California.
1932 – Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland Tribune 1934

Over the years, other businesses occupied the building.

Abrahamson building, southeast corner of Washington and 13th Streets in
downtown Oakland, California. Darling Shop in view.
1942 -Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

Delger Building – northwest corner of thirteenth and Broadway

Delger building, northwest corner of 13th Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland, California. 
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
Delger building, northwest corner of 13th Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland, California. 

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.

M. K. Blake building (the Blake Block), southwest corner of Washington and 12th Streets
in downtown Oakland, California. Money Back Smith in view. 1935
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
M. K. Blake Estate Co. building (the Blake Block), southwest corner of 12th and Washington Streets in downtown Oakland, California. Smith’s in view. 1949
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

Glenn Building – 1308 Broadway

According to the Oakland Tribune, the Glenn Family had owned the building for 50 years.

Glenn building, east side of Broadway between 13th and 14th Streets in
downtown Oakland, California. Margaret Burnham’s Cottage Candies,
Leighton, Kay Jewelry Company in view. 1935
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

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.

Glenn building, east side of Broadway between 13th and 14th Streets in downtown Oakland, California. Margaret Burnham’s Cottage Candies, Leighton, Kay Jewelry Company in view. 1935
Zukor’s, Inc. building, west side of Washington Street between 13th and 14th Streets
in downtown Oakland, California. 1932
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)
Zukor’s, Inc. building, west side of Washington Street between 13th and 14th Streets
in downtown Oakland, California. 1934
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

More Buildings

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
Oakland Tribune 1939
Oakland Tribune 1939

More Info:

Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division (Oakland, Calif.)

Posted in History, Oakland, Then and Now

Uptown – A Bit of History

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”

Facebook Group

Gentrification definitely gentrification”

Facebook Group

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.

An article in the East Bay Express validates that thought.

“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.”

East Bay Express

Too bad, the author of that article didn’t spend time researching the name.

Statements like this would further their belief that the term is new and made up.

“Square (the tech company) has launched its East Bay operations by moving a few hundred employees into new digs in downtown Oakland’s hip and trendy Uptown neighborhood.”  

Square sets up shop in Oakland – East Bay Times Feb 13, 2020

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.

H.C. Capwell department store, corner of Telegraph Avenue and 20th Street
Oakland Stores Collection – Oakland Public Library
https://calisphere.org/item/1e9576b6d4e13e45cb8652207f88fa61/

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. 

Oakland Floral Depot, northeast corner of 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue
Date: circa 1980 – Oakland Stores Collection
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/45a075ddbec11673a0d40a3fc87d3b17/

Capwell’s, I. Magnin buildings, the Fox and Paramount Theaters, and the Flora Depot building are excellent examples of each of the styles.

I. Magnin & Co., northwest corner of Broadway and 20th Street
1951-04-24 Downtown Stores Collection
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/d57eab31fed90ff765d7834b39af46b6/

Uptown the Beginning

In 1895 the Tribune’s new was located “Uptown.”

Oakland Tribune 1895

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”

Oakland Tribune Mar 20, 1927

Smith Brothers new “Beautiful Uptown Store”

Oakland Tribune Oct 25, 1931
Oakland Tribune Oct 25, 1931

It was reported in the Oakland Tribune on March 24, 1936 that 19 new leases were signed in Oakland’s uptown business district.

Oakland Tribune Mar 24, 1936

In 1944 the new Hibernia Bank was built in “Uptown.”

Oakland Tribune Dec 18, 1944

After 17 years on 14th Street Walson’s moved “Uptown” to 2000 Franklin in 1968.

Oakland TRibune April 17, 1968

I could go on and on but I won’t.

Tours

There have been walking tours of the “Uptown District” since the early 1980s.

Map of Uptown Walking Tour circa 1982

Walking Tour 1982

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 and they a linked in history.

More Info:

  • Uptown – Oakland Local Wiki
  • Oakland’s Uptown – William Sturm – OHA Newsletter November/December 1982

The End