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 Homes, Model/Display Homes, Oakland Tracts, Uncategorized

Fairway Estates in Oak Knoll

When this are was first built up in mid 1920s it was part of Oak Knoll. Now it is Considered to part of Sequoyah

Fairway Estates is in the heart of the country club district and consists of a group of estates with building sites of generous size.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929

Fairway Estates and Country Club Fairway Estates and Oak Knoll Unit C are all in the area known as  Oak Knoll. Sequoyah Hills on three sides surround Oak Knoll. 

The Oak Knoll Land Corporation handled the development.

In Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune November 10, 1929

There are two large bedrooms with a sewing room and bathroom and a large dressing room with many different built-in fixtures and cabinets. On the lower are the maids’ quarters, with separate shower and billiard room. The bathrooms and kitchen are beautifully finished in colored tile.

3968 Turnley Avenue Google Maps

In Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune August 18, 1929
4050 Sequoyah Rd – Google Maps
4050 Sequoyah Rd – Google Maps

The Jefferson Home

Oakland Tribune 1930

The Jefferson home is a seven-room, two-story residence of Spanish design. With a large living room and a massive oak stairway leading to a balcony overlooking the Oak Knoll golf course and country club.

3643 Califia Avenue – Google maps

“Another reason is the beautiful setting of Fairway Estates – overlooking the Oak Knoll Country club and golf course and views of wooded hills, the harbor, the bay cities, and the Golden Gate.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929

Oak Knoll Country Club District

The Nine room Spanish Style home.

Oakland Tribune Oct 12, 1930
3845 Twin Oaks Way
3845 Twin Oaks Way

In Fairway Estates

Model Homes in Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune June 30m 1930

Spanish Type Model Home

Spanish in architecture.

Oakland Tribune March 1930

The Fairway Estates model home opened in March of 1930. The home was designed by Watson Vernon to fit the lot-on which it stands, to utilize the view possibilities of the property to the best advantage.

Fairway Avenue – Google maps

Model Country Club Residence

Oakland Tribune June 08, 1930

The Spanish home takes greatest advantage of the two way view the wooded hillside on one side and the bay on the other. This six room home has a spacious master bedroom with a sunroom on the upper floor. The dining room window overlooks the golf course.

Oakland Tribune March 1930
Oakland Tribune June 08, 1930
3900 Fairway Avenue

Beautiful Spanish Model Home

Oakland Tribune Mar 1930

The Spni

Fairway Estates Home

3549 Calafia Avenue –

La Casa Bella

Oakland Tribune November 30, 1930

Artistic in the extreme…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 1930

La Casa Bella opened in November of 1930. The home is of Spanish architecture showing the Moorish influence.

A master bedroom that will lull you to sleep after a gallon of coffee…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
Oakland Tribune March 30, 1930

A living room almost large enough for a country dance…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
3978 Turnley Avenue – Google Maps

Spanish Home at Oak Knoll

“…with the liquid silver of the moon lying in the pools of mystery the patio will coax you out of doors all hours of the day or night” – Oakland Tribune May 04, 1930

Oakland Tribune

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, East Oakland, Homes, Tract or Subdivisions, Uncategorized

Mills Gardens

Mills Gardens is bounded by 55th and Seminary Avenues, Mills College, and the Nelson Estate.

Mills Gardens, the centrally-located subdivision, was placed on sale on May 03, 1924. The Fred T. Wood Co. were the owners and developers.

The land that Mills Gardens was once a part of Mills College and was known as the “old meadow.”

Oakland Tribune Feb 03, 1924

“Fine Home Tract Adjoins Mills College Campus; Many Improvements”

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
Oakland Tribune May 04, 1924

“In Mills Gardens, we have the finest home subdivision in East Oakland.”  

Fred T. Wood – May 11, 1924

 

A Big Demand for Mills Gardens Lots

The opening sales in Mills Gardens established a record for 1924, with transactions totaling $139,500. 

Sf Examiner 1924

“Beautiful Level Lots that are 40 feet and 120 feet deep for $900 to $1250 each.”  

“The lowest prices ever asked for high-class, fully-improved homesites.”

New Homes in Mills Gardens

5624 Morse Ave – Google Maps

Brann Avenue

5859 Brann Ave –

55tth Avenue

Oakland Tribune Oct 24, 1924
2886 55th Avenue
2938 55th Ave – today google maps

Roberts Avenue

Oakland Tribune
5801 Roberts – today google maps
Oakland Tribune
5615 Roberts today google maps

More Info:

Mills Gardens

The End

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 East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, Parks, Uncategorized

Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park

  • Open Daily: Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Saturday, Sunday, Select Holidays: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Address: 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

Covid-19

In accordance with Alameda County’s order for residents to ‘shelter in place’ for the well-being of public and staff related to COVID-19 precautionary measures, Oakland Zoo will be closed Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until the order is lifted.

Oakland Zoo Closed — Effective Tuesday, March 17

We need your support more now than ever to care for the animals you know and love. Please help sustain Oakland Zoo – your Zoo – during this difficult time.

The Oakland Zoo Animal Care Fund

Oakland Accepts Zoo

Henry A. Snow, a naturalist, collector, and African big game hunter, established the Oakland Zoo in downtown Oakland. The first Zoo was located at 19th and Harrison. The area is now known as Snow Park.

In February of 1923, the city of Oakland accepted Snow’s collection of wild animals. The collection was valued from $30,000 to $80,000.

“On behalf of the city of Oakland, we are delighted to accept this valuable collection.”

Oakland Tribune Feb 1923

Two lion cubs and a boa-constrictor formed the nucleus, with various monkeys, bobcats, a cinnamon bear, a mountain lion, and a badger completed the menagerie.

We’ve Moved!

After many complaints were filed with the city council and the park board from the neighborhood residents around the Zoo, who said the collection of animals were a nuisance.

Oakland Tribune 1925

The new location was in Sequoia Mountain Park (now a part of Joaquin Miller Park.)

In 1926 Henry Snow had a stroke and died in July of 1927. Snow’s son Sidney Snow continued in father’s footsteps.

In 1936, Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the  Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society. 

The new Society was seeking to move the animals to the 500-acre Durant Park.

Durant Park

In 1939 the Zoo moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.

Miss Effie with Sidney Snow, March 1952
© Oakland Tribune (archives)

Durant Park was once the home to R.C. Durant, the President of Durant Motors. Before that, the land from owned by F.C. Talbot. The park is located at the top of 98th Avenue.

Rosebud Dancing to Shake, Rattle and Roll 1955
Sid Snow with Baby Tigers circa 1950
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1950

Knowland State Arboretum and Park and Zoo

Visitors enter the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park through the landscape of the Historical Park and Arboretum. The trees throughout this area are the remnants of the Frederick Talbot estate (see Edenvale.)

Trees in the Meadow – Knowland Park 1937

A row of Canary Island Palm marks the park entry. There are Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya Trees from Australia in the meadow and picnic grounds. These trees were all planted early part of the 1900s.

Knowland Park consists of approximately 443 acres, of which 350 acres are in the undeveloped Upper Knowland Park. The Zoo (in 1996) had 56 acres within the Historical Park, and 37 acres are in the Zoological Park.

Oakland Tribune 1948

Under a contract with the City of Oakland, the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS) has full responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and development of the 37-acre Zoo and the 443 acres of Knowland Park.

Improvements 1957-1966

Miss Effie – new home

The first significant addition was the construction enclosure for Miss Effie, the elephant, at the cost of $15,000. The move from the lower park to the upper area began. Video of Miss Effie in 1965 can be seen here: website

There was a 60-foot cylindrical gibbon tower at the entrance to the Zoo. The baby zoo was located in the lower area of the new Zoo.

Oakland Zoo 1963

“The Zoo, when completed, will be the most modern and beautiful one in the country.”

Oakland Tribune 1960
Oakland Tribune 1964

By 1967 the Zoo had relocated entirely to a canyon rising to a mountain overlooking the entire East Bay Area.

The Skyline Daylight a miniature train complete with a “Vista Dome” coach.

Oakland Zoo Circa 1968

The Baby Zoo was completed in 1965 and totally rebuilt in 2005.

Oakland Tribune 1965

When completed, the Zoo would be 100 acres.

Sidney Snow Dies

SF Examiner August 38, 1959

People Came to See

Zoo Under Fire

In 1983 the Zoo was listed as number six of the “The 10 ‘worst’ zoos.’

The Humane Society of the United States said the conditions at the Zoo were so adverse that the elephants might be better off “serving five to ten years in Leavenworth.”

SF Examiner 1983

The Zoo was “a random collection of animals maintained in amateurish fashion and failed to meet even one criterion of an acceptable zoological garden.

They called the Zoo “concrete oasis.”

SF Examiner 1983

The report noted that there were no signs of cruelty to the animals, and they were generally healthy.

The Zoo’s response was, “it will be a first-class zoo in a few years.”

Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.

New and Improved Zoo

Dr. Joel Parrott – 1983
Oakland Zoo – Youtube Page

In his tenure, Dr. Parrott has turned the Zoo entirely around, making it one of the best in the country.

African Savanna

Many new exhibits have been created, including those for the hamadryas baboons and the chimpanzees. A new, spacious elephant exhibit was built in 1987.

The current sun bear exhibit was finished in 1995 and was featured on Animal Planet “Ultimate Zoos.” The white-handed gibbons now live on a lush island in the heart of the Rainforest. The African Savannah, with camels, lions, elephants, meerkats, hyenas and more, was completed in 1998.

The Zoo Today

In the summer of 2005 the 3-acre Valley Children’s Zoo opened with spacious new animal exhibits along with plenty of interactive play-structures for children. The ring-tailed lemurs, century old Aldabra tortoises, the interactive Goat and Sheep Contact Yard along with the river otters can be found in the Children’s Zoo. The popular American alligators, the bats, the pot-bellied pigs, the Old-World rabbits along with the Bug Room, and the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room are also in the Children’s Zoo. 

June 20, 2018 – Almost three years since breaking ground and more than two decades in the making, Oakland Zoo’s highly anticipated California Trail opens. The expansion more than doubles the Zoo’s current size from 45 acres to 100 acres.

Zoo Map – Website
The Zoo is home to two sets of brother grizzly bears, also known as brown bears. At Oakland Zoo the bears are given a wide variety of enrichment, as well as choice. Grizzly Bear Cams

The California Trail also includes the interactive California Conservation Habitarium, Conservation Action Tent, California Wilds! Playground based on California’s diverse eco-zones, and Clorox Overnight Experience ‘safari-style’ campground.

5 Fascinating Facts about the Oakland Zoo Gondola
Oakland Zoo
October 18, 2018
3-story Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center, which houses The Landing Café.
Ring-Tailed Lemur
Children’s Zoo
Our Bats Are Hungry For a Bite…of FRUIT!
Oakland Zoo

November 1, 2019
Enjoy the Sun Bears at Oakland Zoo

Timeline of the Zoo

  •  1936– Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the  Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society. 
  • 1939-moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
  • 1948 – Became a State Park
  • 1949: State Park property is leased to the City of Oakland for 50 years, and the City of Oakland subleased the zoo property to the East Bay Zoological Society.
  • 1950: -The zoo property changed its name Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.
  • 1964 –City Parks Dept and Society run zoo
  • 1965 – The baby Zoo opened
  • 1975 Knowland State Park was conveyed to the City of Oakland
  • 1982 –East Bay Zoological Society took over the maintenance, operation, and development of the city-run Zoo. The 10-year lease agreement saved the city almost $315,880 a year. The Society signed a ten-year contract.
  • 1985 – Joel Parrott was appointed the Executive Director. A 20-year renovation plan was put in place,
  • 1994- Renews 10-year lease.

Timeline of Major Developments

  • Hamadryas Baboon Exhibit 1982
  • Chimpanzee Exhibit – 1988
  • African Elephant Exhibit – 1989
  • African Lion Exhibit – 1992
  • Siamang Island Exhibit – 1993
  • Malayan Sun Bear Exhibit – 1996
  • African Savanna – 1998
  • Maddie’s Center – 1999
  • Warthog Exhibit -2000
  • Mahali Pa Tembo – Elephant Exhibit 2004
  • Wayne & Gladys Valley Children Zoo Opened 2005
  • Baboon Cliffs – 2009
  • Wild Australia – 20110
  • Veterinary Hospital – 2012

More Info:

The East Bay Zoological Society has operated and managed the Zoo for the City of Oakland from 1982 until August 2017, when it was renamed the Conservation Society of California to reflect better Zoo’s evolving purpose mission in its commitment to conservation.

  • Open Daily: Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Saturday, Sunday, Select Holidays: 10:00am – 4:00pmMore 
  • Address: 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605

Please note this not a complete history of the Oakland Zoo. Please let me know about any errors or additions. Thanks

The End

Posted in Business, Elmhurst, Fruitvale, Uncategorized

Ostrich Farm in Oakland

Ostrich farming was promoted as a sound investment over a century ago.
The farms, well documented on postcards, and were tourist attractions.

Ostriches were brought to the United States in the early 1880s from Africa. In the wild, they lived in warm, dry climates. Southern California seemed to have conditions similar to their natural African environment. By the late 1890s, there were eight locations in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Deigo counties.

The popularity of feathers in women’s fashion made raising the birds an attractive investment.

Farm in Oakland 

In the fall of 1907, San Francisco newspapers ran an ad campaign for stock investment in an ostrich farm in Oakland. 

In July of 1908, W.H.” Harvey” Bentley of the Bentley Ostrich Farm in San Diego County announced the opening of a branch in the Elmhurst District (sometimes Fruitvale) of Oakland at East 14th and High Street.

Bentley Ostrich Farm East 14th (now International Blvd) and High Streets Oakland, California
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company c 1913

It opened on August 30th of 1908. It featured birds named Mr. and Mrs “George Dewey” (Admiral at the battle of Manila Bay) and the other Spanish American War hero from the Cuba campaign, “Fighting Bob” Evans commander of the Great White Fleet.

Forty-six birds compromised the original herd.

Could this be George or Bob?

In 1910 it was announced that the addition of a factory to their local salesroom and yards. Which meant the hats were made in Oakland and not San Diego. For the years 1907 to 1911, ostrich plumage on women’s hats was at its peak and all the rage.

Bentley Ostrich Farm East 14th (now International Blvd) and High Streets Oakland, California
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company c 1911

New Name

In January of 1912, the owner of the Bently Ostrich Farm, was killed in an auto accident near the San Diego farm.

Oakland Tribune Sep 21, 1913

His son sold the farm to a group of Oakland investors.

View of main entrance to the Golden State Ostrich Farm;
Souvenir Publishing Co 1915

The name was changed to Golden State Ostrich Farm in 1913.

;

The farm had spacious ground floor offices and salesroom. In the sales there was a magnificent display of plumes in all sizes, prices and colors.

Title: Salesroom and office [picture] : Golden State Ostrich Farm, East 14th and High streets 1910
Collection: Selections from the Collections of the Oakland History Room and the Maps Division of the Oakland Public Library
Date of access: May 31 2020 10:32
Permalink: https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/kt0p3022h1/

With the coming of World War I, as American and European women entered the workforce, utilitarian clothing replaced the flamboyant fashions of the early 1900s. Broader hats were pinned up with a broach or artificial flower.

Oakland Tribune 1909

Plucking is Painless”

Oakland Tribune May 01, 1952

The bird is shoved into a corner by several men. A hood is placed over the birds head. The plume is cut leaving about an inch of quill in the flesh. The quill would soon fall out.

Bankruptcy

Golden State Ostrich Farm in Oakland filed for bankruptcy in early 1915. 

“Whole Ostrich for the Price of a Feather”

 The press announcement said it was now cheaper to buy the entire ostrich than the amount once paid for the feathers to adorn a hat.

The ostrich farms in northern California had all but failed by 1915. The “industry” had a brief heyday, and in the end, defeat by war and a significant fashion change in hats.

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 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, 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