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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 13

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books.

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.

John Swett Elementary School

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

Oakland Tribune 1926

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

Boys Build Amphitheater

Oakland Tribune May 09,1928

John Swett Today

School Sign – OUSD

John Sweet Today

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

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

Roses in Concrete – Website

More Info:

Located at 4551 Steele St, Oakland, CA, 94619

Parker Elementary School

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

Dedication ceremonies were held in November of 1949

Oakland Tribune Nov 7, 1949

Parker Today

Parker School 7929 Ney – today

Roosevelt High School

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

Roosevelt in 1923

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

From 1923

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

Roosevelt Today

Roosevelt is now a middle school.

More Info

1926 19th Avenue

 

Tompkins School

Oakland Tribune 1877

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

Sanborn Map

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

Edwin Markham was the principal from 1891-1900.

Observation School

Oakland Tribune October 1894

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

Many Firsts

Tompkins school was known for its many “firsts.”

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

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

Experimental Playground

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

Fire Destroys Tompkins

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

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

No More Schooldays

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

Oakland Tribune Sep 1965

More Info:

Woodland Elementary School

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

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

Dedication

Oakland Tribune Apr 26, 1960

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

Oakland Tribune Nov 22, 1961

Woodland Today

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

Woodland Today – OUSD
Woodland Today – OUSD

Acorn Woodland Website – OUSD

More Info:

1025-81st Avenue Oakland

The End

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

Then & Now – Oakland School Part 11

  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. 

Not all schools will be included in this series, and sometimes I might post a picture of the school.’

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.

Chabot Elementary School

Bungalow Annex

The Board of Education in May of 1926 approved the plans for a new school to relieve the overcrowding at  Claremont School.  

The new school was on Chabot Road at Patton Street. The was to have seven rooms and coat $50,000 and was called The Annex. 

The “Claremont” Annex was dedicated was on April 21, 1927. The school cost approx. $89,000.  

The article below is about the dedication of The Annex or Chabot School .

New Addition

In 1937 an addition was added funded by the Living New Deal.

Chabot School – New Living Deal

Chabot Today

Chabot is located at 6686 Chabot Road

Google Maps
Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info:

School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune April 21, 1927

Claremont Middle School

The new school at the corner of College Avenue and Birch Street was to be named Claremont School, and it opened in August of 1913 as an elementary school. The school was designed by John J. Donovan and Walter D Reed.

By 1916 the school was so crowded that they were using the teacher’s lunchroom and the auditorium as classrooms. Portables were added.

List of Graduates 1921

Oakland Tribune 1921
Oakland Tribune Dec 08 1922

In 1925 7th and 8th grades were added. The elementary grades were transferred to The Annex (Chabot School) when it opened in 1927. Claremont soon after 1927 became Claremont Junior High.

Oakland Tribune August 18, 1933

In the 1950s 28 classrooms were added to the Claremont campus, plus a cafeteria and gymnasium.

SF Examiner May 13, 1951

50th Anniversary

Oakland Tribune 1963

Claremont Today

The Photo By Dorothy Londagin

The historic gates are all that remain of the original school building that was demolished in 1976. The gates were moved to the corner of Birch and College Avenue.

OUSD Photo
5750 College Avenue 
5750 College Avenue 
Google Maps

More Info:

Members of the Vernon-Rockridge Improvement Club had hoped that the school would be named Vernon-Rockridge.

Centennial Celebration 2013

Letters to the Editor

  1. Claremont Middle the need historical accuracy – Apr 04, 2013
  2. Claremont Middle Centennial will be Accurate- Apr 112013  

Crocker Highlands School

In 1922 the board of education authorized the purchase of land for a new school named Crocker Highlands School.

Oakland Tribune 1925

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in April 1925.

The six-room structure costing $40,000 was built as part of the 1924 bond issue.  The school was designed by Wythe,Blaine & Olson.

Oakland Tribune 1925

The school was dedicated in September of 1925.

Miss Bernice Baxter was the first principal of the school. There were 61 students enrolled that first year and by 1929 there were 485 students enrolled.

In 1929 plans were approved a new $95,000 addition of 11 classrooms and an auditorium. Blaine & Olson were the architects.

Oakland Tribune 1929

In 1937 another addition was added.

In 1971 the original building from 1924 was declared unsafe in an earthquake and was to be replaced.

Oakland Tribune Apr 22, 1971

In 1976 when the school was upgraded for earthquake safety. They added a two-story with a basement, 10 classrooms, 2 special education rooms, a multipurpose room, a library/resource center, music room, teachers’ lounge, computer lab, kitchen, storage, and custodial rooms. 

Crocker Highlands Today

The is at

Crocker Highlands Today
Crocker Highlands Today

More Info:

Grass Valley School

Oakland Tribune Nov 04, 1953

In 1953 Oakland’s newest school was officially known as Grass Valley School. The name was chosen by parents of the children attending the school after it temporarily known as the Toler Heights Annex. Meadow View and Rancho Benito came in 2nd and 3rd.

On December 11, 1952 the school was dedicated. For the first 3 or 4 years the school consisted of three portables and 100 students.

New School Building

Oakland Tribune Oct 1957

In October of 1957 plans were submitted to build a new school with eight classrooms. a kindergarten, a special education room, a library, multipurpose room and admin. offices. The new school was to house 362 students, cost about $350,000 and was expected to be completed by August of 1958.

First Day of School 1958

Oakland Tribune Sept 08 1958
Oakland Tribune Sept 08 1958

Grass Valley Today

The is located at 4720 Dunkirk Avenue

Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info:

Grass Valley Website – OUSD

Hillcrest School

Note: I wasn’t able to find any earlier photos of the school. Will update if I do.

Construction on the new Rockridge Highlands school began in 1950.

Oakland Tribune Jan 12 1950

The new school housed 210 children in six classrooms, a kindergarten and a library.

It was designed by Anderson and Simonds and cost $218,697.

The school was dedicated on January 19, 1951, and was the 27th school building to be built as the result of the $15 million bond issue voted in 1945.

Oakland Jan 19, 1951

Name Changed to Hillcrest

In May of 1951 Rockridge Highlands School name was changed to Hillcrest School.

Oakland Tribune May 31, 1951

1991 Fire

Hillcrest was spared during the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

SF Examiner Oct 26, 1991

Forty-six Hillcrest families , including 59 of the school’s 236 students, lost their homes in the fire.

The playground in 1993
SF Examiner
SF Examiner Nov 1991

Hillcrest Today

The school is located at 30 Marguerite Drive

APPLE MAPS
Hillcrest Today – Google Maps

More Info:

Rockridge School

Note: I could not locate any pictures of the first school. I will update if I find some.

Oakland Tribune Dec 08, 1922

The school opened in February 1922. It cost $75,000.

They built a Spanish colonial renaissance style two-story structure with cement stucco and a tile roof. The exterior was painted coral with windows green-blue and tiles bright red.

They built it on a triangle piece of property on Broadway Terrace adjoining the Claremont Country club facing Broadway. The school was strictly elementary, teaching only the first six grades.

Triangle piece of land – Apple maps

Large Play Space

“The kindergarten is one of the best in the west.”  

Oakland Tribune

The kindergarten contained ample play space, a fireplace and various nooks with a glass porch.

The rooms of all the grades opened upon a terrace which sloped down to a garden.
Ventilation in the new building was by windows and not by a fan, and there was a warm bench for drying wet shoes.

New addition planned in 1927.

Plans were approved for a new addition consisting of an assembly hall and 3 classrooms .

Oakland Tribune March 1927

From Aunt Elsie’s Column in 1938

Condemned Building 1953 and 1971

In 1953 the auditorium was condemned and closed. Preliminary plans for a new one were drawn up in 1957.

Oakland Tribune 1953
Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1959
Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1959

The old building from 1922 was deemed unsafe in an earthquake in 1971.

Oakland Tribune April 15, 1971

In 1978-1979, the school building was torn down and portable classrooms were placed on the grounds.

SF Examiner 1978

 The school closed after the 1988-89 school year, and later became Far West High School, which closed in 2011. 

Rockridge Today

Apple Maps

The school is located at 5263 Broadway Terrace.

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, History, Streets, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 10

 In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books. 

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.\

Updated Jan 2020

Golden Gate Elementary/Junior High School

Bay Public School was the first school in the Bay School District which is now the Golden Gate neighborhood. The 2-room schoolhouse was built in about 1875.

Bay Public School. Built-in 1875.
glass plate negative
ca. 1890
Gift of Fred L. Klinkner
H77.57.43

In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced

Oakland Tribune Nov 19, 1892
New Bay Public School (built 1892)
Gift of Fred L. Klinkner
H76.295.65A

In 1922 a new red brick building was built.

Oakland Tribune

The School Today

CC SA-BY Our Oakland

More Info:

The Berkley Maynard Academy is a charter school. The school is named after publishers Thomas L. Berkley and Robert Maynard.

Berkley Maynard Academy – Website

Herbert Hoover Junior High School

Herbert Hoover Junior High School (1929–1974) was located at 3263 West Street.

Plans for the new Clawson-Longfellow Junior High School were drawn in 1928. It was the last school to be built using the 1924 bond issue of $9,600,000.

Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1928

The school’s cornerstone was laid on March 4, 1929, the same date as President Hoovers inauguration as the nation’s 31st president.

Oakland Tribune March 05, 1929

It was designed by John I. Easterly. 

The official dedication events for the school held during American Book Week, November 11-17, 1929

Oakland Tribune November 07, 1929

School Unsafe

In 1972 the School board approved the replacement of 3 schools. The schools deemed unsafe in an earthquake.

The schools were Clawson and Durant Elementary and Hoover Jr. High. A new k-4th Grade was to be built on the Hoover site and a 5th – 8th at the Durant site.

The school was demolished in 1974, to be replaced with a more earthquake-safe lower school.

The School Today

The school is located at  890 Brockhurst Street, Oakland, CA

Hoover Today – Google Maps
Hoover Today – Google Maps
  • Hoover Elementary School – Website

More Info:

Longfellow Elementary School

I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.

Oakland Tribune Nov 29, 1904

Longfellow Elementary school was opened in 1907 and was located at 39th and Market Street.

In March of 1907, a couple of the school board members questioned the name of Longfellow for the school. One thought it was too close to the Berkeley school with the same name. The other questioned the school being named after a dead poet who never did anything for the city. The name stayed with only one dissent.

New School

In 1957 plans were drawn up by the firm of Alexander and Mackenzie. The plans call for 16 classrooms, kindergarten, library, special education room, multipurpose room, and administrative offices at a cost of $623, 600.

The new Longfellow Elementary School was formally dedicated in November of 1959. The new school replaced the multi-storied building built after the 1906 earthquake. It Cost $595,000.

Just Say No to Drugs!

First Lady Nancy Reagan met with a group of elementary school students and their parents Wednesday to talk about ways to fight drug abuse, one of the biggest problems facing the city of Oakland. UPI – July 1984

Today

Longfellow Today – Google Maps

Today the Longfellow School site is being used by the Oakland Military Institute.

Oakland Military Institute – website

Located at 3877 Lusk Street

More Info:

Lowell Junior High School

Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.

Oakland Tribune 1927

The new building cost between $288,000 and $ 320,000 (depending on what I read). The building fronted on Myrtle Street at 14th Street.

  • Groundbreaking – 1927
  • Cornerstone laid – 1927
  • Dedicated Jan 1928

 Howard Schroder noted Oakland architect designed the school.

Oakland Tribune 1928

Name Change

Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.

Oakland Tribune 1924
Oakland Tribune 1927
Oakland Tribune Jun 10, 1926

In 1937 the old McCymonds High School was abandoned, the students joined Lowell, and then it was known as Lowell-McClymonds. A year later, the name changed to McClymonds-Lowell. The Lowell students were moved to Prescot Junior High in 1938.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955


When McClymonds was built on Myrtle Street. It became Lowell Junior High School, again.

Historic Site

The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955

Earthquake – 1955

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955
Oakland Tribune Oct 1955
Oakland Tribune Oct 1955

The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.

Oakland Tribune October 1955

The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 1959.

Oakland Tribune Nov 1959

The new school located at 1330 Filbert Street cost $1,656,083 and was designed by Warnecke and Warnecke.  

The new building had 18 general classrooms, 5 special Ed, 3 Art rooms, 3 homemaking rooms, 2 

More Info:

Peralta School

I haven’t found any early photos of Peralta. Does anyone have any?

April 1886
Oakland Tribune 1897
Oakland Tribune Nov 30, 1913

Peralta Today

Peralta Today

More Info

The End

Posted in Black History, Business, People, West Oakland

Slim Jenkins Supper- Market

Harold “Slim” Jenkins was an African American entrepreneur and owner of the renowned Slim Jenkins Supper Club on 7th Street in West Oakland.

The exterior of Slim Jenkins nightclub
 E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection
Exterior entrance of Slim Jenkins nightclub and coffee shop.
 E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection

Liquor Store and Market

SF Examiner

Slim Jenkins saw the economic opportunity in the business district and opened a liquor store on December 5, 1933, the same day as the repeal of Prohibition. Soon the business expanded a cafe.

1934
The exterior of Slim Jenkins Super-Market
 E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection

The exterior of Slim Jenkins Super-Market
 E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection

Coffee shop opens in April of 1938. The rest is history.

SF Examiner 1938
The exterior of Slim Jenkins nightclub and Super-Market
 E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Oakland, People, Uncategorized, West Oakland

Thomas Mahoney House

As I take a little break from my series on the schools in Oakland, I thought I would share this little bit of history with you.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.

These photos have popped up many times over the years and, I didn’t give them much thought. They popped up again yesterday. I decided to look into them and see what I could find.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Thomas Mahoney House, 69 Eighth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/ca0013/>.

Both photos are online at the Library of Congress. Please note there is a typo in the LOC description the address is 669 Eighth Street.

  • Thomas Mahoney House – LOC

I don’t know what became of the house after these photos were taken. I will let you know if I find out anything.

Early Pioneer

So, I started looking into Thomas Mahoney (sometimes spelled Mahony) Wow, I was amazed to find a Thomas Mahoney living at 669 Eight Street in 1871. In the 1880 census, he lives there with his wife and four children. I then locate in an obituary from Jan of 1900. In the obituary, I notice his daughter Laura’s married name is Bassett

!8718 Directory
1888 Directory

Mahoney came to California in the 1850s. He mined for awhile in Tuolumne county before retiring on his ranch in Hills of Oakland. In 1863 he sold his ranch and moved to the home on Eighth Street next the St. John’s Episcopal He was married in 1863 and raised four children in the home. His wife died in 1891 and he died in 1900.

His obituary

Oakland Tribune Jan 29 1900

Thomas Mahoney a well known pioneer of this city, died at his home, 660
Eighth Street, last evening, in the 71st year of his age.

The deceased was a native of Ireland and came to this State many years ago, where he engaged in ranching. He owned a large quantity of land to the north of the present city limits, from which the sites now comprising Mountain View, St. Mary’s and the Jewish Cemeteries was purposed by the managers of those several burial places.

The deceased was a widower, his wife having died a number of years ago. He was the father of Mrs. Laura J. Bassett, Louise H., Emma E. and George Mahoney.

The funeral services will be held next Wednesday in St. John’s Episcopal
Church. Interment will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery

Oakland Tribune Jan 1900

Family members continued to live in the home until around 1913.

St. Mary’s Cemetery

In 1863 Archbishop Alemany purchased 36 acres of land known as the ” Mahoney Ranch” from Thomas Mahoney. The land is now known as St. Mary’s Cemetery next to Mountain View Cemetery. Thomas Mahoney was buried there in 1900.

Find A Grave – St. Mary’s Cemetery – Thomas Mahoney

Past and Present of Alameda County, California
Book by Joseph Eugene Baker
Oakland Tribune May 22, 1922

The Knave

Laura Mahoney Bassett was well known for her reminiscences in the Sunday Knave in the Oakland Tribune. She was the oldest daughter of Thomas Mahoney and she was born in Oakland in 1866 where she lived most of her 80 years. She died in 1950.

Oakland Tribune Jue 23, 1950

Sunday Knave

Some of her “reminiscences” in the Sunday Knave.

Oakland Tribune 1944
Oakland Tribune June 29, 1947
Oakland Tribune July 6, 1947
Oakland Tribune Aug 10, 1947

Go here to read the clip Oakland Tribune.

The End

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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 5

 In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books. 

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.

Brookfield Village School

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

Brookfield Village Elementary School opened without the benefit of bells.

Oakland Tribune Sept 17, 1944

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

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

New School

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

Oakland Tribune

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

Oakland Tribune Apr 24, 1951

New Addition

Oakland Tribune Oct 1957

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

Brookfield Today

Brookfield Lions: Learning and Thriving with Pride.
Brookfield Today

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

Clawson Grammar School

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

Clawson in 1895

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

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

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

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

Kindergarten

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

Principal’s Office

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

Auditorium

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

Bathrooms Boys and Girls

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

Clawson Closed

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

New Life

Clawson Lofts – Realtor.com

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

Location 3240 Peralta Street Oakland CA

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

Emerson Elementary School

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

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

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

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

Emerson Today
Emerson Today

The End

 

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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 4

 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.

Durant School

Bids were in to build a new school at the corner of West Street. The bid of $5000 made by J.J. Chapplain was the winner. The new school was called the Durant School in honor of the Rev. Henry J. Durant who the 16th Mayor of Oakland (1873–January 22, 1875) and one of the founders of the University of California.

Durant School opened in August of 1875. It was reported by the Board of Education that all grades were formed and that they had over 400 pupils with 8 teachers.

In 1878 a 6-room addition was added.

Durant Elementary School

Plans for a new Durant School to be built were accepted in 1912. The old school was sold. The new building built at the corner of 29th and West Street and was to exceed $160,000.

School Architecture: Principles and Practices
By John Joseph Donovan 1921

The building above was designed by architects John J. Donovan and Louis Christian Mullgardt, and was completed in August of 1914-15 at the cost of $179,868

In 1971 (probably before) it was determined that the school was structurally unsafe in the event of an earthquake. Bids were requested for the construction of a new school. Don’t know what happened with that. I couldn’t locate any pictures of a newer Durant School.

Location 2820 West St Oakland CA

Lafayette Grammar School

Picturesque Oakland 1889
Britton & Rey.
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt309nd1h6/?order=20
Views of Oakland California’. Oakland: Pacific Press Publishing Company, 1893

Lafayette School was located at 17th and West Street and was built in the late 1860s.

The Lafayette Grammar School was one of the first schools built in Oakland. Lafayette even housed Oakland High School in 1869.

Oakland Tribune 1905

Lafayette Grammar School was named in the honor of Marquis de Lafayette, a French military leader, and statesman, who fought on the side of the colonists during a part in the American Revolution.

Lafayette Grammar School later changed its name to Lafayette Elementary School.

A brand new school was dedicated in October of 1949. Constructed at a cost of $594,825, the new school has 22 classrooms, a kindergarten, and an auditorium.

The school today

Lakeview Elementary School

The School was established in 1909 as an annex of Grant School which was over-crowded. The Board of Education built a temporary structure of two rooms at the corner of Van Buren and Perry Streets. They called the school the Grant Annex.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1913

With the rapid growth of the surrounding area, it soon became necessary to build a permanent school.

Oakland Tribune 1913

In 1913 a large red brick building was built in a modern style of architecture opposite of the Grant Annex at the corner of Grand Avenue and Perry Street. The new school was called Lakeview.

Construction of Lakeview School – circa 1913-14
Lakeside School

John J. Donovan was the architect of Lakeview Elementary. The estimated cost of building the school was $75,000.

Lakeview was situated on a high terrace with ivy-covered banks. Two flights of broad steps lead from the main building to Grand Avenue.

Lakeview School is situated at the head of Lake Merritt and surround by the beautiful Piedmont Hills. In one of the most attractive districts of Oakland.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1917

Across the street from the main building were two attractive smaller buildings that could not be seen from Grand Avenue.

There were manual art portables and a playground complete with equipment.

It appears that Julia Morgan designed an addition to Lakeview in 1915

Oakland Tribune Feb 1915

By 1917 Lakeview had an enrollment of 768.

Lakeview School circa the 1930s

Fire at the Lakeview School Annex – May 1937

Oakland Tribune May 03, 1937

MacArthur Freeway

In 1926 a group of Lakeview district residents appeared before the Board of Education to advocate steps to protect the area behind the school from future development. See below

They should see it now!

Go here to read the rest of the article
Oakland Tribune June 29, 1926

Lakeview School will soon be an island, completely surrounded by traffic”.

Oakland Tribune Jan 03, 1962
Oakland Tribune Jan 03, 1962

The school is located at 746 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94619

Lakeside Elementary – today
Lakeview
Elementary – today

It is now a charter school

American Indian Public High School –AIMS COLLEGE PREP HIGH SCHOOL
746 GRAND AVE, OAKLAND, CA 94610 | TEL: 510-220-5044

The End

Updated Oct 2019

Posted in Black History, Buildings, Business, West Oakland

Wrecker Uses Sherman Tank To…

Project Gateway – West Oakland

The world’s largest and fully mechanized mail handling facility designed to serve central California and the Pacific ocean area

Postmaster General – Aug 1959

It was announced the facility would be built on a 12-block site in West Oakland bounded by Peralta, 7th and Wood Streets, and the Southern Pacific railroad yards.

Oakland Tribune Aug 26, 1959

The postmaster general officially named the Oakland project “Project Gateway”

Oakland Tribune Aug 26, 19

Major Problems –

City officials were excited that construction will begin in about one year. They expected an Oakland payroll of some 750 workers and the clearing of some 20 acres of sub-standard homes for a significant redevelopment project.

Oakland Mayor Clifford E Rishell noted that the post office project presents some significant problems – chiefly the relocation of some 300 families (about 1000 people) in the project area.

The Oakland Redevelopment Agency was in charge of the relocation. A survey at the time determined that half of the 300 families had moderate incomes that will permit them to rent or purchase a home in other sections of the city. The other half will probably require public housing.

The job we face isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible

Arthur Hoff – Oakland Redevelopment Agency

One of West Oakland’s most revered landmarks was lost with the razing of the New Century Recreation Center and adjoining school property at Atlantic, Pacific, and Peralta Avenues.

Also lost in the project would be a junkyard, few businesses, and McFeely School, which opened in 1949.

Evictions

In a March 1960 special meeting of city officials and postal officials were told that 34 families had already received eviction notices. The families lived in homes already sold the government by Southern Pacific. 21 families had already found new homes.

August 1, 1960, was when they were to begin clearing the site,

Oakland Tribune Jul 19, 1960

A squadron of bulldozers was set to plow into the 12-block place of buildings. All put 12 parcels of the 187 total had been acquired in negotiation. Commendation orders were entered for the holdouts.

Sherman Tank

The postal officials were perplexed when building wrecker Aldo S. Allen submitted a low bid of $64,000 to clear the 20-acre site for Project Gateway. He was $10,000 lower than the next lowest bid and $50,000 lower than the highest bid.

I got an idea” Allen a one time midget car racer explained.

Aldo S. Allen – 81st Ave Oakland CA

His idea consisted of $2,000 purchasing a surplus Sherman Tank of World War II vintage, a 73,000- pound dreadnaught powered by a 500 horsepower engine. The tank would be much more powerful, faster, and safer.

He was Right!

Aldo climbed into the tank, which was in front of a row of six houses. He first practiced on a tree,

SNAP! Down went the tree.

Without pausing, he went towards the first house and bore a tunnel through the house. The second story remained intact. Again he aimed for the home, there was a roar, and the second story came down burying the tank for a moment.

10 Minutes Flat! The time to clear the first house

Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960

It took 90 minutes to flatten and remove all 6 houses

Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune Aug 16, 1960
The Daily Texan Aug 16, 1960
More on Project Gateway in West Oakland

The End

 

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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 1 – A

My 100th post!

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

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

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions

Updated Dec 28, 2019

Castlemont High School

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

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

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

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

Castlemont Entrance – Reflecting Pond
Castlemont Shops

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

Castlemont High circa 1929

Castlemont High circa the 1930s

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

Castlemont is demolished
Castlemont is gone.

Castlemont Today

Castlemont Today
OUSD Today

Castlemont High Today

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

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

Dewey School

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

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

Oakland Tribune April 28, 1899

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

Oakland Tribune June 12, 1964

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

Dewey Today

Franklin School

Oakland Tribune March 1928

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

Oakland Evening Tribune Jan 20, 1887

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

Dec 30, 1874

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 30, 1902

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

Oakland Tribune 1904
Oakland Tribune April 18, 1906

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

Franklin Grammar School – Cheney Photo Advertising Circa 1912

Franklin School

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

Oakland Tribune 1926

In 1943 the schools’ address was 1530 Ninth Avenue.

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

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 20, 1956

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Mar_27__1960_ (1)

Oakland Tribune Mar 27, 1960


Franklin Elementary – today

More Info:

The school is located at 915 Foothill Blvd

Fremont High School

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

Oakland Tribune 1910

John C Fremont High School

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910

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

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

New School

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

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

Fremont Today

Fremont School Today –

More Info:

Frick Junior High

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

W.P Frick School

circa 1913 Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

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

New School

Oakland Tribune May 30, 1926

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

Oakland Tribune Jun 05, 1927

Another New School

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

Frick Middle School Today

Frick School today – Google Maps

It is now called Frick Impact Academy

More Info:

Hamilton Junior High School

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

Athletic Festival at Hamilton Junior High

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

The school today. Google Maps

More Info:

Horace Mann Grammar School

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

Horace Mann Grammar School
Ygnacio and Vicksburg Avenue

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1912

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

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1959

Horace Mann today – Google Maps

More Info:

Sequoia Elementary School

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

Original Sequoia School
Lincoln Avenue and Scenic Street

Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910

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

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

Oakland Tribune Nov 28, 1958

Sequoia School today. Google maps

More Info:

Please see Part 1 B for University High School

The End

Posted in Black History, History, People, Then and Now, West Oakland

Royal E. Towns – Engine Company No. 22

Royal Edward Towns (February 10, 1899–July 23, 1990) was one of the first African American firefighters in Oakland and was instrumental in helping desegregate the fire department.

Royal E Towns

Royal Towns joined the OFD in 1927 and was assigned to Engine Company No. 22, a segregated firehouse in West Oakland. The station was located at 3320 Magnolia Street.

Exterior of Oakland Fire Department Engine no. 22
3320 Magnolia Street

Three firefighters sitting in Oakland fire truck parked in driveway of fire Engine no. 22

Royal Towns was the 11th black Oakland fireman in 1927. The 12th wasn’t hired for another 15 years. In 1971 there were only 35 black firemen. Towns became the first to be promoted in the OFD. He became a chief’s operator in 1941 and retired as a lieutenant in 1962.

Royal E. Towns (center) and his colleagues with Engine Company No. 22
of the racially segregated Oakland Fire Department. (1943)

Towns was instrumental in helping desegregate the fire department. He helped train many other black applicants to pass the fire department test

Royal Towns on the left with Oakland firefighters standing in front of fire engine no. 22 – Circa 1943

Personal Life

Royal Towns was born in Oakland on February 10, 1899, to William Towns and Elizabeth Towns.

Towns married Lucille Dennis May 26, 1920. Together they had three children. The family lived in various locations within Oakland

Royal E. Towns died July 23, 1990 and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery

More Photos

The photos are courtesy of the Royal E. Towns papers, MS 26, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California. Photos at Calisphere

3320 Magnolia Street Oakland – Then and Now
It is no longer a Fire Station
Rolling Hoses in front of Engine No 22
Two firemen attaching hoses to fire hydrant, firefighters practicing with fire hoses in park in the background – on Peralta Street
Peralta Street – Then and Now
Firemen holding fire hose in street next to
Gleason and Company building – Circa 1950s
at the corner of Magnolia and 34th Street

34th and Magnolia – Then and Now
Firemen holding fire hose in street next to Gleason and Company building
Circa 1950s – 34th and Magnolia
Across from the Gleason Company today
Firemen holding fire hose in street next to Gleason and Company building
Circa 1950s – 34th and Magnolia
Looking down Magnolia towards 34th St.
Circa 1950s
Looking down Magnolia towards 34th St.
Then and Now
Dog climbing ladder to get apple in front of Oakland Fire Department Fire Engine No. 22 – circa 1950s
Fireman jumping off ladder in front of Oakland Fire Department fire Engine no. 22

More on Royal E. Towns