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 Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – McClymonds High School

In 1951 the students referred to their alma mater as:

the school that couldn’t stay still.”

Oakland Tribune 1951

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

A Bit of History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dedication

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

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

Oakland Tribune 1924

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

Mcclymonds High School – undated
Oakland History Room

Millinery Courses 

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

  

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

Oakland Tribune

Out With The Old

Oakland Tribune 1951
Oakland Tribune 1951
Oakland Tribune 1951

New School

Oakland Tribune 1951

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

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

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

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

New Gym

The Old Gymnasium – 1928

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

The new Gymnasium 1956

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

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

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

McClymonds Field Dedicated – 1960

Oakland Tribune 1963

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

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

The Field Today – google maps

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

Oakland Tribune 1964

The victims were:

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

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

Pinecrest Lake 1964

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

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

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

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

Feb 1965

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

More Info:

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

McClymonds Today

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

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

More Info:

The End

Posted in History, Parks, West Oakland

Oakland’s First Playgrounds

In 1909 a newly appointed commission met at city hall with then Mayor Frank Mott to assume the responsibility of establishing a public playground system.

Oakland was the second city in California to establish a playground system; the first was Los Angeles in 1905.

Superintendent of Playgrounds

George E. Dickie
Greater Oakland 1911

In May of 1909, the commission appointed George E. Dickie, the first playground superintendent, and that summer, the city opened two “experimental” playgrounds at Tompkins and Prescott Schools.

Oakland Tribune
Oakland (Calif.) Park commission., Oakland (Calif.) Playground commission. (1910). The park system of Oakland, California. [Oakland: Carruth & Carruth.

Before 1909, the Oakland Women’s Club operated summer playgrounds for two years at West Oakland’s Tompkins and Prescott’s schools at their own expense.

Oakland (Calif.) Park commission., Oakland (Calif.) Playground commission. (1910). The park system of Oakland, California. [Oakland: Carruth & Carruth.

With a budget of $10,000, the commission opened three municipal playgrounds in 1910.

Oakland (Calif.) Park commission., Oakland (Calif.) Playground commission. (1910). The park system of Oakland, California. [Oakland: Carruth & Carruth.

The first was opened on January 10, 1910, at  de Fremery. The park included a dozen swings, two long slides, a baseball diamond, two regulation tennis courts, and courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.

Oakland (Calif.) Park commission., Oakland (Calif.) Playground commission. (1910). The park system of Oakland, California. [Oakland: Carruth & Carruth.

Two weeks later, they opened Bushrod Playground at 60th Street and Shafter. The land was deeded to the city in 1904 by Dr. Bushrod Washington James of Philadelphia with the stipulations that it is maintained as a public park forever.

Playground at Bushrod Park 1911
Oakland (Calif.) Park commission., Oakland (Calif.) Playground commission. (1910). The park system of Oakland, California. [Oakland: Carruth & Carruth.

The first recreation “center” was built at the site, and the structure remained standing until 1943.

Oakland Tribune 1911

They then provided playground equipment to the West Oakland Park (which later became Bayview, and is now Raimondi Field) and Independence Park ( now San Antonio).

Oakland Tribune 1911

Recreation for Everyone

In 1911 the city charter was revised to include the role of recreation in the community, this resulted in disbanding the commission, and a board of playground directors was created to oversee the parks. The Parks and Recreation Department was formed

More Info:

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

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 18

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

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

Dag Hammarskjöld School

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

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

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

Dedication

The school was dedicated in March of 1962.

Oakland Tribune Mar 21, 1962

More Info:

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

Lincoln Elementary School

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

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

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

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

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

Lincoln School in 1887

Lincoln School in 1898

1906 Earthquake

Drawing of the New Lincoln School

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

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1907

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

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

New School

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

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

Oakland Tribune October 06, 1959

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

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

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1961

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

Lincoln Today

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

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

Lincoln Today

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

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

Distinguished School

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

Lincoln School Website – OUSD

More Info:

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

The End

Posted in Black History, East Oakland, People, West Oakland

African American Women’s Clubs

During the later part of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th black women in Oakland established clubs and institutions to address the growing demands of the black community.

I will highlight some of them here.

Fanny Jackson Coppin Club

The Fanny Jackson Coppin Club was founded in 1899 by members of the Beth Eden Baptist Church

Colored Directory 1917

Not failure, but low aim is the crime.

Motto

The club was named in honor of Fannie Jackson Coppin (1837-1913) who was born a slave in Washington, D.C. and became a renowned educator 

Fannie Jackson Coppin

The Fannie Jackson Coppin Club is known as the “mother club” of the African American women’s club movement in California. 

At first, the club’s priority was to provide African American travelers who could not stay at segregated hotels welcoming places to spend a night.

The club was involved with the creation of the Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People in Oakland, to provide care for elderly African Americans in the state of California.

Oakland Tribune June 26, 1959
California Club Journal 1973

Art and Industrial Club

In 1906, a branch of the Art and Industrial Club was formed and devoted itself to the arts and to “uplift of the race.”

Deeds Not Words”

Motto
Colored Directory 1917

Mother’s Charity Club

Founded in 1907

Lift as We Climb”

Motto

The Mother’s Charity Club was founded in 1907. They were dedicated to philanthropic endeavors. During its earliest years of activity, the Mother’s Charity Club fed and cared for many children and sick and needy persons.

Colored Directory 1917
1959-60

Elmhurst Progressive Club

The Elmhurst Progressive Club was founded in 1912.

Progressive

Motto
Colored Directory 1917
Oakland Tribune 1914

Imperial Art and Literary Club

The Imperial Art and Literary of Oakland was founded in 1912. They provided charity and promoted art and literary work.

Love and Truth

Motto
Colored Directory 1917
Oakland Tribune 1931
California Club Journal 1973

Self Improvement Club

Self Improvement Club of Oakland was founded in 1916. Their goal was to improve humanity and the surrounding communities.

He who is true to God, is true to Man”

Colored Directory 1917

Rhododendron Self Cultured Club of Oakland

The Rhododendron Club was formed in the early 1950s

Like Ivy we Climb–Lifting as we Climb

Four women holding presents at the Rhododendron Club fashion show at Slim Jenkins

Rhododendron Club fashion show contestants posing at Slim Jenkins

Fidelis Art and Culture Business Women’s Club of Oakland

California Club Journal 1973

The Art Social Club of Oakland

California Club Journal 1973

Royal 10 Society Club of Oakland

I only found this photo. I will update if I find more.

Members of the Royal 10 Social Club attending Hawaiian-themed luau party
Undated
African American Museum

Linden Street YWCA

In 1920, a group of African American clubwomen formed The Linden Street branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). 

They provided religious training, counseling services, vocational training, art classes, adult education classes, and all types of cultural events. 

 Located at 828 Linden Street, the branch was housed in a two-story building with four club rooms.

By 1938, the Linden Street “Y” had a membership of over 750.

In 1944 following a new national policy, the board of directors of the central Oakland YWCA integrated the Linden Street YWCA.

“to make its program available to all women and girls irrespective of race, creed, or color.

It was renamed the West Oakland Center of the YWCA. The two-story building was razed in the early 1960s

Group portrait of Les Elites Industrial Club Linden Branch Y.W.C.A

More Info:

I will add to this if I find more.

The End

Posted in Black History, People, Transportation, West Oakland

Oakland’s First African American Cab Driver

Phillip Richard Springer (1874-1952) was the first black man in Oakland to own a taxicab. He was born in Barbados, in the British West Indies and left home at age 16. At first he operated under a jitney permit in Oakland, but he later had the license changed to a taxicab permit. By 1915, Springer’s Cab Company was well established.

The Pullman Porters and West Oakland

The 1916 Directory listed Springer at 1926 Chestnut Street with chauffeur as his occupation

1916
1926 Chestnut – Google Maps

In the 1917 directory, he is listed at 835 Union Street with chauffeur as his occupation.

1917

In the 1925 directory, he is listed along with his wife Edna at 879 Campbell Street with taxi cab driver as his occupation.

1925

From 1927 until his death in 1952, he lived at 957-35th Street with his family. The 1930 census reports that he owns his home, and he was a taxi cab driver at his own stand.

1935
The Springer Home from 1927-at least 1952
957- 35th Street – Google Maps
Exhibit at the African American History Library Oakland
Oakland Tribune Nov 1952

Taxicab Driver Robbed

Oakland Tribune 1942
SF Examiner Jan 1947

Accident

The End

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

Then & Now Oakland Schools – Part 17

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

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

Bella Vista Elementary School

The original Bella Vista Annex
2410 -10th Avenue

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

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

From the Views Oakland

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

Showing 1906 Earthquake Damage

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

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

New School and Location

Oakland Tribune

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

Oakland Tribune 1949

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

Reynolds and Chamberlain designed the building.

The new building has:

  • 17 Classrooms
  • A kindergarten
  • Cafeteria
  • Auditorium

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 10, 1950

The dedication was held on February 7th, 1951.

Bella Vista Today

The school is located at 1025 East 28th Street.

Google Maps

Bella Vista – OUSD photo

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

More Info:

Glenview Elementary School

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

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

Oakland Tribune July 1927

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

  • Eleven Classrooms
  • Assembly Hall
  • Administration Offices

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

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

Glenview School in 193
From the Brenkman Family

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

Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1938

The school was ready for occupation in March of 1939.

Glenview Class of 1938
From the Brenkman Family

Glenview Baseball Team 1941
From the Brenkman Family

Glenview Today:

The school is located at 4215 La Cresta Avenue

New Campus: August 2020

New Campus

The new classroom building will also feature:

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

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

More Info:

Harbor Homes School

No pictures of Harbor Homes School

Location of Harbor Homes

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

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

Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1947

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

Oakland Tribune Mar 8, 1948

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

Oakland Tribune Feb 8, 1954

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 29, 1960

Oakland Tribune February 8, 1963

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

Oakland Tribune Feb 8, 1963

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

More Info:

The address of the school was 1740 Ferro St

Washington School

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

Awards Contracts for Work

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

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

They started building the school on Aug 31, 1905.

Before 1906

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

1906 Earthquake

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

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

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

Oakland Tribune August 1908

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

Principal C.E. Hudspeth

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

CE Hudspeth 1909

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

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

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

The school after the new additions in 1913
Circa 1913

New School

Oakland Tribune 1951

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

  • Fourteen Classrooms
  •  Kindergarten
  •  Cafeteria
  •  Auditorium
  • Library

Oakland Tribune Dec 1953

Washington School Today – OUSD Photo

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

The school is called Kaiser-Sankofa.

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

More Info:

The End

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

Then & Now – Oakland School Part 16

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

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all from home and online — a work in progress for some.  I have been updating my posts with new information or corrections.

Let me know of any mistakes or additions.

King Estates Junior High School

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

Central National Savings Bank Map 1923

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

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

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

Groundbreaking Oakland Tribune Feb 1959

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

Oakland Tribune Jun 1958
 

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

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

 

Oakland Tribune Sept 06, 1960

School Shooting

 

Oakland Tribune March 18, 19

Oakland Tribune March 1973

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

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

King Junior High Today

 

Google Maps
 

Google Maps
 

OUSD Photo
 

Google Maps
 

OUSD Photo

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

Now Rudsdale Continuation School and Sojourner Truth School are there.

More Info:

Ralph J. Bunche Elementary

No early pictures of Bunche Elementary

 

Oakland Tribune

Named in Honor of

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

Bunche Visits the School

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

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

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

Ralph K. Bunche 1966

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

After the event, some of the children said:

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

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

Tribute to Bunche

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1971
 

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1971

Ralph Bunche died on December 9, 1971.

As good as anyone”

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Shirley Coleman, 5th grader

Bunche School Today

Ralph J. Bunche Continuation School – 9-12

The school is located at 1240 18th Street

 

Ralph J Bunche Today _ OUSD
 

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

More Info:

McFeely School

No early pictures of McFeely School

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

 

Oakland Tribune 1947
 

Oakland Tribune
 

Oakland Tribune 1949

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

More Info:

Redwood Heights Elementary School

No early photos of Redwood Heights

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

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

 

Location of the first School

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

New School and location

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

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

 

Redwood Heights Construction 1959
Oakland History Room Photo

Redwood Heights Today

4401 39th Ave, Oakland, CA 94619

 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD
 

Redwood Heights Home – OUSD

Westlake Junior High School

No early photos

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

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

 

Oakland Tribune 1928

Westlake Junior High was known as Lakeview Junior High.

Dedication Ceremony

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

Name Change

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

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

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

Oakland Tribune June 1928
 

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

Westlake Today

2629 Harrison Street, Oakland, California 94612

  • Westlake Middle School website – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD
 

Westlake Today – OUSD

More Info:

The End

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

Storied school marks its 80th anniversary; Oakland Tribune, The (CA); October 21, 2007

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