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

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

Emerson Now

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

Today – OUSD Photo
Emerson Today

The End

Posted in Montclair, Oakland, People

Living Double-Lives in Montclair

A couple of years ago, someone in a Facebook group I belong to asked if anyone else remembered a story or rumor that went around Montclair in the mid-50s. It was a story about a guy, the ran repair shop on La Salle Ave, who was a spy for the American Government or something like that. It took me a while, but I found it.

Undercover Agent – Asked to Join

 

Wilmington Daily Press Apr 23, 1953

The tall, shapely women said she joined the Communist Party after an FBI agent approached her and said:

Would you like to do this? There will be nothing it for you, but you would be doing your country a great service.

San Francisco Examiner April 1953

Joins Party to Help FBI in Roundup of Subversives

The tall, shapely women was Sylvia Hill, the wife of Dickson P. Hill of the Montclair District. The Hill’s lived had 3 children and lived on Snake Road. Mr. Hill owned Montclair Radio & TV Service at 6127 La Salle Ave.

From the outside, they were your typical 50s family.

Oakland Tribune Dec 1953

Dickson P. Hill said he and his wife were approached by Communists in 1944 and ask the FBI ( I think the FBI was already watching them) what they should do. The FBI told them to try to join the party so they could do the country “a great service.”

They joined the Communist party in 1945 at the request of the FBI and rose to the positions of membership chairman and education chairman receptively while serving as undercover agents.

Double Lives

Hill and his wife lived “double lives” as Communists for the FBI for about four years. He said he named more than 50 people in the Oakland-Berkeley area he had met personally and identified them as Reds. He also identified 36 organizations as Communist Party clubs during his membership 1945-1949. Dec 03, 1953

Santa Cruz Sentinel Dec 02, 1953
Oakland Tribune April 16, 1953

Reds Call Labor School ‘Ours,’ Witness Testifies

Oakland TribuneJan 26 1956
Oakland Tribune Jan 25, 1956

California Labor School of Alameda County

Oakland Tribune Sep 17,1944

The California Labor school presented a Russian film “One Day in Soviet Russia” with English narration.

Oakland Tribune Aug 12, 1945

Lectures on the ‘Roots of Fascism’

Oakland Tribune Nov 29, 1945

More Info:

  • Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House. Committee on Un-American Activities Volume 3 – Google

The End