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.
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 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 the 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
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 History, Oakland

Leona Canyon Fire – Oct 1960

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

On Saturday, October 15, 1960, a brush fire started in the area of Mountain Blvd and Burckhalter Avenue.

The fire bore a striking resemblance to the disastrous 1923 Berkeley fire, which swept from the hills, destroyed 600 buildings, and leaving 4000 homeless.

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

The fire started at 11am and was under control by 2:30 pm and officially out by 4pm.

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

More than 200 firemen from the Oakland and San Leandro fought the fire for over four hours with the help of the residents who lived in the area. At times the fire came within feet of homes and rained sparks on their roofs. The damage was held to the loss of two houses, brush and oak trees.

From noon until 2pm the battle was a see-saw affair

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

Weekend Warriors

SF Examiner October 16, 1960

For the residents, it was a battle to the death. They stood of roofs and garages pointing hoses with little pressure behind them at the walls of flame, which roared through the brush and oak trees.

In the hills above, Leona Street flames roared 50 feet into the air and came within that distance of homes. At one point, police advised people to advise the residents on Leona Street, Mountain Blvd, and Mountain View Avenue to evacuate.

Cause Unknown

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

The cause of the fire was unknown. It ranged over an estimated 1200 acres after it starts near Mountain Blvd and Burckhalter Avenue. It’s course along Mountain Blvd northwesterly to Bermuda Avenue and up the hill towards Skyline Blvd.

There were unconfirmed reports of two boys playing with matches in the quarry area just before the fire started.

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

At the time, the winds gusted 45 mile-per-hour, which spread the fire across Mountain Blvd. but quick work by firemen and homeowners stopped the fire from spreading in that direction.

More than 100 homes were endangered during the day. Most were in the $30,000 bracket.

The Homes

  • 6384 Mountain Blvd – destroyed
  • 6434 Mountain Blvd – destroyed

The home at 6434 Mountain Blvd belonged to William Crecque, and 6384 Mountain Blvd belonged to Charles Suggs.


The End