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 Feb 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 district. The 2-room schoolhouse was built in about 1875.
In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced
More to come on the transformation from Bay School to Golden Gate School.
Preliminary plans for the second unit of the new Golden Gate Junior High. The arrival of the plans came a week after the residents of the Golden Gate district complained and at a school board meeting that the
the old school is now so rickety that it is becoming dangerousResidents Golden Gate District Dec 1926
The new school building was completed in November of 1928 at a cost of $119,232 and had space for 700 students.
A new shop building was added to the school at a cost of about $30,000. It was located at 63rd and San Pablo and included auto shops and machine shops.
The School Today
Berkley Maynard Academy – Website
- Golden Gate Too Risky – Oakland Tribune Dec 14, 1926
- Plans for Junior High Unit Passed – Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1926
- Bid for New School – Oakland Tribune Aug 10, 1927
Herbert Hoover Junior High School
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.
Herbert Hoover Junior High school, located at Thirty-third and West Streets, opened on August 12, 1929. The school was formerly known as the Clawson-Longfellow Junior High School
The school was designed on a modified English Tudor style of architecture with large arched entrances.
The building was designed by John L. Easterly, an Oakland architect and cost $460,000.
The school had a large assembly hall which could seat 1200. At one end, there was a stage that could hold 200 people. There were dressing rooms on each side of the stage. There was also a moving picture booth with the latest equipment.
The administration suite with the principal. Vice-principal and attendance offices. Next on the first floor was a textbook room, library, a faculty cafeteria, a student cafeteria, and a quick lunch counter.
On the second and third floors, there were more than 25 classrooms.
The official dedication events for the school held during American Book Week, November 11-17, 1929
Herbert Hoover Junior High School (1929–1974) was located at 3263 West Street.
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 Elementary School – Website
- Oakland Honors New President – Oakland Tribune March 05, 1929
- New School is a Masterpiece – Oakland Tribune September 29, 1929
- The Way It Spozed to Be – Oakland Tribune March 24, 1968
- Board ok’s Replacing 3 Schools – Oakland Tribune July 06, 1972
Longfellow Elementary School
I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.
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.
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 the Longfellow School site is being used by the Oakland Military Institute.
Oakland Military Institute – website
Located at 3877 Lusk Street
- New Building Considered – Oakland Tribune Apr 14, 1907
- Naming a School – Oakland Tribune March 19, 1907
- Plans for New School Drawn Up – Oakland Tribune Oct 17, 1957
- Bids to Demolish 3-story School Building – Oakland Tribune Jan 23, 1959
- Longfellow Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 22, 1959
Lowell Junior High School
Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.
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.
Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.
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.
When McClymonds was built on Myrtle Street. It became Lowell Junior High School, again.
The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.
Earthquake – 1955
The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.
The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 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.
- New Lowell Junior High – Oakland Tribune Aug 14, 1927
- Lowell Jr. High is Closed by Quake – Oakland Tribune Oct 29, 1955
- School Evacuated – Oakland Tribune Oct 30, 1955
- Lowell a Hazard – Oakland Tribune Oct 30, 1955
I haven’t found any early photos of Peralta. Does anyone have any?
- Peralta School – Website
- Want School Improved – Oakland Tribune Oct 03, 1914
- Symon Brothers Wrecking Old School – Oakland Tribune June 22, 1922
- Peralta School To Open – Oakland Tribune May 19, 1922
- Fire-damaged Peralta Elementary – Eastbay Times March 28, 2007