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 September 20, 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.

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

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

More to come on the transformation from Bay School to Golden Gate School.

New 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 dangerous

Residents Golden Gate District Dec 1926
Oakland Tribune Aug 10, 1927

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

CC SA-BY Our Oakland

More Info:

Golden Gate is now 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

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

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.

Oakland Tribune August 19, 1928

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

Oakland Tribune November 07, 1929

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

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


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.

More Info:

Peralta School

A Bit of History of Golden Gate,Herbert Hoover, Longfellow,Lowell and Peralta Schools.
Peralta School Alcatraz and Telegraph Avenues
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising Circa 1919
April 1886
Oakland Tribune 1897
Oakland Tribune Nov 30, 1913

Peralta Today

Peralta Today

More Info

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.
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 Buildings, East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, People

Edenvale – The Talbot Estate

From Eden of the Pacific, Oakland Tribune 1898

1857 – 1888:  Ellis A Haines  purchased the property from the Peralta’s

In 1888,  Frederick C. Talbot of the San Francisco lumber firm of Pope & Talbot purchased 133- acres from  Ellis A. Haines in Elmhurst near San Leandro and adjacent to the Souther Farm ( now the Dunsmuir Home) for $15,000.

San Francisco Chronicle Jul 28, 1888

Oakland Tribune Jul 30,1888

Depending on who wrote it or what you read, the total acreage seems to change. Above you will see in one clipping has the entire area as “133- acres “and, in the other, it as “153 -acres.” It has been as high as 453 acres. I have always understood it to be the same land that both the Oakland Zoo and Knowland Park, but who really knows?

Oakland Tribune Aug 08, 1890

Oakland Tribune Sept 14, 1888

Edenvale –

Nestled in the hills surrounded by the choicest fruits and flowers, “Edenvale,” as the name suggests, is a veritable paradise.

The estate was 140-acres (different acreage) of fertile land used for farming and orchards. 60 acres were planted with almonds, cherries, oranges, walnuts, lemons, prunes, apricots, peaches, and olives. 80 acres of choice farming land.

Talbot Home –
Cheney Photo Advertising
C 1915

View of Edenvale from the hillside
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 

A Magazine – Of The Old Pacific and The New
Page 125 -July 1907

In the picture, you can see the caretaker’s home in the back (the taller one). This house is still standing today.

The garden was laid out with rare trees and a variety of plants and lighted pathways. There was a large pond with a bridge the crossed it. The pond was large enough for a small rowboat.

The main house was a modern elegant colonial structure of 12 rooms, with 4 baths running water and gas throughout. It Burned down in 1921.

There was a large modern stable, a greenhouse, servants quarters. There was a home for the caretaker, which is still standing today. A brooder for chickens and pen for pigs. Oakland Tribune Mar 22, 1902

Unknown Talbot Family Members at EdenVale c 189?
Photo by I.W. Taber
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 

Barn Burns –

San Francisco Dec 21, 1901

Oakland Tribune May 18,1900

Talbot Farm for Sale

Oakland Tribune March 10, 1902

Town Talk March 22, 1902
Note it is 140 acres


R.C. “Cliff” Durant Purchases Estate

Durant purchases the Talbot estate “Edenvale.” The estate comprised of 470-acres (different acreage) and sold for $200,000.

Oakland Tribune Nov 25, 1919

San Francisco Examiner Feb 08, 1920

The above says  “478-acres” and below says “200-acres”.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1919

Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1921

A Map showing the location of R.C Durants/F.C. Talbots Mansion

Oakland Tribune 1921

The Estate Becomes A Park

In 1929 the city of Oakland council voted to purchase the former country estate of the late F.C. Talbot from the Park Commission. The 350-acres ( different acreage) would cost the city approximately $662,000. That deal fell through. The whole story is confusing. Durant Park opened to the public in 1932.

Oakland Tribune April 19, 1929

In 1935 Sidney Snow took possession of the 475-acre (different acreage) Durant Park and started building the zoo.  He ran it with some help from the city of Oakland. – From A History as Told by the Founder’s Daughter”

In 1937 Durant Park is now called the Zoological Gardens and Arboretum of Metropolitan Oakland.

Durant Park 1937
Durant Park – Press Photo 1937
Durant Park Talbot estate
Durant Park – Press Photo 1937

Oakland Tribune May 22, 1950
To read the entire article go here:

In 1950 Durant park is dedicated as the “East Bay State Park” under the California park system. In a dedication speech, it was noted the there were many trees and plants from F.C Talbot estate, and they were included in the Historical Arboretum, which is a separate park from the Oakland Zoo.

Oakland Tribune Mar 31, 1937

Oakland Tribune 1957
The row of Canary Island Palms

A row of mature Canary Island Date Palms marks the part entry. Stately Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya trees from Australia dot the formal meadows of the existing picnic grounds. These Arboretum’s specimens were planted at the turn of the last century (I bet before that) as part of the Talbot Estate grounds. There is also a collection of 8 species of palms, native and exotic oaks, redwoods, and many other specimens from North Africa, the Himalayas, Chile, and the Canary Islands. – From the Zoo Master Plan 1996

In 1951 the park was renamed “Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.” Now called Knowland State Arboretum and Park and the Oakland Zoo.

In 1962 a fire destroyed the building that had been home to Effie, the elephant until 1959. The building had been marked unsafe. The building was built in 1890, was part of the Talbot Estate.

The Estate Today

On the map below, the sizeable red square shows where most of the estate was. The smaller green box shows the location of the caretaker home that was apart of the Talbot Estate. When Sidney Snow ran the zoo, he and his family lived there. Now is it used by zoo employees. The meadow by the main gate still has some of the trees planted by Talbot over 100 years ago. They are part of the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. I need to check this out.

From the Zoo Master Plan 1996

Sidney Snow’s Home
Circa 1939

Google Map 2019 showing the caretakers home still standing in Knowland Park

More Info:

A couple of things:

I am working on getting copies of the real photos as opposed to copies from a report.

I am also checking on what’s up with the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. Does it still exist?

I know on real crowded days they allow parking on the meadow, where some of the historic trees still stand.

The End