Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Public Housing, Schools, Urban Renewal

Clinton Park Urban Renewal Project

The nation’s first federally assisted rehabilitation project.

Oakland Tribune

Federal Housing Act of 1954

In 1955 a 125 block area bounded by E. 21st Street, 14th Avenue, E. 12th Street, and Lake Merritt was chosen as the “study area” for urban renewal.

Clinton Park urban renewal plan (project no. Calif. R-2), City of Oakland, California -November 1957-HathiTrust

In October of 1955, Oakland applied to the Federal Government to formally designate an 80 block area of East Oakland bordering Lake Merritt as its first urban renewal project.

First in the West

The area was Oakland’s first concentrated action against blight and substandard housing.  

Clinton Park was a conservation project, the first of this type in the Western United States. 

When the project began in July 1958, the area covered 282 acres contained approximately 1,358 structures and 4,750 dwelling units. Clinton Park Project is bounded by Lake Merritt, 14th Avenue, East 21st. and East 14th Streets

The field office for the project was located at 1626 6th Avenue. The field office, an example of urban renewal in action –was a 50-year old house that was located at 1535 10th Avenue.

Oakland Gets U.S. Grant

In December of 1955, the Federal Government earmarked $1 210,000 for Oakland’s Clinton Park Urban Renewal Program. This amount was two-thirds of the anticipated total cost.

New School – Recreation Center

“heart of the Clinton Park urban renewal area.”

The new Franklin School served as an educational and recreational facility and the nucleus of the project. The revised plans for the site called for the additional area and a recreation center to be added. The school replaced the old school building condemned as an earthquake hazard.

Oakland acquired property to double the playgrounds of Franklin School.

The new school opened in September of 1956.

Oakland Tribune September 1956
Franklin School Today – 2020 by Littledots

Due to many problems in acquiring property for the expanded facility, the Recreation Center and Playground area’s completion was delayed until the summer of l 961.

Oakland Tribune October 1960
1010 East 15th – today

Our City Oakland

In 1956 the Oakland Junior Chamber Committee of the Chamber of Commerce produced a movie on Oakland’s urban renewal program.
The movie, entitled ” Our City Oakland.”

Our City Oakland – American City 
Dedicated to Oakland Urban Renewal program for the elevation of human and property values of its neighborhoods .

The film (in color with sound)shows examples of Oakland’s slum dwellings, and census figures at the time showed Oakland more than 15,000 such structures (Wow!)

The film also tells of the work in Clinton Park.

Project Launched

In July of 1957, a wrecking crew started the demolition of eight houses near the new Franklin School. This would be the location of the new recreation center.

Oakland Tribune July 1957
Oakland Tribune June 30, 1957

Older Home Gets New Life

In 1956, the Greater Eastbay Associated Homebuilders purchased a 50-year-old home at 1535 10th Avenue.

Oakland Tribune April 1956
Oakland Tribune April 1956

Home and Garden Show

The house was moved from its lot to become an exhibit at the Home and Garden Show.

Oakland Tribune April 1956

It was completely remodeled as a part of Oakland’s Operation Home Improvement Campaign.

Oakland Tribune April 1956

 Following the show, the home was moved to and used as the Clinton Park Project field office.

The office was located at 1621 6th Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1963

Looks like the house was moved sometime in the mid 1960s. A church is there now.

A Rehab Project

The homes at 624 and 630 Foothill Blvd

Many New Apartment Buildings

From 1956 to 1962, 57 new apartment buildings were constructed. By 1960 $4,000,000 had been spent on new apartment construction.

First Project

The ground was broken in May of 1956 for the first significant construction project for Clinton Park.  

Robert A. Vandenbosch designed the 32-unit apartment building at 1844 7th Avenue and East 19th Street.

 The three-story structure was built around an inner court that has balconies overlooking the court from every apartment.

Now called Casa Simone –

New Apartment Project

Looking from East 18th towards 12th Avenue Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising 1919

A new 12-unit apartment building replaced a “dilapidated” single-family dwelling at 12th Avenue and East 18th Street.

Oakland Tribune

The old structure was located at 1755 12th Avenue, was built in 1900. It had been converted illegally to an eight-unit apartment.

The structure costs $75.000 to build.

1133 East 18th Street

Garden Type Apartment

In 1958 a new $400,000 apartment was built at 1125 East 18th Street.

Oakland Tribune 1958

Two old homes and their outbuildings were razed to make room for the 40-unit two-story building with parking for the 24 cars on the ground floor.

1125 East 18th – Google Maps

An eight-unit apartment building at 645 Foothill Blvd was under construction at the same time.

Clinton Park Manor

Clinton Park Manor, a 144-unit complex, was built in 1958 at the cost of $1,400,000.  

  • 24 efficiency units
  • 50 one-bedroom units
  • 46 two-bedroom units
  • 24 three-bedroom units

Architect Cecil S. Moyer designed the four three-story structures with a landscaped courtyard in the middle.

It is now called Oakbrook Manor – 1229 East 19th Street

The complex is bounded by 12th and 13th Avenues and East 19th and East 20th Streets.

Google Maps

One of Oakland’s first schools, Brooklyn Grammar School, was built on the site in 1863. It was renamed Swett School in 1874, and in 1882 a new school Bella Vista was built there. Bella Vista School was razed in 1951.

The Valhalla Apartments

In March of 1960, a three-story 48-unit apartment building was built on the northeast corner of 12th Avenue and East 17th Street at the cost of $556,000.

Architect Cecil Moyer also designed this building. The new building contained (it might still have the same layout):

  • 3- bachelor apartments
  • 24- one-bedroom apartments
  • 11- two-bedroom apartments
  • 10- three-bedroom apartments

The courtyard had a swimming pool.

1720 12th Ave Google Maps

Six old homes, some dating back to the 1890s, were demolished to clear the site.

Today it is call Cambridge Terrace Apartments

Apartments

A partial list of the new apartment buildings

  • 2225-7th Avenue – 1957
  • 1618-6th Avenue – 1957
  • 1640 -6th Avenue -1957
  • 602 Foothill – remodeled
  • 1925-35 10th Avenue – 1960

New Supermarket

In 1960 Safeway Stores Inc. built a new 20,000 square foot building and a parking lot on 14th Avenue.

The Architects were Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons of San Francisco.

1711 14th Avenue – Today – Google Maps

Loops’ for Traffic

To meet the problem of through traffic on a residential street, which caused neighborhood deterioration. Forty-seven intersections were marked to be altered, either to divert automobiles to through streets by way of traffic “loops.” or slow them down with curb extensions.

The traffic-diverting “loops” will be landscaped areas extending diagonally across intersections.

The result of these intersections was that through traffic in the project area is limited to 5th, 8th Avenues, north and south, East 21st Street, Foothill Blvd, and East 15th Street, east-west.

The Diverters -Google Maps

Diverters were placed at East 19th Street and 6th and 11th Avenues and East 20th Street at 7th and 10th Avenues. Also at East 20th Street and 12th Avenue.

Discouragers were also placed at East 20th Street and 13th Avenue and East 19th Street and 13th Avenue.

New Mercury Lights and Traffic Signals

Excerpts of articles from the Oakland Tribune 1960

Other features of the program included:

  • New Recreation Center
  • Widening of several streets and the installation of curbs and sewers.
  • Planting of 1,600 trees about 20 per block.
  • Construction of pedestrian overpasses over Foothill Blvd and East 15th Street for safe access to Franklin School.
  • Installation of new street lighting, street signs, and traffic signs.

Beautiful Homes of Clinton Park

Project Report

By March of 1962, 1,081 structures, containing 3,056 dwelling units have been repaired to eliminate all code. Violation. There have been ll7 structures demolished during the same period.   

Final report of Oakland Renewal Foundation, Inc. on Clinton Park Project, Oakland, California. – @HathiTrust

During this same period, 57 new apartment buildings were constructed within the project area, adding l,l08 new units to the existing housing supply. 

More Info:

Oakland (Calif.). Housing Division. (, 1962). Clinton Park: a historical report on neighborhood rehabilitation in Oakland, California. Oakland, Calif.: The Dept.

Clinton – Oakland Local Wiki

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