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, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Central Terrace – 55th and Foothill

It is located where Foothill Blvd meets Trask Street and 55th Avenue. 55th Avenue was formally called Central Avenue, and Foothill Blvd was often referred to as the Scenic Boulevard. Central Terrace also includes Ruth Avenue, Laverne Avenue, El Camille Avenue, and Kingsland Avenue. The area now is considered to be an extension of Maxwell Park or the Fairfax District, depending on who you talk to.

Mutual Realty Co.’s Central Terrace office,
Foothill Boulevard at 55th Avenue and Trask Street looking north
Cheney Photo Adv. Co., photographers. C 1912
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Brochure for Central Terrace

The Mutual Realty Company put the Central Terrace Subdivision on sale in April of 1912.  The agent was Fred T. Wood, who later took over the project. Then they added the Central Terrace Extension and Scenic Park Knoll

Earth Sciences and Map Library,
The University of California, Berkeley -Cadastral map. Historic Maps of Bay Area

Central Terrace is surrounded by modern schools and educational institutions of the very highest standard, the John C. Fremont high erected at the cost of $140,000, the Melrose School, the W.P. Frick School and the Lockwood Grammar School and the famous Mills Seminary for young ladies, all are within short walking distance from any part of Central Terrace”

See brochure below

Central Terr 1915_side
Earth Sciences and Map Library,
University of California, Berkeley –
Historic Maps of Bay Area
centarl-terrace-brochure-front
Earth Sciences and Map Library,
University of California, Berkeley –
Historic Maps of Bay Area
From the Brochure
Oakland Tribune Apr 1912
Foothill Blvd at 55th Avenue
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Laverne from 55th Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Ruth Ave from 55th Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Ruth Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
55th and Ruth Ave – Google Maps
Foothill and 55th today – Google maps

More to come –

Posted in Homes, Model/Display Homes, Oakland Tracts

Beverly Terrace – The homes and more

Part 2 – Beverly Terrace -The Sunshine Tract –

When Beverly Terrance was put on the market MacArthur Blvd as we know it, was called Hollywood Blvd and was a part of the Lincoln Highway. At this time, the Chevrolet Assembly Plant (now Eastmont Town Center) Fageol Motor Company (later Peterbilt and now Foothill Square) and the Pacific Tread Tire Company.

Cheney Photo Advertising c 1916
Groundbreaking Pacific Tread Tire Company
Previously sold on eBay
Oakland Tribune 1936

The M.T. Minney advertised in 1916 – The tracts are “Surrounded by beautiful homes, rolling hills, golf links, and wealthy estates and with the building of such plants as the Chevrolet Automobile Factory, the Pacific Tread Tire Factory, and others. The future value is not a matter of speculation, but an assured fact.”

Oakland Tribune Apr 30, 1916

In about 1947 George A. Sturtevant built the Hollywood Shopping Center on Hollywood Blvd at 107th Ave (10715 MacArthur Blvd) across from the Peterbilt Factory

Oakland Tribune

Well, I didn’t have too much luck finding homes that were advertised in papers. I will keep looking and update when I do.

Frazier Avenue

Oakland Tribune June 1925
2801 Frazier Avenue
2801 Frazier Avenue -Google maps
Oakland Tribune Jul 1925
Oakland Tribune Jul 1925
2770 Frazier Avenue – Google maps
Oakland Tribune Aug 1940
Oakland Tribune Aug 1940

Oliver Avenue

Oakland Tribune May 1938
2586 Oliver Avenue – Google maps
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1949
2574 Oliver Avenue – Built-in 1949 – Google maps

Truman Avenue

Oakland Tribune Sep 1929
2560 Truman Ave – built-in 1927 – Google maps

The End

Posted in History, Oakland, Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Beverly Terrace – The Sunshine Tract

On the Beautiful Scenic Foothill Blvd. of Oakland Ca

Brochure from the OMCA – c:1916 Gift of Fred E. Reed H4599.44

San Francisco Examiner Apr 03, 1916

Panorama from Beverly Terrace

Cheney Photo Advertising c 1916
Previously sold on eBay

Beverly Terrace went on sale in 1916. Located at Foothill Blvd and 99th on the border of the Dunsmuir House and Gardens. M.T Minney Company was the exclusive agent and developer. Later, C.W. Boden Company handled sales.

The first lots were being sold at the same time the new Chevrolet Assembly Plant was being built at Foothill Blvd and 73rd (now Eastmont Mall)

They advertised the area as a “The Automobile City Center” two blocks along Foothill Blvd being reserved for business purposes. – Oakland Tribune Mar 26, 1916

Foothill Blvd and Hollywood Blvd (now MacArthur Blvd)

Cheney Photo Advertising c 1916
Previously sold on eBay
Oakland Tribune Aug 1920
Oakland Tribune Apr 1916
Cheney Photo Advertising c 1916
Previously sold on eBay
Oakland Tribune April 1919

Come out today and view San Francisco form beautiful Beverly Terrace. Unexcelled Climate. No Wind or Fog. $1.00 down payment and $1.00 a week. – Oakland Tribune Aug 1920.

Oakland Tribune Aug 17, 1920
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Oakland Tribune 1924
Oakland Tribune May 1924

More on Beverly Terrace

Next the homes of Beverly Terrace and Hollywood –