Thursday, July 14, 2011

St. Mary's College (The Old Brick Pile)

Located at the corner of Broadway and Hawthorne St. The corner is registered as California Historic Site number 676, and a memorial plaque is located on the side of the Chevy dealership facing Broadway.

St. Mary's College is a private college associated with the Roman Catholic Church. The school is administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. It was begun in 1863 as a diocesan college for boys in San Francisco but was placed under the control of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1868 and moved to Oakland. The building, formerly located on the corner of 30th and Broadway, was referred to as "The Old Brick Pile". The college used this building as its primary site until 1928 when a fire severely damaged the original building. Following the fire the school moved east to the town of Moraga, where it is still in operation.

This site is on a really busy corner of Broadway and there's nothing remotely scenic or historic about the current surroundings. The Chevy dealership that stands on the site right now faces out onto Broadway and, unfortunately, the only remarkable thing about this historic site is the sound of heavy traffic rushing by.

Getting There By Bike...

The best possible way to get to this site by bike would be to approach it from the rear. Ride up Webster, climbing up over Pill Hill, and turn down 30th towards Broadway. The plaque is stuck on the side of the Bay City Chevy dealership, but don't expect too much. This is a site that has been swallowed up by history and development.

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