Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's a Grab Bag of Oakland History!

Here's a whole bunch of local Oakland historical sites. Every now and again I get overwhelmed by the number of sites that I visit and the photos that I take, and this is the easiest way to get through a bunch of material. Enjoy!

African American Museum and Library
The Oakland African American Museum and Library is housed in the Charles A. Greene Library building in downtown Oakland. The building was constructed with a Carnegie library grant and served as Oakland's main library from 1902 through 1951. The current collection contains material dedicated to preserving the history and experiences of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area. They have a large collection of scholarly material, as well as an archival and primary source collection containing diaries, letters, photos, and periodicals.

The library is literally just up the street from both Preservation Park and the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Be sure to spend a little extra time and go see them as well.

Municipal Rose Garden
The Oakland Municipal Rose Garden is located at 700 Jean St., in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland. The garden was built in 1932 as a project of the Works Progress Administration. The garden is a great little quiet area off in a residential area and makes a great place for a walk in the evening. There is a peak season for the garden, but I couldn't tell you what it is. The roses bloom all year round though, and the trees, water features and atmosphere make it worth a visit even if the roses aren't at their best.

The Cathedral Building
Originally called the Federal Realty Building, this beautiful skyscraper in downtown Oakland was built in 1914. It's on the National Register of Historic Places under the reference number 79000467. The building is located at Latham Plazza, right where Telegraph and Broadway split away from each other. Next time you're in the neighborhood, stop for a second and look up. The building is gorgeous, and looks particularly good on a sunny morning. I've ridden by the building literally hundreds of times and feel a little foolish that I didn't notice what a great piece of architecture it was before now.

King's Daughter's Home
The King's Daughter's Home is located at the corner of 39th and Broadway in Oakland. This collection of buildings was designed by noted architect Julia Morgan and was built between 1908 and 1912. The original buildings covered an entire city block and consisted of five brick masonry buildings surrounding a landscaped courtyard. The buildings were quite ornate, with polychrome accent tiles and iron lanterns. The entry way has a pergola with a tile roof and an ornamental iron gate. The King's Daughter's Home was a hospital that accepted cases that were turned away by other institutions. The buildings were eventually purchased by the Kaiser Foundation, converted to office space and partially demolished for parking space.

Site of Chabot Observatory
Originally called the Oakland Observatory, the Chabot Observatory was opened in 1883 with a large donation to the city of Oakland from Anthony Chabot. The original site for the observatory was located at the corner of Jefferson and 11th St. in downtown Oakland. It was moved to its present location in the Oakland hills in 1915 because of increasing problems with light pollution. The observatory has provided education and outreach to Oakland students and community members since its inception. The Chabot Observatory also served as the official timekeeping station for the Bay Area, since it possessed the areas only transit telescope.

If you have some extra time, the Chabot Observatory site is located right in the middle of Old Oakland. There are a lot of great historic buildings, and a lot of this neighborhood has been recently restored.

No comments:

Post a Comment