|Postcard from Idora Park|
The Realty Syndicate of Francis Marion "Borax" Smith and Frank C. Havens built Idora Park outside of downtown Oakland. The construction of the park went hand in hand with their larger plan of tying rail service in with local vacation or recreational sites. Other rail line attractions that the two rail and realty magnates built included the Claremont Hotel and the Key Route Inn. Idora Park's site included an opera house, greenhouses, parkland, a collection of traditional amusement park rides (including five different wooden roller coasters over the lifespan of the park), a race track, a dance hall, and the largest roller skating rink west of Chicago. In 1904 a 3,000 seat baseball park was built and after 1904 Idora Park played host to the Pacific Coast Baseball League.
|Panoramic shot of Idora Park.|
Getting There By Bike...
It couldn't be easier to get to the site of Idora Park. The ground that the park stood on is very clearly defined by Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues on the west and east sides, and 56th and 58th streets to the north and south. Nothing remains of the park since it was completely torn down in 1929, but the neighborhood that replaced it, complete with unbelievably quaint storybook cottages, still stands. It's actually a very unique neighborhood and one that's worth riding through. Be careful on both Telegraph and Shattuck as they can be traffic heavy, but the Idora Park neighborhood is as quiet as can be.