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Historic Jack London

Tag: Features

Oakland's Earliest Business District

One of the roles of the Jack London Improvement District is to raise awareness of the historical importance of the Waterfront Warehouse District and its distinct role in the history of Oakland. We do this by creating high-impact fixtures and interactive programing to engage residents, employees, and visitors within the District.

Broadway Parade, 1923

Tom Mix on a horse at the intersection of 2nd and Broadway in Oakland, the building on the right is today, Slainte!

Oakland's First Post Office, 1851

The first post office in Oakland opened in 1851 at the corner of Main Street (later renamed Broadway) and 1st Street (now Embarcadero West), in Oakland’s first hotel, the Oakland House. The United States Post Office finally recognized Oakland as a legitimate address in 1855.

Howard Terminal from the water, 1920s

The Howard Company was one of the earliest and most prolific developers of the Oakland waterfront.

Empire Foundry Co., 3rd & Broadway, 1909

Founded in 1903, the Empire Foundry Co. moved to the corner of 3rd & Broadway in 1909. The company manufactured hardware for machinery and mining. They were particularly known for producing iron mantle grates. Today the Ellington stands in its place.

California Ice Co., 2nd & Broadway, 1902

The California Ice Co., est. 1902, produced sixty tons of ice per day and handled perishable goods in its cold storage rooms. The building was located on the corner of 2nd & Broadway, but is no longer standing.

Buswell Paint Co., 4th & Broadway, 1888

E.G. Buswell & Co. redeveloped the southeast corner of Broadway & 4th in 1888. The company manufactured a varied line of paints and colors, enamels, stains and varnishes, and distributed its products internationally. Many historic buildings in Oakland were painted with Buswell paint.

Western Pacific Depot Celebration, 1910

Welcomed by a crowd of Bay Area residents and a commemorative arch, the first train arrived into the Western Pacific Railroad Depot on August 22, 1910. The depot still stands today on the corner of 3rd & Washington. It is currently being used as office space.

Railway Station, 32d & Broadway, 1910s

3rd St. Union Pacific Railroad Track, 1950s

The famous California Zephyr train pulls out of the Western Pacific Railroad Depot sometime in the 1950s. The majority of the train tracks on 3rd St have been removed, but some remnants in the eastern part of the district remain.

Union Iron Works Ship Yard, 1917

Howard Terminal, 1911, 1st & Market St.

One of many warehouses operated by the Howard Company, c. 1911. The company incorporated in 1899 and operated on 18 acres along what is still known today as the Howard Terminal. The primary business of the company was in coal trade and the manufacture of coal briquettes, but also had a large feed and grain business.