History and architecture
According to this City of Oakland Request for Proposals to redevelop the building, "The Terminal Building is a historic structure built in 1930 as a state of the art harbor improvement. It is the last surviving municipal terminal in Oakland constructed from the 1925 harbor bond approved by voters on November 10, 1925, and has been in continual use from October 1930 as a break bulk facility to present day use as a warehouse storage facility." It continues...: "the first 90,000 square feet was constructed in 1930 followed in 1951 by a 90,000 square foot addition. It is the last surviving municipal terminal in Oakland constructed from the 1925 harbor bond approved by voters in 1925, and has been in continual use from October, 1930 to present day. It is a rare example of a particular architectural typology; a prewar municipal port building utilized for break-bulk cargo in Oakland, distinguished by its symmetry, long bands of steel industrial windows between rhythmic concrete pilasters along the sides, a stepped peaked parapet, and monumental entry with tall paneled concrete pilasters and a massive cornice. There is an extensive open platform space along the northern side. The Terminal Building is a high one story, long rectangular plan, with a curved and angled far end. It is about 1000’ long, with the transit shed about 180’ wide, with railroad spur tracks on either side, and extensive open platform space along the west side."
Substantial Demolition and Partial Reuse
Despite objections from Oakland Heritage Alliance and other preservationists, the developers of the Brooklyn Basin project obtained permission from the City of Oakland to demolish the bulk (pun intended) of the building to facilitate the construction of a public park on the site. The park, designed by the landscape architecture firm of EinwillerKuehl, opened in November of 2020 and includes portions of the façade of the building along with three ghost frameworks showing where portions of the building were originally located. 1, 2
Links and References
- Oakland’s new waterfront park is a startling remake of a derelict pier by John King San Francisco Chronicle November 18, 2020