Federal Realty Building (Cathedral Building) 1

The Oakland Cathedral Building (originally called the Federal Realty Building) is located at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Broadway, with an official address of 1615 Broadway. The building was designed by architect Benjamin Geer McDougall, and built in 1913/1914. The Gothic-Chateauesque flatiron style building has a terra cotta facade covering the concrete structure. The building's appearance led to the "Cathedral Building" nickname.

Before the 1906 earthquake, wooden buildings occupied this lot, as well as the lots around the current site of the building at the intersection of Telegraph and Broadway. The Latham Fountain is in a small plaza in front of the Cathedral Building.

photo circa 1920 3The clothing store Uptown Runway was located on the ground floor of the building. Listen to a Halloween tour of the building produced by Oakland North here. The ground floor space was occupied by a Doggie Diner from the '60s until at least 1978, as shown in this picture included in a PDF file available on the National Register website. A 1920 picture courtesy of the Oakland History Room shows that the ground floor was then occupied by the Federal Drug Co. 3

What else is in this building? Would you believe—condos? It was converted in 2008. 5

On April 12, 1983 the Cathedral Building was designated Oakland Landmark #LM 83-23.

Federal Realty - Cathedral Building Construction (Cheney Photo Advertising Company, 1913) 2Front view of the Cathedral BuildingThe main entrance to the upper floors of the building.

1914. Courtesy Tim Sanchez.

Links and References

  1. Federal Realty Building (Cathedral Building) Negative #F-794, Oakland History Room Collection
  2. eBay listing for negative
  3. Federal Realty Building by way of Facebook's Oakland History group
  4. The Work of Benjamin G. McDougall, Architect Architect and Engineer of California November 1916
  5. Luxury condos rise in landmark skyscraper Oakland Tribune September 14, 2008 (p2)

line drawing 4