Clay Newton Burrell (December 25, c.1880 – January 17, 1958) was an architect who designed a number of buildings in Oakland. Burrell designed the California Hotel, the Oakland Tabernacle, the White Building, and the McMann Apartments, among many others. He is also credited with constructing the Cox Cadillac Showroom (now Whole Foods Market) on the "skeleton" of the former car barn and powerhouse for the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Car Company. 1

Burrell's birth year is unclear as it varies between documents (including ones he would have filled out himself), but he was born in 1880, 1881, or 1882 to Henry Hammond Burrell and Harriet ("Hattie") Shove (Burrell). Henry Burrell was the son of early Oaklander Albert W. Burrell. His WWI draft registration card (1917-18) lists his birth date as 12/25/1880, occupation as Architect, father as Henry H. Burrell, mother as Hattie L. Burrell, and employer as Trojan Powder Works.

Burrell married Mary Josephine Muller (Burrell) c.1919. Mary had a daughter Elizabeth Burrell (Fortes) from a previous marriage. 5,6

The 1940 US Federal Census lists his highest grade completed as Elementary School, 8th grade, occupation as Architect and that he worked 52 weeks per year with and average of 48 hours work per week.

An early building designed by Burrell was the Sierra Apartments building on Alice Street in 1912.

In 1915 Burrell had completed design of a four story apartment house for J. Meyers on Alice Street "at a cost of $70,000." 2 Also in 1915 Chas. E. Richardson and Clay N. Burrell, opened their offices in the Albany Building in Oakland. "Mr. Burrell is well known in Oakland, having designed many commercial apartments and hotel buildings. The firm has working plans near completion for a brick and apartment building, totaling $175,000." 3

In August 1919 it was noted that "Architect Clay N. Burrell, of Oakland, Calif., is now taking sub-figures for the construction work on a two story brick commercial garage building to be located in Broadway near Piedmont avenue" at a cost of $25,000. 3

According to the January 1921 edition of the Western Architect and Engineer "Recent work in the office of Mr. Clay N. Burrell of Oakland includes an $18,000 apartment house, for Mr. John Brunzell, a $70,000 garage on Broadway, and a $30,000 store building on Telegraph avenue, Oakland." 2

Pages tagged “Clay Burrell”

Links and References

  1. An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and The Bay Area by Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny
  2. Western Architect and Engineer, Volumes 64-64
  3. Arts & Architecture, Volumes 9-10 The Pacific Coast Architect
  4. Brick and Clay Record, Voume 55, Issue 4
  5. Clay N. Burrell Oakland Tribune January 19, 1958
  6. Mary Josephine Burrell Oakland Tribune November 26, 1949