Delger Block, Broadway and 12th Street, Oakland (prior to 1865?) 1

The Delger Block was a block of wooden buildings designed in 1880, 1884 by architects Kenitzer & Raun, located at 901-933 Broadway, Ninth to Tenth Streets, in Downtown Oakland, California. All buildings, but one, on the Delger Block were destroyed in a massive fire on March 25, 1865, with damages estimated at $50,000. The fire began in a 7th Street restaurant in the middle of the night.

The 1880-81 structure housed the Bowman Drug Company, a pioneering apothecary firm. Bowman had been in business in California since 1852. In 1886 his store was called “one of the finest in the City.” Millinery and cigar stores filled out the street shops. Law offices filled the upstairs, colorfully recalled by Edward Rayner in 1954: “in the ‘80s, as a small boy, I was employed as “office boy” in the office of George E. DeGolia, one of the leading attorneys of that time. The office was located on the northwest corner of Ninth and Broadway in the Delger building, one of three duplicate buildings, each of a full block, on the west side of Broadway, and known in those days as the “Lawyer’s Block.” The George DeGolia Law Offices boasted the most comprehensive law library in the West, and the street front shop was occupied by Hardy’s, the first major bookstore in northern California.

The basement-level saloon, The Montana, was a popular hangout in the late 1800s, and the “skylights” beneath your feet along Ninth Street were its primary source of natural light. Work crews clearing out the saloon area during renovation discovered four poles believed to have been the supports of a boxing ring located in The Montana. 2

On April 12, 1983 the Delger Block was designated Oakland Landmark #LM 83-24.

from Illustrated Directory of Oakland

Today

The retail level is currently home to chain retailer, Smart and Final while the entire 2nd floor is leased to Kaiser Permanente. 2

Location

901-933 Broadway, Oakland, California

Links & References

  1. Image(s) used by permission of the UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
  2. Old Oakland: Delger Block