August 1924 drawing 2

The Howard Automobile – Dahl Chevrolet Showroom is a building occupying the entire west side of Broadway on the block between 27th and 28th Streets. The building was built in 1924 for the Howard Automobile Company as a Buick showroom. When the Buick dealership opened, the address was 2735 Broadway, but the building is also sometimes identified as 2735 Webster Street. It was designed by architect Benjamin Geer McDougall, and Charles S. Howard, president of the company. 1 Later users included Dahl Chevrolet and other dealers. Since April 2023, it has been the home of Oakland Chevrolet. 

A Historic Resources Inventory Report prepared as part of the Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan EIR described the building as "a two story Beaux Arts commercial building with reinforced concrete walls, a straight parapet, pilaster and bay composition, pilaster caps, and industrial sash windows on the second floor." 3

When constructed, the building was described as being at the corner of Broadway and 28th Street, since 27th Street between Telegraph Avenue and Broadway was not constructed until 1956. The former lot just south of the building was occupied by the Curtis Forrest House, and the south wall of the building is seen in a 1942 Dorothea Lange photograph of the house seen on that page. The original configuration of the property (except for the demolition of the Forrest House) is shown in this excerpt from the 1951 Sanborn map for the area.

1924 drawing 1

Excerpt from FHRIR 3

1951 Sanborn map excerpt (fair use)

Links and References

  1. Oakland Firm Starts Work on Big New Building Oakland Tribune March 2, 1924
  2. Drawing of building for grand opening announcement Oakland Tribune August 17, 1924
  3. Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan, Final Historic Resources Inventory Report, City of Oakland, July 2009
  4. Car parade to highlight Auto Row rejuvenation by Annalee Allen Oakland Tribune September 28, 1997