Ordway Building
CC SA-BY Our Oakland
The tallest building in Oakland is currently the Ordway Building, but as you might imagine, others were the 'tallest' before it was built. Taller buildings have been proposed, but none have been built yet.

Note that people often incorrectly say the Tribune Tower was once the tallest building in Oakland, but the Tribune Tower is only 305 feet tall, and thus shorter than City Hall, and was constructed in 1923, after City Hall was completed. Early ads describe it as "Oakland's tallest office building". 1 Similarly, a 1931 ad for Breuner's says its new building will be "Oakland's tallest mercantile building." 2 The soon-to-be-completed Atlas Building is 401 feet, 40 stories, making it the tallest residential building in Oakland, and only 3 feet shorter than the Ordway Building.

Building Years as Tallest Height (ft.) Floors
Wilcox Block 1868–? ? 3
Union Savings Bank -
Easton Building
1904-1914 144 11
Oakland City Hall 1914–1960 320 14
Kaiser Center 1960–1970 390 28
Ordway Building 1970–present

404

28

NB: The list on Wikipedia includes the Oakland Bank of Savings Building, which was constructed in 1907 at 8 stories, 106' tall. The 18-story, 255' addition wasn't built until 1922.

Other Tall Structures

None of these has ever been the tallest building in Oakland, but are or were of notable height.

Building Built Demolished Height (ft.) Floors
flag pole in Latham Square 1899 1912 150 N/A
Oakland Bank of Savings Building 1907+1923 - 106/225 8/18
Elks Club Building 1948 1966 92/232 8/16
Tribune Tower 1923 - 305 22
1111 Broadway 1990 - 360 24
Park Bellevue Tower 1969 - 270 26
1999 Harrison / Lake Merritt Plaza 1988 - 371 27
1640 Broadway 2018 - 380 34
Atlas Building 2020 - 401 40

Links and References

  1. ad Oakland Tribune September 27, 1931
  2. ad Oakland Tribune April 9, 1931