Skip to comments.Railroad warehouse key to history of Oakland
Posted on 10/03/2010 9:13:51 PM PDT by thecodont
Over the howls of historians, Union Pacific plans to demolish an 1874 cavernous brick warehouse in West Oakland that is one of the last remnants of the transcontinental railroad.
Designed for train repair, the towering structure was erected on the heels of the transcontinental railroad's arrival in Oakland, in the days when West Oakland was a national industrial center.
"It tells the story of when railroads were the pioneer industry in California, and this was the center of it," said architect Randy Ruiz, one of 30 visitors Union Pacific allowed to tour the building recently. "It represents that can-do American spirit, a testament to 19th century American technology."
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/03/BAP61FJBO3.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz11MLj86mJ
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Sometimes this is done for property tax reasons. An industrial building probably is charged property taxes. When it’s torn down,, no tax. Maybe California and Oakland should make it immune to taxes.
This is important in terms of our nation’s history: the transcontinental railroad built our country, and Oakland, CA was its terminus (Central Pacific Railroad).
The West Oakland Yard was very interesting and active. Unfortunately, much of it was demolished in the mid-1990s to make way for the re-routed US 80 freeway loop. The double-decker portion known as the Cypress Structure, destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, was the previous route the freeway took through West Oakland.
One of the buildings torn down at that time was the Southern Pacific Telephone Exchange building. There was another weird “half building” that was painted yellow and sat in the middle of the tracks, it might have been a control tower of sorts. Gone now, to make room for the freeway.
Here’s a nice aerial view of the West Oakland yard, from 1968:
Quite the picture. Thanks.
Unfortunately, this are became infected with communist trade unions and most of the industry left. Now all that is left is the communists.
Very sad and disgusting.
I can see the base housing I lived in 1969 at the Alameda Navel Air Station.
When the past is worshipped like a God there can be no future.
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Here’s another piece of railroad history that just had to go for other reasons;
Too bad. I love the old Rail roads. I live in southwest Colorado and whe have a lot of Narrow Gauge history here.
Thanks for posting. I had no idea that a repair building erected only five years after the completion of the transcontinental railroad was in Oakland. I figured all of that era’s buildings and equipment were gone for a half century or more. What a shame it couldn’t be turned into a museum.
“Empire Express” by David Bain is an outstanding book about the financing, politics, and construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is an excellent book. You don’t realize what an incredible entrepreneurial achievement this was until you dig into the history. This was the first “mega-project” in the U.S. Raising the huge amounts of capital and transporting all locomotives and rolling stock to the West Coast was just incredible.
I think I have a copy of Empire Exress I bought at a book sale. I’ll have to read it now. Thanks.
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If you don’t know your past, you won’t know what to do with your future.
The past is important.
“When the past is worshipped like a God there can be no future.”
No one is suggesting we “worship” the past.
We appreciate our past. Take Betsy Ross’s house. We don’t tare it down. We leave it there and share her PAST because of the role she played in our history.
I don’t know of anyone here that is “worshipping a railroad warehouse”. We should preserve our history.
We don’t ignore the Old Testament. It helps us understand the New Testament and our Christian heritage through the Jewish histry. We LEARN from our PAST.
It is a shame.
KIDS and adults would have LOVED to see our history come to life.
UNITING The States of America
First north to south. Then east to west.
Union Pacific is proud to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln who set the transcontinental railroad in motion and brought our railroad to life.