8 in HIGH x 10 in WIDE
(20.32 cm HIGH x 25.40 cm WIDE)
City of Oakland

A view of the 2nd and Franklin corner in the jack London Square area. Southern Pacific Railroad tracks are in the foreground. At center, there is the one-storey Pier 1 Import shop. The other buildings, flanking it at right and left, is 3+storey and L-shaped. A sign on the building at left reads "Port of Oakland/International Trade Center." A tower at left and a flagpole at right are above the roof line. A sign at right indicates "More Parking." Automobiles are parked on the streets. Two typewritten descriptions are affixed to the bvack. the first reads: The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners offices are in the International Trade center of the Port of Oakland's Jack London Square. The Board has been the city's landlord for waterfront properties since 1927 and also operates the Oakland International Airport and a 300-acre industrial/Office Park. The Board operates without government subsidies and generates an economic impact of nearly $3 billion a year on the city." The other description reads: "The Port of Oakland International Trade Center, located at picturesque Jack London Square, includes the executive offices of the Port of Oakland and has available international banking services, U.S. Customs, world trade information, ship scheduling information, and services for Bay Area import/export businesses. The center is another step in Oakland's development as the San Francisco Bay's transportation and distribution center, where complete complete industrial park and distribution center sites are available and marine and air terminal facilities are modern and efficient. From "The Oakland Tribune" January 21, 1997 Oakland's historic waterfront warehouse by Annalee Allen The Gibson Terminal was built for the Lawrence Warehouse Company one year after a city charter amendment created an independent port commission mandated with the power to "build, equip, maintain and operate port facilities." A $9 million bond issue approved by voters underwrote the improvements. The Gibson Terminal had straight parapets on all four sides and pilasters and alternating bays marked by multipaned windows with metal sashes. The terminal was one of the largest of many warehouses clustered between Second Street and the water. In the mid-1930s the Lawrence Company combined with a competitor, the Haslett Warehouse and Trucking Company, established in 1879 by an early California immigrant, Samuel Montgomerie Haslett. Haslett and three generations of his descendants had developed the company into one of the largest firms in the west, with facilities in San Francisco, Sacramento and Stockton as well as Oakland. Longtime residents of Alameda, Haslett family members lived in that city's "gold coast" neighborhood, famous for its elegant Victorian-style homes. In 1955, Samuel's grandson Don sold the Gibson Terminal facility to the port for $50,000. A third of the building's east end facing Webster Street was demolished to make way for construction of a trans-estuary tube over to Alameda. The port spent $1 million to "make over the remaining portion of the old warehouse into a "modern" office and restaurant complex. Architect Larry Bruno accomplished the transformation, in keeping with the port's master plan to develop Jack London Square. The concept for creating a restaurant and entertainment district in the area near the foot of Broadway was on the Port Commission drawing board in the years following the end of World War II. Noting how popular San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf was becoming, commissioners sought to create a similar destination, capitalizing on the enduring popularity of Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon, the weathered wood-sided haunt frequented by many notable figures, including Jack London himself. The old saloon (first opened in 1888) stood in its original location, a short distance from the Gibson Terminal. The square was officially dedicated with fanfare May 1m 1951 on the occasion of Oakland's 99th Birthday. Throughout the 50s, the square enjoyed steady, if moderate, success. Older buildings were cleared, landscaping and parking were added and new restaurants and a first ever "boatel" were built, designed to attract the pleasure-boating crowd to moor up and stay awhile. In 1961, commissioners were ready to take the development to a new level by converting the old Gibson Terminal to a mixed-use complex. The former Water Street was converted to a pedestrian promenade connecting the converted terminal to the water's edge. A small marina for private vessels became a picturesque backdrop for diners patronizing a ground-level restaurant in the building.. A glass elevator glided up the exterior to a second rooftop restaurant. Polynesian in theme. The port itself became the anchor tenant in the building, moving its office headquarters into the other floors not occupied by the restaurants.

Used: City of Oakland

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