Photographs, progress report of Oakland's City Hall. Report from architects to Mayor Mott. From first excavation to completion. "Oakland City Hall, 14th and Washington Sts., July 2nd, 1912"; (on back) "Letter from Palmer, Hornbostel, and Jones, Architects, New City Hall, Oakland, CA., July 19th, 1912 to Hon. Frank K. Mott, Mayor of the City of Oakland - signed by G. Ashley - "...showing the state of completion of the building on July 2, 1912" From The Montclarion, Sept. 12, 1995, by Annalee Allen: "A public celebration marking the reopening and dedication of City Hall begins at 3 p.m. Friday with a city-hosted public fair at the Frank Ogawa Memorial Plazaタ. City Hall, closed since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, has since undergone a $85 million seismic retrofit and restoration overseen by VBN Architects. The Turner Construction Company served as construction manager and the preservation architecture firm, Carey and Company assisted with the complex restoration aspects of the project. $61.2 million was paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), $5.0 million was contributed by the Oakland Redevelopment Agency and $18.8 million was the result of a bond issue. The seismic upgrade work, designed to withstand an earthquake of 7.5 along the Hayward Fault, called for more than 1,800 tons of structural steel and 4,000 cubic yards of concrete One hundred thirteen state-of-the-art Elastomeric Base Isolaters were installed in the basement, each capable of supporting 1,400 tons. The base isolators permit the building to move 18 inches in any direction during an earthquake. These giant "shock absorbers" are each two feet high and two and one-half feet in diameter. To allow for movement, a 20-inch "moat" was created around the footprint of the building. City Hall represents the first use of a base isolation reinforcement system to reinforce a historic building in California. The magnificent granite and terra cotta faヘade, replete with elaborate Beaus Arts-style ornamentation has been left intact-the structural steel beams were painstakingly inserted via the basement level and lifted into place through vertical shaft openings. Construction workers created a 14-floor high interior hoistway. The Cultural Heritage Survey describes Oakland's City Hall as one of the great American city halls of the first half of the 20th century. Its architectural merits include its siting, its three-tiered form, the arrangement of its ceremonial spaces and the materials and vigor of its decorative details Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building's form has historical significance as the country's first skyscraper-city hall, symbolizing the daily business office function of government as well as its ceremonial character. For many years City Hall was the tallest building in the city-seen by citizens from miles away and an instant reminder of civic pride. Today, although downtown contains taller and more massive structures, notably the Federal Building Towers, City Hall maintains its distinctive presence. By the turn of the century, Oakland had outgrown its old City Hall and a national architectural competition was held to design a new one. The winning firm, Palmer and Hornbostel of New York submitted a design that turned away from Washington Street and toward Broadway and San Pablo. Construction began in 1911, just to the west of the old building. When City Hall was completed in 1914, its predecessor was demolished and Washington Street was extended north to San Pablo. City Hall Plaza became a separate city block, no longer physically connected to City Hall.
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