Construction of Shredded Wheat Factory, looking east from Poplar St., This factory is now called "Nabisco" and still remains, occuping the block bound by 12th St., Poplar St., 14th St., and Union St., West Oakland. May 9, 1916. (D. Cooper 8-94) See Montclarion history of the Nabisco factory, 8-9-94. Summary: Looking for developer to save this historic structure. "At the 1917 grand opening, civic pride was at an all time high. Oakland had beat out San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle as the preferred site...Oakland offered outstanding water and rail transportation, a large undeveloped site and temperate climate. The model steel, glass and concrete factory was said to 'help put Oakland on the map: every box of Shredded Wheat carried a picture of the plant beneath the words - The Shredded Wheat Factory, Oakland, California." Site in residential neighborhood but that was seen as ok then. "Later generations would look back on the arrival of the factory as the beginning of West Oakland's decline." Designed by prominent Beaux-Arts architect Lewis P. Hobart..."design an elegant Gothic style 'Factory Beautiful' with an emphasis on 'cleanliness, light and air' set out upon 'artistically laid out grounds.' The building with "arched doorway and elaborate terra cotta creasting was meant to compare stylistically with a church, school, or other civic building...Contemporary articles on the bulding detail how it was a marvel of state-of-the-art chutes, bins, conveyors, and light airy rooms with large expanses of metal sash windows...Large reception area...visitors welcome...Built -in amenities for the employees included men's and women's dressing and locker rooms, men's smoking room, a social hall and large dining rooms served by a spacious well-equipped kitchen. In addition to meals the plant offered its workers tennis and volleyball courts, and classes in sewing, stenography, dancing and folk singing....Big parade for the opening on March 15, 1917....Efforts to figure out what to do with the building now.
Bookmark and Share