I’ve talked about this building before (see Featured Image: Castro Street, Oakland, 2007), but it wasn’t long after I took the shot above that the building above became the building below: An interesting transformation, I guess, reflecting some sort of hope that the immediate neighbourhood might get a little more gentrified too. And it did — a bit— over the next couple of years, but back when it first resurfaced like this, it was an isolated place to live, standing out like a sore thumb. A bunch of years later (2015), it’s still an isolated place to live, and it still sticks out like a sore thumb. The new version of the building lacks the visual character it had before, but I’m guessing it’s a bit more pleasant to live in….
Two of my fave Oakland buildings, in what was once one of the rougher neighbourhoods (Dogtown) of a rough city (Oakland, a city I’ve lived in for a long while now). When the buildings were still in use (around the time of the first photo), I always liked the colours, the window shapes, and the confusing geometry of this scene; and, of course, this is a part of town that’s got a lot of associations for me going back many years. A starving artist friend of mine had a (literally) rat-infested studio in a big old tin shed around the corner from here back then (just before the area sprouted a bunch of crappy lifestyle lofts and such), and we’d walk past these buildings on the way up to the shops on Hollis every once in a while, and if the guys sitting in front of the buildings were in the right mood, they’d cadge cigarettes from (or make fun of) “mister artist”. Not long after that first photo, the buildings were apparently slated to be torn down as part of a larger redevelopment; needless to say, that didn’t happen (and, as of late 2014, still hasn’t happened). I’d go […]
I live in the Jingletown district of Oakland, California. Nowadays it’s basically a fairly mixed neighborhood with a bunch of artists and galleries along with the inevitable techies and others. But when I moved in all those years ago, it was still semi-industrial (hell, it still is on my side of the street), and very few people actually lived here. I started taking photos of the place immediately, since it was visually interesting — lots of tin sheds, real workshops, small-scale industrial companies, etc. Some of these are still around, but a lot of the older places have either been torn down and completely replaced, or like this place on Glascock Street, renovated in a way that seems to say “high-priced Architect”. It’s pretty typical of some of the changes around here, and in this case at least preserves some of the more interesting bits of the facade, and I kinda like the effect. But it’s also symptomatic of the fact that many of us who’ve lived here for a long time can’t afford to live here any more. But that’s Progress, right? We always get rid of the people who pioneer a place like this and make it attractive….
Back in the mid-1990’s I wrote this on the old Pandemonia site about the original old Emeryville Warehouse Co. building as shown above in a photo I took sometime 1990 or the early 1990’s: One of the original artist’s warehouses in E’ville. Once full of musicians, sculptors, potters, artists, and sundry others who rented space here for studios, rehearsal space, etc., the Warehouse is in danger of being renovated and turned into low-cost housing (it could have been worse, it could have been turned into some god-awful yupperie with boutique coffee and bagels, etc….). It’s a better location for workspace — right next to the railway and Sherwin Williams’ 24 hour truck depot — but that never stopped E’ville…. I once drove past here about 6am one Sunday to take photos and there was already a lone drummer thrashing away with the windows open. It was the sort of place you could see dueling robots in the parking lot or buy custom pottery upstairs. I got it wrong, more or less — it was turned into a place (“yupperie” sounds so eighties or nineties) with boutique coffee and bagels, etc. — but the word on the street back then (and I knew several people who […]