Saturday, July 30, 2011

16th Street station

16th St. Station

Thursday evening was a celebration of the 16th Street train station in West Oakland. It was put on by RAILS, Restoration Association for Improving the Landmark 16th St. Station, which is sponsored in part by the Central Station building group, BRIDGE Housing.

It's all part of a larger effort to save the 16th Street Station, which was closed to regular use after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It was built back in 1912, and at the time, the waters of the bay came right up next to the tracks. The station is also notable because of its history with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. It's also a reminder of how transit can be -- trains arrived at ground level, then passengers went upstairs and boarded Key Route trains to the rest of the East Bay or to San Francisco.

16th St. Station

For the event, they had various food trucks including Fist of Flour, Guerrilla Grub, and El Taco Bike, and performers from Trapeze Arts. East Bay Bike Coalition provided free bike parking. CM Nadel and Mayor Quan spoke (though that was before K and I got there; we saw Mayor Quan headed to her Prius as we were walking towards the station.)

To me, one of the big draws was being able to go inside the station. I saw the station while HBO was filming there (apparently a biopic about Ernest Hemingway), and had seen it many times before, but I'd never been inside. It's a gorgeous building, with high ceilings, wonderful Beaux Arts details, and marble floors.

More coverage on Oakland North, OakSnap and ABC 7.

Lots more photos:
16th St. Station


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous building. Do you know if people can still go inside? Will it be open to the public now?

Unknown said...

It's not generally open yet. A lot of work needs to be done for seismic retrofit. We all had to sign waivers before we could go in. Bridge Housing wants to make the station a centerpiece of the neighborhood, but the work will take a while.

Andrew Alden, Oakland Geology blog said...

I visited this station when it was still alive, in about 1978. Missed the train but got an indelible impression.

pchazzz said...

Used to go to this station with my dad when it was still in operation. We would sneak past the "do not enter" signs on the stairs to peek at the Key Route station upstairs.