The City of Oakland is renovating the Oakland Central Train Station in West Oakland and is throwing a series of parties to celebrate the rebirth of one of the grandest old train stations left in the Bay Area.
The 16th Street Station is one of three original train stations that served Oakland, California at the start of the 20th century. The building was designed by architect Jarvis Hunt who was a preeminent train station architect at that time and the facility opened in 1912. For many decades, the 16th Street Station was a major railroad station of the Southern Pacific railroad in Oakland as well as local commuter services such as the East Bay Electric Lines via elevated platforms. It was a companion (or “city station”) for the Oakland Terminal, which was located two miles away on the Oakland Pier. The Terminal, also known as the “Mole”, was demolished in 1960, leaving the 16th Street Station as the major Oakland rail hub. It suffered significant damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and was closed. Its railroad function has since been replaced by the major Amtrak station in nearby Emeryville.
The station is located in West Oakland at 16th and Wood Streets, adjacent to and visible from the Interstate 880 connector ramps of the MacArthur Maze. The station buildings remain, largely intact, including the switchman’s tower and ironwork elevated platforms which, before the completion of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, were utilized by commuter trains of SP’s East Bay Electric Lines.