BRIDGE Housing and RAILS are celebrating the 100th birthday of the historic train station at 16th and Wood Streets in West Oakland on Saturday, September 29 from 2 to 5 pm. Oakland residents and members of the public are welcome to attend the free event. Among the highlights:
- Tours of the Main Hall and a display of train memorabilia from the era of the Station’s heyday.
- Live juggling entertainment by Prescott Circus, along with a petting zoo and train cookie decorating for kids.
- An urban agriculture tent with demonstrations every half hour, including composting, tree planting and “Lemonopoly.”
- Local food trucks with tasty fare available for purchase.
- A raffle of gift certificates to local restaurants–Brown Sugar Kitchen, Café Rouge, Boot & Shoe Service, Flora, Xolo and Camino–as well as hats, shirts, coffee, tea and more. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance by emailing 16thStreetStation@bridgehousing.com; you do not need to be present to win.
- Free valet bike parking from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition
Prior to the celebration, two walking tours will be offered: one about the history of West Oakland, the other focused on urban farming in West Oakland. Both tours start at 1 pm and end at the Station at 2 pm. To register, email 16thStreetStation@bridgehousing.com or visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/16thStreetStation.
The 1912 Beaux Arts-style station suffered damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and has been closed since the early 1990s. It was once the bustling terminus of the transcontinental railway, and the baggage wing served as the west coast organizing home of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which played a significant role in the U.S. civil rights movement.
“We are honored to celebrate the centennial of the Station, with its rich past and promise for the future,” said Cynthia A. Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing, the nonprofit that owns the property. “We’d like to see this event help activate the site and generate interest from the community and supporters of interim and long-term revitalization.”
The property’s rehabilitation is part of a larger collaborative effort with the City of Oakland and private landowners to bring more than 1,200 homes, retail and open space to a new West Oakland neighborhood dubbed Central Station. Hundreds of people have already moved into Pacific Cannery Lofts, Zephyr Gate and BRIDGE’s Ironhorse Apartments—all within easy walking distance of the 16th Street Station.