Oakland

Population

2010: 390,724, #47 in U.S., #8 in California

1950: 384,575, #27 in U.S.

Oakland is in the San Francisco Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Setting

Oakland, founded in 1852, is about eight miles east of San Francisco, just across the Bay Bridge. Oakland was the western end of the first Transcontinental Railroad. Today it is a major port city. The city is located between the Oakland Estuary and San Francisco Bay to the west and the Oakland Hills to the east. Lake Merritt is on the southeastern side of downtown.

Buildings

Tallest building: Ordway Building (1970), 404 feet

List of tallest buildings

Stores

The Sears store (formerly Capwell's) in downtown Oakland closed in 2014. Jack London Square, on the waterfront just west of downtown, has shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Trains

Amtrak’s Jack London Square station (1994) has trains running in several directions: south to Los Angeles and north to Portland and Seattle on the Coast Starlight; east to Sacramento and south to San Jose on the Capitol Corridor; and down the Central Valley to Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield on the San Joaquin. The California Zephyr goes east to Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago from nearby Emeryville.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which began in 1972, has trains going in four directions (including under the Bay to San Francisco) from downtown Oakland.


 

 

 

 

 

 




Downtown Oakland from Alameda
(Photo by Eugene Zelenko)

Museums

The Oakland Museum of California is located downtown.

Theaters

The Regal Jack London Cinema 9 is a first-run movie theater. Oakland has two restored movie palaces: the Paramount (1931) and the Fox (1928). The Fox was reopened in 2009 after being closed for 43 years, and is now a major venue for rock concerts.

The Oakland East Bay Symphony has concerts at the Paramount Theatre. TheatreFirst is also located downtown.

Sports

The Oakland A’s of the American League and the NFL Oakland Raiders play at Oakland Coliseum (1966), several miles south of downtown. The NBA Golden State Warriors play at Oracle Arena, adjacent to the Coliseum.

Map of Downtown Oakland

Meet Downtown Oakland

Oakland Architecture