Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores; landscapes - cultural landscapes - gardens

Designers: Becket, Welton D., and Associates, Architects (firm); Deane, Dudley, and Associates, Mechanical Engineers (firm); Osmundson and Staley, Landscape Architects (firm); Scott Company, Plumbing Contractors (firm); Welton David Becket (architect); William Dudley Deane (mechanical engineer); Scott (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1959-1960

28 stories

300 Lakeside Drive
Downtown, Oakland, CA 94612-2928

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Overview

This remarkable, innovative skyscraper served as the headquarters for industrialist Henry J. Kaiser's far-flung conglomerate. It drew together 4,500 employees of Kaiser's 50 companies in one building. Costing a remarkable $45 million, the building had a notable curving curtain wall that rose 28 floors above Lake Merritt.

Building History

Kaiser Industries made its headquarters in this T-shaped office building clad in aluminum produced by Kaiser Aluminum. The Los Angeles architectural firm, Welton Becket and Associates, designed the 28-story structure, so that its southeast exposure's curving form maximized interior views of San Francisco Bay and Lake Merritt. The tower also had a 5-story parking garage with 1,339 spaces over which a 3.5-acre garden was placed. Designed by San Francisco landscape architecture firm Osmundson and Staley, this was one of the first, purpose-built rooftop gardens atop a parking structure completed in the US. The Kaiser Center also contained shopping facilities, banquet and meeting rooms and a 400-seat auditorium.

Other members of the construction team included the Scott Company, the plumbing contractor, and Dudley Deane and Associates, Engineers, with whom Becket would also work on the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Pacific Coast Headquarters Building in San Francisco, CA, (1959).

Later, the Kaiser Center II, a 3-story mixed-use office/retail building, was added on adjoining property. In 2011, the Swig Company owned the Kaiser Center.

Building Notes

Tel: (510) 271-6100 (2011). The Kaiser Center occupied a 7.2-acre lot in 2011.

PCAD id: 16631