AKA: Relictree Fitness, Glenview, Oakland, CA

Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Newsom, Newsom and Newsom, Architects (firm); Archie Thomas Newsom (architect); Noble Newsom (architect)

Dates: constructed 1935

1 story

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4231 Park Boulevard
Glenview, Oakland, CA 94602

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Oakland architects Archie T. and Noble Newsom designed this compact, Spanish Colonial Revival library located in the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland, CA. Building occurred during 1935, and the library operated until 1981, a victim of Howard Jarvis's ill-conceived Proposition 13 initiative. It later became an organ store and fitness gym.

Building History

Area residents lobbied the Oakland city government to open a branch library in the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland beginning in 1926. After seven years of effort, the city council passed an ordinance sanctioning its construction. A local developer, Harry Payne Fisher (1895-1978), donated the land on which the library was built, thus eliminating a large hurdle from funding the facility. The architects Archie and Noble Newsom were named designers of the branch, probably a critical job for them, as this was at the depths of Depression's construction slowdown. Mayor William J. McCracken (1878-1949) and other dignitaries appeared at the opening festivities on 10/11/1935. The library served the Glenview neighborhood for 46 years, until draconian Proposition 13 cuts required its closure.

Building Notes

The library had the characteristic detials of a Spanish Colonial Revival Style building of the 1920s and 1930s: a light stucco exterior, red tile roof, corbeled roof supports and exposed rafters, and arched entryways. The building had a T-shape and was sited on a slightly sloping parcel. The long part of the T comprised the public reading room, its periphery lined with bookshelves. Heavy rafter timbers and spanning cross-braces were exposed on the interior. A paneled circulation/reference desk stood centrally in the room, a few feet from the front door.

PCAD id: 20532