Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Heyer, Charles W., Jr., Building Contractor (firm); McCall and Davis, Associated Architects (firm); Ball (engineer); Beeble (engineer); Charles Tiffen Davis Sr. (architect); Charles W. Heyer Jr. (building contractor); Charles William McCall (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923-1924

7 stories

426 17th Street
Downtown, Oakland, CA 946132

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Building History

The physician William H. Wakefield partnered with Edwin R. Leach and Mrs. Andrew Wolfenden to build the Wakefield Building, a T-shaped office building on 17th Street just to the east of Broadway. Wakefield, et al., commissioned Charles W. McCall and Charles T. Davis, Sr., Associated Architects, to design the high-rise office building. Charles W. Heyer, Jr., of Oakland, served as the general contractor for the Wakefield Building. Beeble and Ball were the consulting engineers on the highrise.

In 1924, an article in the Oakland Tribune discussed the building, noting how novel it was at the time to construct a skyscraper primarily for the needs of doctors and dentists: “VIsitors to the recent American Institute of Architects exhibition at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco admired the handsome lines and facade of the Wakefield building, now in course of construction at Seventeenth street near Broadway, Oakland. This building, seven stories in height, will be especially equipped for doctors and dentists, and is one of the first Oakland buildings designed primarily for the use of the professional man. Like many of the more important construction [sic] in the bay cities, it will be a ‘clay products’ edifice, the first story of the building being of architectural terra cotta and the upper six stories of face brick from the kilns of N. Clark & Sons. A feature of the building is its magnificent Gothic lobby and entrance. The building covers a ground area of 100x100 feet, will contain 158 offices and cost approximately $300,000. It will be ready for occupancy in September. Charles W. McCall and Charles T. Davis of Oakland are the architects; Beeble & Ball, Oakland, the constructions engineers; and George W. Heyer, Jr., the general contractor.” (See “'Clay Products' Structure Wins Expert Praise,” Oakland Tribune, 05/11/1924, p. 8M.)

PCAD id: 24907