AKA: Western Pacific Railroad, Station, Oakland, CA

Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - railroad stations

Designers: Burnham, Daniel H., and Company, Architects (firm); Mohr, W.H., Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Corporate Architect (firm); Ransome Company, Building Contractors (firm); Daniel Hudson Burnham (architect); William H. Mohr (architect); Willis Jefferson Polk (architect); Ernest Leslie Ransome (civil engineer)

Dates: constructed 1908-1909

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3rd Street and Washington Street
Downtown, Oakland, CA 94607

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Building History

The Western Pacific Railroad began service in 1903, a part of George Jay Gould's (1864-1923) rail empire; previously called the Alameda and San Joaquin Railroad, the Western Pacific finished laying track to its main 3rd Street terminus in Oakland in 1909. George Jay Gould was the son of Jay Gould (1836-1892), a notorious railroad investor and stock market speculator who worked closely with corrupt Tammany Hall politician William Magear "Boss" Tweed (1823-1878).

Building Notes

The 3rd Street Station was a quintessential Beaux-Arts Classical building. It had a symmetrical front facade, with a tall, projecting, central bay flanked by lower wings. The central bay had a tall attic and paired pilasters trimming either side of three arched entryways. The lower wings also featured arcades trimmed by pilasters. In all cases, the pilasters had plain Doric capitals. The building had a sturdy, austere Classical elegance, to it, making it an admired landmark. It was the first to be entered on Oakland's Heritage Register in 1975.

Oakland Historic Landmark: 1

PCAD id: 6497