Oakland, California

Oakland is rapidly becoming a major tourist destination for its exciting venues along the waterfront, around Lake Merritt and in downtown. The East Bay’s biggest city is only six miles by ferry from San Francisco.

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1 Clock Over Lionel J. Wilson Building in Oakland, California

The Lionel J. Wilson Building in Oakland, California caught my attention because I love wedge-shaped or triangular buildings. Some believe this style was inspired by the clothes iron (also called flatiron, hence the famous New York City building by that name). When this was built in 1907, it was the First National Bank Building. The clock above the door is exquisite and makes a perfect pigeon perch.

Broadway & 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612
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2 City Hall Clock Tower in Oakland, California

2014 marked the centennial anniversary of Oakland’s 319 foot City Hall. The layers of its white granite and terra cotta clock tower were once nicknamed “Mayor Mott’s Wedding Cake” because he helped generate its construction bonds and then he got married in 1910 when construction started. The building still houses the city’s government offices.

1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
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3 City Center and Ronald V. Dellums Towers in Oakland, California

This waterfall is cascading through City Center in the core of downtown Oakland. The 12 block complex contains a shopping mall, a hotel and several office buildings. In the background are the twin towers of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building which houses a district court, the IRS and the U.S. Post Office.

13th St & Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
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4 Close Up of Tribune Tower in Oakland, California

The Tribune Tower, which was inspired by St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice, was Oakland’s tallest building when it was finished in 1923 as the home of the Oakland Tribune. Although the newspaper no longer occupies this 305 foot building, their name remains on this landmark.

411 13th St Oakland, CA 94612
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5 Victorian Row in Old Oakland, California

In 1873, Central Pacific Railway built a train station near 7th Street and Broadway as part of their transcontinental railroad service. In response, several Victorian buildings were constructed nearby to house hotels and retailers. By the early 20th century, Oakland’s downtown shifted away from this area and the neighborhood declined. During the 1970s and 1980s, developers revitalized these exquisite structures along 9th Street between Washington Street and Broadway. This section of Old Oakland is named Victorian Row. This property was the exclusive Portland Hotel when it was built in 1877. Architect William Stokes created its elegant palladian design. The property was subsequently called the Ashmun C. Henry House.

468-482 Ninth Street, Oakland, CA 94607
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6 Cathedral of Christ the Light Facade in Oakland, California

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is architecturally unique. Some claim its entrance resembles a fish. Others say it is shaped like a bishop’s tall, coned-shaped hat called a miter. This is probably appropriate because it is the bishop’s cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland.

2121 Harrison St Oakland, CA 94612
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7 Cathedral of Christ the Light Altar in Oakland, California

The interior of the Cathedral of Christ the Light is almond shaped. This has been called vesica piscis or fish bladder because the overlapping wood panels resemble fish scales. Above the sanctuary is the Omega Window with a 58 foot hologram-like image of Christ. The $175 million Oakland Cathedral opened in 2008. It replaced the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral that was destroyed by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

2121 Harrison St Oakland, CA 94612
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8 Cathedral of Christ the Light Pietà in Oakland, California

This full-size reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pietà was temporarily displayed near the mausoleum of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. The original was sculpted from Carrara marble in 1499. This bronze replica was created in Florence in 1932 from a plaster mold of the original.

2121 Harrison St Oakland, CA 94612
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9 Lake Merritt Near Downtown Oakland, California

Lake Merritt is a delightful lagoon with an artificial island, over three miles of jogging paths, and terrific views of downtown Oakland. Up until 1870, this used to be a slough where the city dumped its sewerage. But a dam was built in 1870 in order to create a 155 acre lake, a public park, and North America’s first wildlife refuge.

650 Bellevue Ave Oakland, CA 94610
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10 Edoff Memorial Bandstand in Oakland, California

Since the Edoff Memorial Bandstand was built in Lakeside Park in 1918, it has been the stage for countless free concerts. It is named after James P. Edoff who was the former head of the Board of Park Commissioners. He also made the first financial contribution to build this marble and limestone structure that is a replica of one in Milan, Italy.

650 Bellevue Ave Oakland, CA 94610
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11 Happy Every After Book in Oakland, California

A child’s bedtime story used to end with the phrase, “And they lived happily ever after.” Your children or grandchildren can have a wonderful time living all of those classics at Children’s Fairyland. The 10 acre amusement park, which was built in 1950, features rides, a petting zoo and theaters that are all based on 40 stories you remember as a kid.

699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
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12 Ring of Black-crowned Night Herons on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California

Lake Merritt is a delightful lagoon and wildlife refuge with islands, jogging paths and terrific views of downtown Oakland, California. Taking in this vista is a ring of black-crowned night herons that are standing perfectly aligned on a drainage pipe as if they are in the bleachers of a stadium. These migratory birds are socializing while pruning themselves and waiting for something to ambush.

Lakeshore Ave & Boden Way, Oakland, CA 94610
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13 Jack London Square on Waterfront in Oakland, California

Jack London Square on Broadway and Embarcadero is a park-like setting on the Oakland Inner Harbor waterfront. It offers restaurants, shopping, and facilities for renting bikes, canoes and kayaks. You can also take a cruise around San Francisco Bay, a ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf or go aboard the USS Potomac which was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht.

1 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
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14 Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California

This black-crowned night heron is a juvenile evidenced by its grey-brown plumage, orange eyes and yellowish-green legs. As he ages, his eyes will become redder, his wings black and his underbelly white. They stand hunched and almost frozen, like this one on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, waiting for a meal to swim nearby.

Lakeshore Ave & Boden Way, Oakland, CA 94610
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15 Lighthouse and Waterfront Hotel in Oakland, California

An attractive alternative to booking an overnight room in downtown Oakland is the Waterfront Hotel. It has great views of the harbor and it is surrounded by all of the entertainment offered by Jack London Square. No wonder this 143 room hotel consistently earns excellent ratings.

1 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
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16 Cheemah Monument in Jack London Square in Oakland, California

The third “Cheemah Monument” was installed in Jack London Square in Oakland, California, in 2002. The artist, Osprey Orielle Lake, wrote, “Cheemah, Mother of Spirit-Fire, is an 18 foot tall bronze monument dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity, world unity and care for the earth.” The goal is to place eight of these statues around the world. Others are already in Hamburg, Germany and Majorca, Spain.

Water St & Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607
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17 Jack London’s Klondike Gold Rush Log Cabin in Oakland, California

At the age of 21, Jack London dreamed of striking it rich at the Klondike Gold Rush. For one year, he lived in a log cabin while prospecting at Dawson City in Yukon, Canada. When he returned to Oakland in 1898, he was broke and ill with scurvy. But he had a renewed determination to become a successful writer. This recreated log cabin was placed in Jack London Square in 1977.

48 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607
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18 Lighthouse at Italian Restaurant in Oakland, California

This lighthouse was part of the nautical theme at the former Il Pescatore Ristorante which is now closed. As of 2017, the building is vacant. Some entrepreneur will snap it up because every window in this waterfront property shows the Oakland Estuary’s beautiful scenery.

31 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607
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19 African Lion and Lioness at Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California

This lounging male African lion and lioness joined the Oakland Zoo in California in 2000 as six month cubs. These two are old for wild lions, which typically live ten to 14 years and males rarely pass ten. In captivity, however, they can live to 20. The adult male’s mane is unique among cats and the darker it is, the more sexually attractive. His weight ranges from 300 to 500 pounds. The female is smaller at 250 to 400 pounds. Over 10,000 years ago, there was a huge population of lions that extended through Africa, India, Asia, Europe and parts of the Americas, but today only about 200,000 live in Africa and parts of India.

9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA 94605
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20 Two Siamangs Apes Playing at Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California

These two siamang gibbons or apes are having a wonderful time playing and the one appears to be rolling around in laughter. Their formal name is hylobatidae syndactylus, meaning they are a subspecies from Sumatra. They are about three feet tall and weigh 17 to 28 pounds. The Oakland Zoo is in Knowland Park, California, and also has chimpanzees, baboons, squirrel monkeys, sun bears, and vervet monkeys.

9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA 94605
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Oakland, California Composite of Eight Photos

Eight photos of Oakland, California are A ring of Black-crowned Night Herons on Lake Merritt, The Cheemah (Mother of the Spirit Fire) Monument in Jack London Square, Lighthouse next to Ll Pescatore Ristorante in Jack London Square, A juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron, The clock above the door of Lionel J. Wilson Building (formerly the First National Bank Building) built in 1907, The Cathedral of Christ the Light exterior and, inside, A bronze replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà statue with Mary holding the crucified Jesus.

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