downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Facade Watch: Uptown Update

October 26, 2007

The first recepient of facade improvement funds in East Oakland is La Estrellita restaurant and tequila bar on East 12th and Fifth Ave. The facade improvement program, where the city helps pay for facade upgrades from redevelopment funds, was recently expanded to redevelopment areas outside of downtown, because of its great success here in the DTO. This is a good time to update readers on some recent facade upgrades and opening restaurants.

  • In Uptown, a historic facade has been transplanted onto the second floor of a building in the 1600 block of Telegraph. Forest City’s first apartment building, opening in January, has unveiled a pleasingly modernist face. The landmark Fox Theater’s improvement is well underway, with the historic front tiles cleaned and repointed.
  • At 1300 Broadway, a century-old highrise that has been undergoing renovation for many years, the building’s new pink, blue and beige color scheme is nicely complemented with the installation of architectural lighting.
  • It appears the Kaiser Center’s facade is being restored to its original silver luster.

Also Uptown, the restaurant Flora, in the stunning Floral Depot building, is set to open in two weeks. The Uptown club, which came under new ownership as first reported here, hosts their first new show Nov. 2. In Old Oakland, the Washington Inn has finally given up on Twist, and will soon host a new restaurant, named Seison.

Update: has an article about new restaurants Uptown and along Auto Row.

Next week, I’m going to try again with the DTO map. It got a lot of hits but no comments! However, wayfinding downtown is important, and so I’m going to present another map, alongside older maps. In the meantime, I urge interested readers to download the Land Use and Transportation Element of Oakland’s General Plan, and read the part about downtown.


1 erocking { 10.26.07 at 9:04 pm }

Very interesting stuff. Can you expand more on some of your points? Bullet #1, 1600 block of which street? Broadway? Where is “Forest City’s first apartment building”?

And where is the Floral Depot building?

Keep up the great work!

2 dto510 { 10.26.07 at 9:44 pm }

I clarified some of the points above in an edit. Forest City’s first apartment building is on San Pablo below 20th. I added a link above.

The Floral Depot Building is on Telegraph and 19th. It’s a landmark.

3 dto510 { 10.26.07 at 9:46 pm }
4 erocking { 10.30.07 at 3:47 pm }

Cool. Thanks for the updates. That NovoMetro article is gold. I walk by Oakland Rim and Wheel everyday and always wondered what they planned for it.

5 dto510 { 10.30.07 at 8:59 pm }

You’re welcome!

6 Vicki Solomon { 01.10.08 at 11:45 pm }

Your first link at “Forest City’s first apartment building” doesn’t work. Try without the hyphen.