downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — lakemerritt

Lessons from Librarians

May 27, 2011

Some of downtown’s oldest institutions and newest ventures made the news this week.

The Swig Company’s approval to build the tallest building in Oakland less than a block from Lake Merritt, replacing a fifty-year-old, publicly-accessible garden, was approved and the deadline for appeal has passed. When the job market improves, Oakland will see serious investment in the Lakeside area.

Hundreds of Oaklanders rallied to save the Oakland Library, which runs two downtown branches as well as the Main Library. Although Councilmember Nancy Nadel, who represents most of downtown, didn’t seem to care about decimating the library system, the majority of Councilmembers appeared to get the message and library supporters are hopeful the service will be spared the budget axe – especially since Oaklanders already pay a dedicated parcel tax for library services.

Speaking of the library, the Main branch is offering a Japanese calligraphy class tomorrow.

Today is the deadline to submit a vegan cupcake recipe to the Rock Paper Scissors annual bake-off.

DTO-headquarted Pandora announced strong revenue growth before its IPO.

Rock Block Oakland reviews Hawker Fare on Tumblr.

The Chronicle reviews sweet and pretty West DTO spot Hibiscus.

After meeting fierce resistance from business interests and cities including Oakland and Alameda, the appointed Bay Area Conversation and Development Commission is revising proposed rules that would reduce elected officials’ ability to plan for waterfront development in places like Jack London Square. Meanwhile, tea partiers crashed a downtown regional planning meeting.

The California Assembly passed a bill to give Oakland (and San Jose) a greater voice in regional transportation planning and funding decisions.

With the aforementioned regional transportation body scheduling severely reduced service on both the Bay Bridge and BART this weekend, it’s a great time to explore Oakland! See you at the library.

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Where is the DTO? Wikipedia Edition

May 20, 2011

Our discussion of downtown’s districts is rooted in history, perception, and, hopefully, some urban logic. Without new maps by any authority or a common frame of historic reference, district boundaries and names are easily contested. Wikipedia, the community-driven encyclopedia, has entries for most downtown Oakland districts which, while not authoritative, offer additional information to help inform the debate.

Reading these entries and paying attention to the footnotes can help inform the discussion over downtown’s present and future. What do you think of these resources? What’s missing? Is there too strong of a viewpoint for these articles to be helpful?

Lakeside Apartment District from Wikimedia

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