Clay Building

Tour: Old Oakland (6/14)

Directions to 948 Clay St.

Diagonally across the intersection is the Clay Building. Like many things in Oakland and the Bay Area, the building has ties with earthquakes. But this one has ties with two.

Following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, tens of thousands of people fled the city, and many ended up in Oakland—the population of Oakland almost doubled overnight. But businesses fled the destruction, too. One you may know was Levi Strauss, of blue jeans fame. They moved their business to the Clay Building for a time.

But bricks and earthquakes don’t go well together, and in the 1989 earthquake, this building was badly damaged. If you look carefully at the building, you may notice some of the bricks are similar in color to the others, but not exactly the same. These represent some of the repairs done to the building.

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