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Oakland

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First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 Fourteenth Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA



B&W Photos

HB161577
BWPhotos 376045

HB161578
BWPhotos 376046

HB161579
BWPhotos 376047

HB161580
BWPhotos 376048

HB161581
BWPhotos 376049

HB161582
BWPhotos 376050

HB161583
BWPhotos 376051

HB161584
BWPhotos 376052

HB161585
BWPhotos 376053

HB161586
BWPhotos 376054

HB161587
BWPhotos 376055

HB161588
BWPhotos 376056


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
685 Fourteenth Street, Oakland, CA

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2670
Building/structure dates: 1891 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1906 subsequent work
Significance: The First Unitarian Church of Oakland is an early example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style in California, which is applied to a u-plan complex consisting of an auditorium, a Sunday School, and a Parish House. The interiors of the three wings are linked by sliding doors in a modified version of the wide-spread Akron plan for churches. The structure is a complex hybrid of timber framing, common brick, and stud-framing, clad in a veneer of face brick, sandstone, and stucco. Altogether, the imagery of the building mixes the elite, in its style and materials, with popular culture, in its plan. The church was designed by the Oakland architect, Walter J. Mathews, under the direction of the Rev. Charles W. Wendte. Wendte was a leading Unitarian minister on the Pacific Coast in the 1880s-1890s. The church, with its well-to-do congregation, was a center of intellectual and cultural life in the East Bay, especially in the 1890s. Among many prominent speakers and artists to appear at the church were William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Julia War Howe, Alexander Graham Bell, Jack London, and Isadora Duncan. The building was damaged in the earthquake of 1989, and is presently (1996) undergoing renovation.

Related Names
Matthews, Walter J.
Wendte, Charles
Reed, Clarance
Van Dis, Andrew, Photographer


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
VIEW OF NORTH (FRONT) FACADE, FACING SOUTH
VIEW OF NORTH (FRONT) FACADE, FACING SOUTHWEST
PARTIAL VIEW OF EAST FACADE, FACING SOUTHWEST
PARTIAL VIEW OF EAST FACADE, FACING NORTHWEST FROM SOUTH END
WEST FACADE OF EAST WING, FROM SOUTH, FACING NORTHEAST
INTERIOR VIEW OF STAIR HALL, FACING NORTHEAST
INTERIOR VIEW OF STARR KING ROOM, FACING NORTHEAST
INTERIOR VIEW OF OFFICE ABOVE STARR KING ROOM FACING NORTHWEST
INTERIOR VIEW OF WENDTE HALL, FACING EAST
INTERIOR VIEW OF WENDTE HALL, FACING WEST
INTERIOR VIEW OF SHAFTER ROOM (EAST WING, SECOND FLOOR), FACING NORTHWEST
INTERIOR VIEW OF SHAFTER ROOM, FACING NORTHEAST


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