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Oakland

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John Breuner & Company Building, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, Alameda County, CA



See 21 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB135439
City Hall Plaza, Oakland City Hall And Surrounding Commercial Buildings In Foreground, John Breuner And Company Building In Background

HB135440
City Hall Park In Foreground

HB135441
John Breuner And Company Building South Side And East Front

HB135442
North And West Backsides Of John Breuner And Company Building In Center (background), Surrounding Structures On Clay, Jefferson And 15th Streets At Left, Right, And Foreground

HB135443
Annex At Left

HB135444
Building

HB135445
Windows And Window Frames Removed

HB135446
Windows, Window Frames, And Metal Cornice Removed

HB135447
Corner Of Clay And 15th Streets

HB135448
Typical Interior Conditions Of Partial Demolition; Windows, Window Frames, Suspended Ceiling, And Movable Partition Walls Removed

HB135449
Typical Interior Conditions Of Partial Demolition; Suspended Ceiling And Movable Partition Walls Removed, Remains Of Demolished Sheet Metal Cornice From Building Exterior Visible On Floor

HB135450
Large Sections Of Demolished Sheet Metal Cornice From Building Exterior Visible Foreground


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA

Find maps of Oakland, CA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2296
Building/structure dates: 1916 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1963 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1924 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1991 demolished
Significance: The John Breuner and Company building is an excellent surviving example of early skyscraper design dating from a period when Oakland's downtown experienced a dramatic transformation subsequent to the 1906 earthquake. The building contributes to a largely intact and architecturally unified downtown district representative of a significant period in the development of Oakland's downtown between 1907 and 1929. During this period, a new urban downtown of skyscrapers and department stores constructed of masonry and steel replaced the old downtown of small wood-frame buildings. Arthur J. Mathews, the architect of the John Breuner and Company building, played a significant role in the development of Oakland's downtown. He designed Oakland's first skyscraper, 1904 Union Savings Bank, in addition to many other important Oakland buildings during the early twentieth century. Founded in Sacramento in 1856, John Breuner and Company is one of the oldest furniture businesses in California. John Breuner and Company opened what was their second store in Oakland in 1907, and they moved their store to 1515 Clay Street in 1917. This building was their only Bay Area store during their fourteen years at this location. John Breuner and Company (known today as "Breuners") played a significant role in Oakland's economic history as a major downtown retailer until 1975.

Related Names
Mathews, Arthur J.
Reed & Corlett
Charles Jurgens Company
Corder, Arthur E.
Schulman, Louis
Walker, Percival J.


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
FACING WEST ALONG 15TH STREET FROM SAN PABLO AVENUE. CITY HALL PLAZA, OAKLAND CITY HALL AND SURROUNDING COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS IN FOREGROUND, JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING IN BACKGROUND
FACING WEST ALONG 15TH STREET, SHOWING BUILDINGS ALONG NORTH SIDE OF 15TH STREET, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: CLARIDGE APARTMENTS (BACKGROUND), JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING, DALZIEL BUILDING, AND THE PLAZA BUILDING. CITY HALL PARK IN FOREGROUND
FACING WEST-NORTHWEST ALONG 15TH STREET SHOWING BUILDINGS ON NORTH SIDE OF 15TH STREET. JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING SOUTH SIDE AND EAST FRONT
FACING SOUNT AT JEFFERSON STREET AND 16TH STREET. NORTH AND WEST BACKSIDES OF JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING IN CENTER (BACKGROUND), SURROUNDING STRUCTURES ON CLAY, JEFFERSON AND 15TH STREETS AT LEFT, RIGHT, AND FOREGROUND
OVERALL VIEW OF JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING, SOUTH SIDE AND EAST FRONT, FACING NORTHWEST. ANNEX AT LEFT
FACING NORTH ALONG CLAY STREET, SHOWING BUILDINGS ON THE WEST SIDE OF CLAY STREET, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: JOHN BREUNER AND COMPANY BUILDING (FOREGROUND), HOTEL TOURAINE (MIDDLE), AND THE PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC CO. BUILDING
DETAIL OF GROUND, MEZZANINE, AND FIRST FLOOW WINDOW OPENINGS AT CORNER OF CLAY AND 15TH STREETS. WINDOWS AND WINDOW FRAMES REMOVED
DETAIL OF EIGHTH (TOP) FLOOR AT CLAY AND 15TH STREETS SHOWING ORNAMENTAL TERRA COTTA BANDING AND RELIEF PANELS. WINDOWS, WINDOW FRAMES, AND METAL CORNICE REMOVED
DETAIL OF ORNAMENTAL TERRA COTTA FRIEZE ABOVE GROUND FLOOR AND TYPICAL TERRA COTTA WINDOW SILL. CORNER OF CLAY AND 15TH STREETS
INTERIOR VIEW ON MEZZANINE ALONG EAST (CLAY STREET) FRONT FACING OAKLAND CITY HALL. TYPICAL INTERIOR CONDITIONS OF PARTIAL DEMOLITION; WINDOWS, WINDOW FRAMES, SUSPENDED CEILING, AND MOVABLE PARTITION WALLS REMOVED
INTERIOR VIEW ON SEVENTH FLOOR ALONG EAST (CLAY STREET) FRONT. TYPICAL INTERIOR CONDITIONS OF PARTIAL DEMOLITION; SUSPENDED CEILING AND MOVABLE PARTITION WALLS REMOVED, REMAINS OF DEMOLISHED SHEET METAL CORNICE FROM BUILDING EXTERIOR VISIBLE ON FLOOR
INTERIOR VIEW ON SEVENTH FLOOR AT CORNER OF CLAY AND 15TH STREETS. LARGE SECTIONS OF DEMOLISHED SHEET METAL CORNICE FROM BUILDING EXTERIOR VISIBLE FOREGROUND


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