before 1938 remodel 1

The Borland Building was a commercial building on the southeast corner of Broadway and 12th that was sometimes called the Central Block. It's unknown when the building was constructed, but an 1888 article reprinted in 1907 article refers to "Archie Borland's 'Central Block'," and newspaper ads for businesses in the Central Block began appearing in 1874. 8,9 The building was remodeled in 1938 as part of a wider modernization plan downtown. 2 Although there are some notable differences from the building shown in earlier Sanborn maps, it clearly appears that they are the same structure. For example, a 1939 advertisement for Dr. Painless Parker announcing their newly remodeled offices noted that Dr. Parker's offices had been located in the Central Block Building since 1912, and articles on this same Tribune page refer to the structure as the Borland Building. 7

(There was also a Central Block east of Lake Merritt built 1880-1881.)

1950 Sanborn excerpt1939 3

The building collapsed in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and was then demolished. 5 The block containing the Borland Building, which also includes the Key System Building, was planned to become a hotel tentatively identified as Hotel II as part of the 1970s-1980s redevelopment of downtown, 6 but after the failure of this hotel project, the site eventually became part of the 1100 Broadway project called the Key at 12th.

1903 Sanborn excerpt1873 4from 1896 Illustrated Directory

Links and References

  1. ohrphoto.dpoa10.051 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library
  2. Borland Building, 12th and Broadway, To Be Modernized Oakland Tribune May 19, 1938
  3. Dr. Painless Parker's Remodeled Modern Dental Offices Ready Oakland Tribune February 3, 1939
  4. M0326_b08_f04_003 William Gardiner transportation collection, Stanford Libraries
  5. Stunned Oakland is still standing amid the debris Oakland Tribune October 18, 1989
  6. Experts say 'Hotel II' to aid downtown boom Oakland Tribune March 26 1984
  7. Dental Plates Have Gone Modern Too! Oakland Tribune April 10, 1939
  8. Tells of Early Oakland Days Oakland Tribune October 27, 1907
  9. Chester Heath, D.D.S - Dentist Oakland Tribune July 17, 1874