The Central Building & Loan Association Building is located at 363-69 - 13th Street, Oakland, California. Designed by architect William E. Schirmer, with Charles W. Heyer as builder, this is an Art Deco bank building constructed in 1929.

This is a tall, narrow one story steel frame reinforced concrete Art Deco bank building on an interior lot. The facade is designed as a massive vault, penetrated by a tall deeply recessed entry with a semicircular compound arched top. Surface materials are cast concrete slabs with a polished black granite base. The stepped top has at its center a large square bas-relief panel depicting heroic male figures trading or doing business, and a vertically grooved frieze. The original Art Deco entry doors and tall multi-paned window in the arch have been replaced with an aluminum window and new entry doors. "Central Building and Loan Association" in incised Deco letters below the frieze has been plastered over.

Central Building and Loan was an Alameda-based firm, founded in 1909. Its Oakland branch building, by an important Oakland architect of the Period Revival and Art Deco era, is an outstanding example of Deco design adapted to a financial institution. It is similar is size and vocabulary to the Income Securities Building a block away at 360-64 Fourteenth Street. 1

This historic building is #37 on the list of District Contributors for the Downtown Oakland Historic District Registration Form.

Links and References

  1. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Downtown Oakland Historic District