The Charles Jurgens Company - Lux Theater Building is a 1935-1936 Art Deco commercial building located at 1224-40 Broadway / 427-49 13th - Street. It was originally designed by architect H.A. Minton and built by F.A. Muller. 1,2 The largest storefront on Broadway was remodeled by Cantin & Cantin in 1948 into the Lux Theater. It is currently identified as the Leslie Building, for the partnership group that purchased it in 1980. 3

This is a two story Art Deco store and loft building at the southeast corner of Broadway and 13th Street, rectangular in plan, of concrete clad in tan architectural terra cotta. There are massive piers with faceted surfaces between tripartite bays, and decorative horizontal bands with zig-zag sunbursts and other geometric Art Deco motifs above and below windows and at the top of the parapet. The 1948 Camera Corner storefront is notable for its large enameled metal sign with giant Deco lettering.

This building for the Charles Jurgens Company replaced the Jurgens Block, a three story building constructed circa 1880 by Charles Jurgens, a German immigrant who invested widely in real estate and was also closely involved in Downtown Oakland development as director of several banks of President of the Oakland Hotel Company. The building is notable as part of the Art Deco theme in the district, more common as remodelings than as new construction like this building. From 1947 to 1986 its largest Broadway storefront was occupied by the Lux Theater, with a streamlined facade and marquee by A.A. Cantin. 1

This historic building is #3 on the list of District Contributors for the Downtown Oakland Historic District Registration Form.

The ground floor of the building formerly housed a Burger King and a Goodwill store, but both spaces have been vacant for a few years. The second floor offices are also partially vacant.

Links and References

  1. Downtown Oakland Historic District
  2. 13th Broadway Building Ready for Tenants Oakland Tribune September 15, 1935
  3. Back to Banks Oakland Tribune February 14, 1992 (p2)