CC SA-BY Our Oakland

The Cypress Freeway Memorial Park is a park located at 14th and Mandela Parkway, and includes several art installations to remember the victims and rescuers of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The park was constructed on land left over from the construction of the replacement Oakland Fire Station #3 that was relocated after the earthquake; together they occupy a block that had been the site of a Cypress Structure off-ramp.

A statue of twisted metal columns recalls the collapsed part of the Cypress freeway and the ladders that rescuers brought to attempt to rescue survivors, and also represents the hopes of the community to rise from the dust. Many of the responders in the first wave were area residents who brought ladders from home.

The wall outside the fire station had a mural titled "15 seconds" which is how long the main temblor lasted, and showed the seismograph trace from the earthquake. You can see it in the background of the above photo. Unfortunately the mural was vandalized, and has been painted over. See Oaktown Art for photos of the mural. 1

One really nice thing about this park is that they let the grass grow naturally, the paths wind through it (with benches on them), and there are a good number of trees (including redwoods!). This gives the park a particularly calm feeling, even though it's not very large.


(510) 238-PARK



CC SA-BY Our Oakland

Site History

Before the construction of the Cypress Structure, the block contained numerous houses and apartments, and several businesses, including the Half Moon Cafe. Most of the buildings were demolished for the construction of an off-ramp, but the cafe building was moved one block west and across 14th.

1951 Sanborn excerpt1957 Sanborn exceptCypress Structure and 14th Street off-ramp 2

Links and References

  1. Loma Prieta – 20 years later on Oaktown Art

  2. California Highways and Public Works, March-April 1958