The Fire Alarm Building is a stout building at 1310 Oak Street, completed in 1911 to house the alarm system for the Oakland Fire Department and Oakland Police Department. It was used until a new dispatch center was built at Station 1 in 1983.
As of October 2019, the Oakland city council is looking to dispose of the building, possibly leasing the building to the Museum of Jazz & Art.5
According to Oakland Fire Department by Geoffrey Hunter, it was built at the suggestion of Mayor Frank Mott, following the destruction of much of OFD's alarm system in the 1906 earthquake. It was designed by noted architect Walter J. Mathews 3, and is built of fireproof materials. The building is also placed on a small, separate block by itself. 1 It's not far from the Municipal Boathouse, the center portion of which was built in 1909 as an emergency OFD pumping station, another response following the 1906 earthquake.
In 1909, a $2,500,000 bond measure was passed to pay for a new city hall and harbor improvements, less $80,000 to build a new fire and police alarm building. Bids for construction were solicited in 1910. 2 At the time, it was a state-of-the-art design. New York City made plans for a similar setup. 4
This 2011 slideshow includes photos from the interior; much of the original equipment is intact.
Links and References
- Oakland Fire Department by Geoffrey Hunter Arcadia Publishing
- Bids Solicited for Fire Alarm Building Oakland Tribune June 8, 1910
- New Fire Alarm and P. T. Station Oakland Tribune July 24, 1910
- Police Telegraph and Fire Alarm Nearly Ready Oakland Tribune February 22, 1911
- Disposition of the Fire Alarm Building Site Oakland City Council Report September, 10, 2019
- Out West Magazine Volume 31, 1909