Glen Echo is a neighborhood of Oakland. It overlaps HarriOak/Westlake and is sometimes referred to as the Richmond Boulevard area or the Oak Glen Park area.


One of the few remaining open segments of Glen Echo Creek can be found in Oak Glen Park at Richmond Boulevard. In the 1870’s, this land was part of the A.J. Pope estate. After Pope’s death, it attracted the attention of real estate developer Wickham Havens who subdivided the area in 1905 and renamed it Oak Park Tract. Twelve homes were built in this development, with the creek as its centerpiece. The city converted this segment of Glen Echo Creek into a park in 1912, and until World War II, it was maintained by a full-time gardener.

Oak Glen Park was threatened with channeling in 1955 over complaints of mosquitos, garbage dumping, and instances of child molestation. A petition signed by 200 residents in the summer of 1955 declared the creek "a public health hazard, a grave danger to our children and a public nuisance" and demanded that the creek be filled.

City engineer John A. Morin saw the solution as the conversion of the creek into an arterial link to the planned MacArthur Freeway, right down the middle of the canyon. Relinquishing creek lands to the State, thereby relieving the City of the hassle of creek maintenance, was publicized as the "ultimate answer" for the urban creek.

Ultimately, the filling of Glen Echo Creek at this site was not pursued. The historic park is cited as an inspiration for continuing creek daylighting projects within the Glen Echo watershed, which empties into Lake Merritt.

References: Oakland Tribune, “Changing of Creek Course Into Street is Proposed”, 9 November 1955.


Pages tagged “glen echo”