Golden Gate is a neighborhood west of San Pablo Avenue, bordered by Berkeley to the north, Emeryville to the west and south, and the Gaskill, and Paradise Park tracts to the east. Gaskill and Paradise Park are considered part of the Golden Gate District by the neighborhood association, SPAGGIA, and others in the area.
Golden Gate was originally the 150 acre town of Klinknerville, founded and named in 1885 by by German immigrant Charles Alexander Klinkner who also dubbed himself the "Mayor." Klinkner had a rubber stamp business and formed "Klinkner Hall" at San Pablo Avenue and 59th Street (née Klinkner). The hall hosted clubs and church services, and also sold groceries and drugs on the first floor.
In 1888 the name of the town was changed to Golden Gate for the beautiful views (now obscured) across the San Francisco Bay of the Golden Gate, the entrance to the Bay which is now spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge.
The town of Golden Gate was annexed to the City of Oakland in 1897, one year after the adjoining City of Emeryville was incorporated. The residents of Golden Gate had objected to the creation of Emeryville, protesting that it would cut Golden Gate off from the bay. Emeryville's founders invited Golden Gate to become part of Emeryville, but apparently the residents decided to become part of Oakland instead. 1
The Herzog Tract was an historic tract in Golden Gate.
Southern Pacific commuter trains ran through the neighborhood on Stanford to the Oakland Mole.2 Before electrification, SP's Berkeley Branch steam trains stopped at the Golden Gate station, just west of San Pablo Avenue.
The East Bay Negro Historical Society (EBNHS) was invited in 1982 to establish an African American collection in the Golden Gate Branch Library, the first library in Oakland to have a predominantly African American focus. The entire left side of the library housed the EBNHS collection. Dr. Lawrence Crouchett was appointed the Executive Director in 1988, and the organization changed the name from the East Bay Negro Historical Society to the Northern California Center for Afro-American History & Life (NCCAAHL).
The final merger occurred in 1994 when the NCCAAHL joined forces with the City of Oakland to create the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO), which is now located in the former Charles S. Greene Library, one of the historic Carnegie Libraries from 1902.
African Americans arrived during World War II to work in the shipyards.
The neighborhood has a large number of arts, entertainment, and community resources, including Actual Cafe, The Compound Gallery, PLACE for Sustainable Living, Victory Burger, A Verb for Keeping Warm, and a Carnegie library.
People in the neighborhood are encouraged to join our neighborhood social network and come to neighborhood meetings, e.g, for NCPC-10x.
- Bay Public School (1895) (Later Golden Gate Elementary and now a charter school) located at 62nd & San Pablo
- Klinkner's Drug Store (Building still stands today at 59th & San Pablo). Interior shot of store
- Klinkner Hall Photo taken before it was razed in 1941. Can also see Klinkner's Drug. The site is now a grocery store (previously Safeway and now Gateway Supermarket)
- Trader Vics matchbook from original location (now a vacant lot) at 65th and San Pablo
In the Media
- Oakland Magazine wrote about Golden Gate in April, 2014 in an article about 6 East Bay neighborhoods to know about. Here's what they said:
This rapidly changing area checks all the hipster boxes: cupcakes, drip coffee, vegan donuts, a knitting shop. Get supplies for that adorable urban farm—and fill up on alternative fuel—at BioFuel Oasis, then learn how to slaughter chickens at the Institute of Urban Homesteading. Inhabitants are almost equally divided among white, black, and Hispanic, with a diverse mix of Asians as well, while more than half the residents are 25 to 40 years old. But the youngish, mostly white hipsters mix with neighborhood old-timers, recent immigrants, and an earlier wave of newcomers who arrived in the 1990s. It’s not always a smooth blend; the G-word can get tossed around at lively neighborhood meetings.
Mixology is the byword here. The majority of homes are Edwardian or Craftsman bungalows, but the housing stock includes Victorians, 1940s ranches, and cement apartment blocks. Home prices took a dip in the crash, but, like everywhere else, they’re back to a five-year high, with prices continuing to cook.
This neighborhood has a bit of an identity problem, also being known as plain old North Oakland or Paradise Park. Although residents resist, real estate folks are trying to rebrand the area as NOBE (for North Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville), and the area even has its own website at www.NOBENeighborhood.com. With all the bees, chickens, goats, and organic gardens here, it should probably be dubbed Oakland Farms.
San Pablo Avenue, the main shopping street, is dotted with low-key specialty businesses both long-established and newish, but there’s all the retail you can eat across the Emeryville border. Walk, bike, or drive to Trader Joe’s, the Berkeley Bowl, and the upscale Bay Street complex.
Transitwise, it’s a snap to get to Berkeley, downtown Oakland, or San Francisco. The Ashby BART station is a 15-minute walk, and AC Transit buses run regularly along Sacramento and San Pablo, while express buses to and from San Francisco stop on Sacramento during commute hours. Great Schools pretty much flunks the closest public elementary schools, but charter schools have risen up to take up the academic slack.
Links & References
Emeryville is Born – 1890s to 1930s, City of Emeryville website
- Mailman, Erika. Oakland's Neighborhoods. Oakland: Mailman Press, 2005.