1923 4

Goodwill Industries is a non-profit that "provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs for people who have barriers to their employment." and "also hires veterans and individuals who lack either education, job experience or face employment challenges." 1

The concept was started in Boston in 1902; the branch in Oakland started in 1919. Some sources like The Knave give 1934 as the start year, but that's when Dr. Frank Porter Flegal, previously executive secretary of Goodwill Industries in central California, took charge.

Locally it is now run by Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, which runs several stores and has its headquarters at 1301 - 30th Avenue. 2

6th Street

The first reference found is from November 1919, with Goodwill Industries getting a permit for alterations and repairs at 485 - 6th Street. 3 They expanded rapidly, constructing a church and store rooms in 1923,4 and eventually expanding to most of the block between 5th, 6th, Broadway, and Washington. Rev. Alfred J. Kennedy was in charge of the church beginning in 1923.

In 1953, with plans for the construction of the Eastshore Freeway (now I-880) in motion, they were forced to move their plant, and selected a new location at 9th and Jackson. 5 They still had a store on the northwest corner of 6th and Broadway, the next block north of the main campus.

1951 Sanborn excerptc.1958 6northwest corner of 6th and Broadway, 1955 7c.1955 8

9th and Jackson

In 1954, a major addition was started to the new location at 9th and Jackson. It included offices, a store, a chapel, and a room for the board of directors. 9 They were at that location until January 1984. 12

30th Avenue

In 1984, they moved the headquarters to 1301 - 30th Avenue. In 1987, Goodwill leased the former Lux Theatre at 1220 Broadway with plans to open a store. There was pushback from the developers of City Center, just across Broadway. 10 Hearings were held and eventually the store opened. It was open until c.2019.

In 2022, in addition to the plant at 1301 - 30th Avenue, Goodwill Industries has stores in Oakland at 3525 MacArthur Blvd. and& 6624 San Pablo Ave.

[ it would be nice to get some photos of the current stores as well as the plant ]

Links and References

  1. Goodwill Industries on Wikipedia
  2. Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay website
  3. Building Permits Oakland Tribune November 23, 1919
  4. Church of Goodwill Is Opened Oakland Tribune December 22, 1923
  5. New Site Found For Oakland Goodwill Plant Oakland Tribune February 5, 1953
  6. ohrphoto.dpoa6.001 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library
  7. ohrphoto.dpoa1.005 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library
  8. ohrphoto.dpoa1.008 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library
  9. $85,000 Addition to Goodwill Industries Plant Started Oakland Tribune May 29, 1954
  10. Goodwill's plan to open store in downtown Oakland draws fire Oakland Tribune September 4, 1987
  11. Knave Oakland Tribune May 31, 1964
  12. San Leandro's 'reopened' Goodwill takes on the look of department store Oakland Tribune June 27, 1984