San Francisco business directory 1887 6

The Hotel Galindo (or Galindo Hotel) was a luxury property built in 1877 by Francisco Galindo (1824-90) on 8th St. between Franklin St. and Broadway. Sometime prior to preparation of the 1911 Sanborn map, the hotel was renamed as the Cosmopolitan Hotel. During WWII, it was converted into wartime house as the Galindo Apartments. After a fire in 1971, the building was demolished. 4,5

Galindo was the husband (and first cousin) of Inez Peralta Galindo (1840-1913; when she died she was the last surviving child of Antonio and Maria Peralta).

The site had previously been squatted by Edmond D. "Old Man" Hogan.

The hotel (possibly the first brick structure in Oakland) was gutted by fire 1880 shortly and suspiciously before what had been a planned visit by President Rutherford B. Hayes. The building was subsequently restored.

Overland Monthly June 1891 (Vol XVII, #102) p.557

1889 Sanborn excerpt1911 Sanborn excerpt

The Oakland Tribune offices and printing plant were located at the building 1884-1906, eventually occupying it entirely. After the 1906 earthquake the Tribune moved across to the street into its own building and greatly expanded its operations; there was no major damage to Galindo building.

The building was purchased 1923 by Julia Baldwin of San Jose. (There is a Julia Baldwin Elementary School in San Jose, but that Julia Baldwin was an Oak Grove School District volunteer in the 1950s-70s; these two Julia Baldwins may or may not be related.)

The front left storefront was rented by the Masuda family for its Wanto Co. retail store at least as early as 1924. On Dec. 8, 1941 they displayed the "I AM AN AMERICAN" sign pictured in the famous 1942 Dorthea Lange photograph.

In 1944 the building was converted to wartime housing and became known as the Galindo Apartments. 2

1944 2 View of Franklin St. side after WWII conversion to housing
Note original first floor split horizontally,
making this a four-story building

The building, then the Galindo Apartments, burned (again) Dec. 14, 1971 in a five-alarm fire that began in the attic. 3,4

The property remained vacant until the Phoenix Plaza mixed-use development was completed on the site in 1989. 1 The development includes 42 condominium units above first-floor businesses.

Part of one original wall of the Hotel Galindo is still in place facing Franklin St. near 7th St.

Woodcut from The Knave
February 25, 1973

Links and References

  1. A new Phoenix rises in downtown OaklandOakland Tribune October 19, 1987
  2. Once Swank Galindo Rebuilt for War Workers Oakland Tribune March 21, 1944
  3. 300 Flee East Bay Blaze San Francisco Examiner November 15, 1971
  4. Flames Ruin Landmark Oakland Tribune November 15, 1971
  5. Last Days of Swank Hotel Oakland Tribune April 19, 1972
  6. The San Francisco business directory Uhlhorn & McKenney 1887