CC SA-BY Our Oakland

The Hotel Ray was a hotel at 10th and Washington, beginning with its construction in 1913 1 until at least the 1960s. Today the building is home to the Washington Inn.

The building was designed by A.W. Smith, built for owner R.W. Kinney, who had a plumbing business at 9th and Franklin. 5

As a long-time hotel, the Hotel Ray has its share of stories. One of the more colorful ones comes from 1951. Early on the morning of November 27, 1951, the night clerk, 78 year old Charles Cochrane, was robbed at gun point. After he was ordered to "turn over all the money in the place", the bandits got away with $38.50. But these robbers had been seen before, likely being the same ones who held up the nearby Hotel Harrison the day before. 2 A few weeks later, Mary L. Trout and three young men were arrested in Berkeley on suspicion of being Oakland's "hotel bandits".

The gang had an interesting M.O. Mary not only drove the getaway car and acted as lookout, but she carried a vanity case, where the gang's guns were stored when not in use. In fact some of the members had been frisked by Oakland police following some incidents, but had been found "clean"...because Mary's case held the guns. 3

1912 drawing 51955

Links and References

  1. Buildings Rapidly Nearing Completion Oakland Tribune August 31, 1913
  2. Two Gunmen Rob Tenth Street Hotel Oakland Tribune November 27, 1951
  3. Woman, Youths Held as Oakland Hotel Bandits Oakland Tribune December 8, 1951
  4. ohrphoto.dpoa3.028 Oakland History Center, Oakland Public Library
  5. Plan Four-Story Building For Washington and Tenth Oakland Tribune October 26, 1912