Jenny Lind Hall was a performance space with 250 seats and meeting hall, named for Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", who was a highly regarded singer of the 19th century. It currently houses the Minh Yueh Jiu Shyh Buddhist Association. The building is at 2267 Telegraph (which was at one time 2216 Telegraph; the 1916 directory lists it at 2229 Telegraph).
The building was designed by Frederick Soderberg and built in 1915. There were two spaces, upper and lower. Naturally, the local Vasa Order (a Swedish fraternal, cultural and educational organization) met there.
In the 1920s, various groups such as the Native Daughters of the Golden West (NDGW) used the hall for meetings. In 1921, the upper space was classified 'F' by the Local 6 musicians union (meaning gigs had to include at least 3 musicians), and the lower one classified 'G'. 3
In the 1930s, the Fellowship of Humanity (which now meets in Humanist Hall) met there.
According to Annalee Allen:
"During World War II, Jenny Lind Hall served as the USO for military personnel stationed on Treasure Island. The streetcar line along nearby Grand Avenue used to go back and forth from the base." 1
In the 1940s, it was also a hub of the Filipino community in the East Bay. 4
In the late 1940s or early 1950s, Bob Scobey and other jazz musicians used it as a recording studio. 2 The album Just a Closer Walk With Thee by Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry was recorded there in 1957. 7 Jazz musician Dick Oxtot played with his band and recorded there in 1956-1957. 8
In the 1960s, Bethany Lutheran Church (now Eternal Life Lutheran Church in Concord) held some of its early worship services there. 6
In the 1980s, the Koncepts Cultural Gallery hosted concerts there.
Links and References
- A new neighborhood designation in Oakland: KONO by Annalee Allen Oakland Tribune May 13, 2012
- Local Labels Build Acts, But... Billboard Magazine May 6, 1967
- The Dude Martin Story by Jim Goggin (includes a photo of the building as Jenny Lind Hall)
- Filipino Community in Oakland on Oakland History Murals
- History of Fellowship of Humanity
- 50 years of God’s Grace (PDF)
- Just a Closer Walk With Thee on iTunes
- Dick Oxtot on Jazz Rhythm (includes MP3s)