Mills Tabernacle was built for the well-known evangelist, Rev. Benjamin Fay Mills (1857-1916) in June of 1892 for his use for a great evangelical revival, which had a seating capacity of 3,500 people. It was a wooden structure located on a block bound by Harrison and Webster between 11th and 12th streets, and was the largest auditorium in the city. The Oakland Industrial Exposition was held here in December of 1895. It was subsequently utilized as an exposition building for political meetings, dog shows, and even for the first National Poultry and Pigeon Association of America Exhibition in January 1896. The Acme Athletic Club also conducted its boxing tournaments here. The building was eventually demolished in 1903 to make way for a large market building to occupy the block for use of the produce commission merchants.
Article from SF Call 5 June 1892
"Yesterday morning the erection began of the B. Fay Mills tabernacle at the corner of Eleventh and Harrison streets. It is to be 100x120 feet and will be constructed on the plan of the Mechanic's pavilion in San Francisco."
Rev. Benjamin Fay Mills, c1878 Rev. Benjamin Fay Mills, c1909
GLIMPSES OF THE OAKLAND EXPOSITION AND PICTURE OF THE BUILDING FOR THE PROPOSED PERMANENT EXHIBITION.
Photo from an article "Opening of the First Industrial Exposition in Oakland" in the SF Call, December 1895.