Sanford Building, Oakland, California 1

The Sanford Building is one of the oldest remaining masonry building in Oakland, California. Built in 1865 by Edmond P. Sanford, a local pharmacist who opened his pharmacy in the building.  In 1866, Sanford sold the building to Alexander Martin for $10,000. Martin in turn resold the building to San Francisco high school teacher Ellis Holmes for $11,000. The City of Paris operated a dry goods store which was owned by Hess (or Hesse), Winterton & Company.  While on a buying trip to France Hesse/Hess drowned at sea.

The building was damaged in 1868 during an earthquakeDr. LaFevre, a popular Oakland dentist, was murdered in the Sanford Building in 1880. In 1899 the Oakland Water Company was replaced by the Contra Costa Water Company. 2

This building was one of seven located north of 7th Street following the construction of the 7th Street railroad in 1863. “These stores were larger and more citified than the old ones (south of 7th Street) having show windows, carved fixtures, etc. They also required their clerks to wear white shirts and to shave frequently…” 1

During the 1970's and 1980's the Sanford Building was part of Oakland's Victorian Row restoration project.


The retail level is home to Starbucks and The Trappist, A Belgian & Specialty Beer Pub.


801 Broadway, Oakland, California

Additional Links

  1. Old Oakland | Sanford Building
  2. The architecture of Oakland: The Sanford Building Oakland North