1915 1

The Townsend Apartments are at 1029 Oak St. The brick building was built in 1915 with "semi-fireproof construction." 1

When the building opened in January 1916, rents ranged from $37.50-$47.50 per month. 1,2 Frank E. Brigham was the manager.

The units were constructed with Marshall and Stearns wall beds. At least some of the units still have the old beds that still function.

In 1933, there was a 3-alarm fire. The fire was thought to have started with defective wiring in the basement, and spread by other floors via the garbage chute. 4

The building is across the street from the Oakland Museum of California, and next to the "Anasani" sculpture.

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The source of the Townsend name isn't yet known. The best guess so far is it was for Richard Townsend (1849-1919) and Amy Belle Davis (Mears) (Townsend) (1877-1959). They had previously lived in Piedmont; the 1920 census (enumerated January 5th) shows Amy Townsend (widowed) and her daughters by her first marriage, Ruth Mears and Naomi Mears, living on Madison. But an August 25, 1920 article says she lived in the Townsend Apartments. That was probably not for long, as she had moved by the 1921 directory.

Links and References

  1. New Brick Apartment House Oakland Tribune October 3, 1915
  2. Classified ad Oakland Tribune November 26, 1915
  3. Classified ad Oakland Tribune January 16, 1916
  4. 30 Periled in Oakland Blaze Oakland Post-Enquirer August 1, 1933