Jack London Square
is now Jack London Square was in the early 1850s two wharves jutting out
into an inland waterway separating Oakland from Alameda. The waterway
was then known as San Antonio Creek. Wharves, docks and warehouses were
built along the channel which is known today as the Oakland Inner
Harbor. In the late 1940s the Board of Port Commissioners conceived of a
restaurant and entertainment center surrounding Heinolds Saloon.
Decrepit buildings were razed, ground was leveled, graded and
landscaped, and the new district was dedicated on May 1, 1951,
ninety-nine years after the founding of Oakland. Within four years the
square was attracting a million visitors annually.
In 1960, a 300-berth marina was unveiled, and in 1964 a waterfront
"boatel" opened, now the site of the Waterfront Plaza Hotel. In the
early 1980s, redevelopment began and the square evolved to its present
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
Update: Jack London Square is now undergoing a significant period
of commercial growth and development. In 2001, the Port of Oakland
sold four of the buildings in the square and the right to develop a
waterfront complex of offices, restaurants and shops to a private
developer. Under a 15-year development agreement with the City of
Oakland, the developer has constructed new buildings and renovated
others. Bill Threlfall, Waterfront Action, 2009
Square - Waterfront Action
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