Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 29, 2022

Checking it twice, part 11 (page 4)

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Nilsen, Adam. Images of America: Pleasant Hill. Arcadia Publishing. 2007. p. 48.

I have not read this book but the table of contents show that page 48 lies at the end of a chapter about the 1920s – 1930s. Probably means there’s a photo or something about the Patrick Rodgers Farm/Alice Tisdale Hobart House which I’ve written about multiple times. The TL;dr is that the nominating party is conflating the Hobart House with the Patrick Rogers Farm either inadvertently or deliberately. The nomination application for the Farm itself contains all the information to be able to understand the differences between the two. If the author got the information wrong then maybe someone should tell him.

Oakland-Alameda County Outlook. “Harry Bruno Elected Chamber of Commerce President,” Vol. XXIII, No. 3, Summer 1970.. The “Outlook” is, I believe, a summary of articles throughout the year so we have this already in the form of an article referenced in the Oakland Tribune articles section. Another duplicative citation which, I will point out, does not reference Harry Bruno designing the Maritime School. If it were a significant part of his portfolio surely it would have been noted in this blurb

“Oakland Unified School District, Jefferson School #2, Jefferson, Oakland.” Pacific Coast Architecture Database, PCAD. 2021,

This is used as a citation to show that Harry Bruno designed this school. Ironically, much like the other school citation, it does not list Harry Bruno as the designer, perhaps the nominating party was hoping that the keeper of the database would seed that information in for them prior to people pulling up the source.

Pacific Coast Architecture Database, “Harold Axel Onstad (Architect)”,

I’ve written at length about the Onstad connection previously. (Checking it twice, part 7).

Pacific Marine Review. “Officers’ School at Alameda,” vol. 41 :3 (Mar. 1944), pp. 76-79.… (p.162 on reader)

This article is the basis for the wall o’ text in the continuation sheets. It’s there to delight the historical buff who really, really wants to see more property being “saved” for the memory of a time that they’ve romanticized set to a Benny Goodman soundtrack. But if you’ve been there and you don’t have ulterior motives you know that no one from the 1940s would recognize the place if they were dropped smack inside the remains of the campus or, especially, on the remodeled interiors. I did a tour of the old Engineering building when the Wellness Center was first being proposed and the interior looks like you could drop it into any old fluorescent lit institutional building from the 70s where a demogorgon would chase you down tracking slime and guts in its wake. A fella from the 40s wouldn’t recognize that at all but it would make for a killer man out of time movie.

Pacific Marine Review. “Officers’ School at Alameda,” vol. 42:1 (Jan. 1945), pp. 2~4.… (p.10 on reader)

Pacific Marine Review. “Graduation Day At U.S.M.S. Officers’ School of Alameda,” vol. 42:7 (July 1945), pp. 432-433.… (p.630 on reader)

Same story as above, I’ll note that the vast majority of the photos used for these three pieces have included students in their “working” life. It’s interesting set of documents but, again, shows that — at one point — the campus could have retained a lot of its historic-ness if wholesale demolitions had not taken place. Based on the article bread crumbs scattered by the nominating party looking to beef up their nomination by throwing everything (well mostly everything, there’s a fair bit missing) at the wall there was an point where the City of Alameda itself had a real chance of preserving the more significant buildings (namely the Flying Cloud Hall which was the administration building you see in photographs which someone coughnominatingpartycough took out of their April nomination when they refiled). The City balked because of the price, so many entities balked and so the federal government left it in the hands of the free market to do with it what it did and that was apartment buildings (pre A/26) and a shopping center. That land is not captured in the nomination which already renders this nomination incomplete.

I have to say thank goodness for, the internet is an amazing place.


  1. It has been asked before to whom one can write a letter opposing this nomination. I send an email to Julianne Polanco, State Historic Preservation Officer, California Office of Historic Preservation. Julian heads the department that manages this decision process. I received the following acknowledgement from Julianne…

    “I want to acknowledge receipt as I was copied to this email. I will make the letter part of the public record for this nomination. A copy will also be provided to the members of the State Historical Resources Commission.”

    The same email also went to Beth L. Savage, Director, Center for Historic Buildings & Federal Preservation Officer, Office of the Chief Architect, GSA, Public Buildings Service. The GSA owns this property (NOT the wellness center) and paid for the original evaluation of the site by consulting specialists. I received the following response from Beth…

    “Thank you for your email message requesting an update on the proposed National Register nomination for a federally owned property located at 620 Central Avenue, Alameda, California. Attached you will find GSA’s letter of July 21, 2022, reiterating its opposition to the proposed nomination.”

    The attached pdf included four letters from key organizations that have opposed the original and this nomination.

    The email addresses are public data. Here are the two key addresses:
    – Julianne Polanco Also, CC a manager in the same organization
    – Beth Savage.

    Probably a good idea to CC folks at city hall like the, Perhaps add the mayor. Feel free to copy others but my gut tells me folks like Bonta want to avoid getting involved.

    Please be polite, fact-based and concise. Please avoid demeaning their employee who is working on this. He probably should be helping a citizen make an application and we we don’t know what he is recommending behind the scene.

    Comment by pro-wellness center — July 31, 2022 @ 11:34 am

  2. Here are the commissioner bios of the California Office of Historic Preservation

    Lee Adams III, Public Member

    L AdamsLee Adams III, of Downieville, has been a member of the Commission on State Mandates since 2017 and of the Sierra County Board of Supervisors since 2009. He was sheriff and coroner for Sierra County from 1988 to 2007, and served in several positions before that with the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, including sergeant and deputy sheriff.

    Bryan K. Brandes , Public Member

    B BrandesBryan K. Brandes, of Oakland, is Maritime Director of the Port of Oakland, California. Prior positions included Vice President, Pacific Southwest Region Operations for FlexiVan Leasing, and Director of West Coast Operations for CMA CGM America LLC, part of the CMA CGM worldwide shipping group. Brandes also worked twenty-nine years with A. P. Moller-Maersk, lastly as Director of California Inland Operations. He holds degrees from San Diego State University and Drucker School of Management.

    Janet Hansen, History

    JHansenJanet Hansen, of Palm Springs, has over 30 years of experience in the field of heritage preservation with expertise in developing heritage surveys to inform preservation policy and practice in local government environments. As Deputy Manager of the City of Los Angeles, Office of Historic Resources she managed the precedent setting SurveyLA project, the largest survey undertaken in an American city to date. Hansen holds a Master of Arts degree in historic preservation from the University of California Riverside.

    Alan Hess, Architecture

    A HessAlan Hess, of Irvine, has been owner at Alan Hess Architecture since 1981. He has written nineteen books on Modern architecture and urbanism in the mid-twentieth century, and was a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Hess earned a Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate Shcool of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Luis Hoyos, Architectural History

    LHoyosLuis Hoyos, of San Dimas, is a professor in the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he has served in professor and associate professor positions since 2001. Prior to that he was an architect with Castro-Blanco, Piscioneri and Associates, and an urban designer with Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut, and Kuhn Architects. Hoyos served perviously on the State Historical Resources Commission from 2002-2006.

    Adam Sriro, Historical Archaeology

    ASriroAdam Sriro, of Culver City, is manager of the Archaeology Program at Southern California Edison (SCE), a position he has held since 2010. He has worked at SCE since 2002 in several positions including archaeologist and senior archaeologist. Prior to that he held the position of associate archaeologist with the California Department of Transportation. Sriro earned a Master of Arts degree in cultural resources management from Sonoma State University.

    René Vellanoweth, Prehistoric Archaeology

    R VellanowethRené Vellanoweth, of Sierra Madre, has been a professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at California State University, Los Angeles, since 2008. From 2001 to 2008 he was an associate professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at Humboldt State University. Vellanoweth earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in archaeology and anthropology from the University of Oregon, and a Master of Arts degree in archaeology and anthropology from California State University, Los Angeles.

    Comment by pro-wellness center — July 31, 2022 @ 11:47 am

    • It would be completely inappropriate to contact any of them directly. To do so amounts to asking them to act corruptly.

      Comment by No Corruption — July 31, 2022 @ 9:45 pm

      • I agree it is more appropriate to contact the appropriate employees of the Office of Historic Preservation who openly publish their email addresses on the organization web site. Here are the two key addresses:
        – Julianne Polanco Also, CC a manager in the same organization
        – good to CC the GSA Historical Preservation Officer, since they are the owner. Beth Savage.

        I disagree that contacting a commissioner would be “asking them to act corruptly.” Just the opposite. They should be aware that the nomination was manufactured corruptly. In any case, there is no law against sharing an opinion with a commissioner. You may do it. I may do it. Basically, it’s “lobbying” which is legal regardless of whether we like it.

        If I knew how to contact Bryan K. Brandes, I would do so in a nanosecond.

        Comment by pro-wellness center — August 2, 2022 @ 10:44 am

    • Wow, they are infinitely more qualified than the people on Alameda’s Hysterical Advisory Board.

      Comment by Yeoman Zwerk — August 1, 2022 @ 5:13 pm

  3. I was sure you had misspelled demogorgon (thought it must be “demigorgon”) so I looked it up…. Damn, Lauren, I am so sorry I looked it up! *shudder*

    Comment by Jennie VH — August 2, 2022 @ 4:48 pm

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