Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 1, 2022

Checking it twice, part 12 (page 4)

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Page and Turnbull Associates, “Determination of Eligibility, National Register of Historic Places, Alameda Federal Center, Alameda, CA.” San Francisco: 1996.

This is the big daddy of the documents, this is the important one that was borrowed heavily from when the nominating party liked what was written but then whole sections about integrity and the lack of integrity were discarded when inconvenient for the application itself. I have a strong feeling that SHPO/SHRC staff did not read this document because it also did not fit into the agenda that this agency seems to have which is simply to push through any and all applications that they have formed an attachment to. Remember this was written when there were still lots of other buildings standing and an additional 26 years of wear and neglect had not added a patina of age to the site as a whole. This is what Page and Turnbull concluded and the nomination has not made a convincing argument other than painting a colorful picture that somehow the living of the students was integral to the war effort.

Remember that integrity, from the NPS bulletin, at a minimum, requires:

See what I said yesterday about the Engineering building being unrecognizable to someone who went to the school in the 40s. The space could also have doubled as where Captain Tripps started out in Stephen King’s the Stand.

And more:

Basically the Page and Turnbull report says that even the campus design is sort of the same as one would have seen across the US:

Even though the new nomination application borrowed heavily from the Page and Turnbull report it did not include the paragraph above. Nor did it include this one:

However the most damning part of the Page and Turnbull report is what they had in their bibliography which is missing from the current nomination which are all of these Alameda Times Star articles including the one from January 26, 1943 which referenced the designs being completed by Coast Guard Engineers:


  1. Doug Biggs himself used historical and contemporary photographs of the interior and exterior of the facility when he pitched the reuse of the buildings to Alameda leaders and voters.

    Comment by The Biggs Lie — August 1, 2022 @ 5:09 pm

    • It’s almost as if… Rehabbing things by removing non-contemporaneous modifications and restoring things to their original state was a goal that proved to be too financially prohibitive. If only we lived in a town filled with victorians that were too expensive to restore or torn down for something more cost-effective to draw our lessons from. Huh.

      Comment by You're A Dumbass — August 1, 2022 @ 8:19 pm

      • So let me get this straight. Doug Biggs persuaded Alameda to vote to reuse the existing historic structures by using visual evidence that the interiors look pretty much the same, and then Lauren Do now claims that the site would be unrecognizable to people who were students at the school and thus it fails a basic test … and I’m the ____ass? No, Doug Biggs is a liar and a fraud, and Lauren Do is the ____ass. By the way, ____ass is an ableist slur. Did you miss the recent news about Beyoncé and Lizzo using a similar ableist slur? You’re a damn bigot.

        Comment by Not Matt — August 1, 2022 @ 10:31 pm

        • Be careful there, you’re in libel territory. You are not anonymous.

          Comment by You're A Dumbass — August 1, 2022 @ 10:48 pm

        • So bring on the libel suit, Doug/Jason Biggs! Discovery goes both ways, you lying fraud. And, seriously, knock it off with the ableist slur, bigot.

          Comment by Eat Shit — August 1, 2022 @ 11:11 pm

        • Let me educate you, Doug Biggs and/or Jason Biggs, on why your language is bigoted: Go to Google and search the following phrase: “Why You Need to Stop Using These Words and Phrases” and read the Harvard Business Review article that comes up on why you’re using a slur and why you should stop. Oh, and regarding anonymity, are you saying you’ve defeated Apple Private Relay? Yeah, right. Fuck off with that bullshit. In any case, discovery against either of you would be a joy! Bring it on! Especially against Jason. Oh, man, Mr. Libel himself, still spewing libel with that video he made of him and two other men harassing and intimidating three smaller women near the Safeway, that he still keeps libelously mischaracterizing and sharing, What a pathetic loser.

          Comment by Stop Using Bigoted Slurs — August 2, 2022 @ 12:06 am

        • “and then Lauren Do now claims that the site would be unrecognizable to people who were students at the school and thus it fails a basic test”

          Lauren is citing experts who said that. Here is an incomplete list…
          – in 1995 the owner, the GSA hired expert historic preservation consultants, Page & Turnbull, who said that
          – in 2003 Arthur Layne, GSA’s own Historic Preservation Officer
          – in 2003 Dr. Knox Mellon, the former head of the California Office of Historic Preservation
          – in 2020 and again 2021 the City of Alameda hired Page & Turnbull for updates
          – this July Beth Savage, the current GSA Historic Preservation Officer, adding it’s much worse now than the 2003 California decision
          – this July Christopher Koeppel, federal Assistant Director representing the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (they advise the President and Congress)

          All these historic preservation experts said that. All are pro-historic site preservation and one is a legend – google Dr. Knox Mellon. Google all of them. Are you suggesting they are all a pack of liars?

          Comment by pro-wellness center — August 2, 2022 @ 7:57 am

        • Lol. DB didn’t persuade anyone to vote for the Center out of a desire to preserve those dank-ass buildings. He persuaded us because we have an innate desire to help the poor and the sick. My god!

          Comment by Try some compassion — August 2, 2022 @ 9:53 am

    • Shut up, Matt

      Comment by Shhh — August 1, 2022 @ 9:22 pm

    • I took a tour of the site just before the election and there was discussion about how to keep some buildings. I remember a default plan was to preserve and reuse buildings. I remember it driven more as a cost factor. I also remember a description of the changes necessary to meet the planned needs, like dividing large open spaces into small apartments, lots of added plumbing, etc. There is no way the interior would have stayed the same inside, and no pretending it would not change. Finally, I remember discussion of asbestos creating difficulties, starting with adding significant expense to the update construction. Also discussion of removal and/or entombment-in-place of the asbestos, the latter creating long term risks. Finally, I remember these building being plain uninteresting basically ugly, certainly nothing special, reminiscent of my army barracks in the 60s and many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other cheaply made military buildings at various bases.

      Comment by por-wellness center — August 2, 2022 @ 7:23 am

  2. Be careful there, you’re in libel territory. You are not anonymous.

    Comment by You're A Dumbass — August 1, 2022 @ 10:47 pm

    • Really, what exactly is the libel?

      Comment by Doug is a Fraud — August 1, 2022 @ 11:15 pm

  3. Lol that Safeway video? He was just standing there recording, did not say a word. Mayor Trish and crab lady were the ones screaming and doing all the talking. The poor teenage shopper got bullied by them. Was there a different video?

    Comment by Lol Really? — August 2, 2022 @ 8:36 am

  4. “The space could also have doubled as where Captain Tripps started out in Stephen King’s the Stand.” Ha, that’s delicious!

    And yeah, I doubt Doug Biggs said anything like, “Aren’t these buildings gorgeous and perfectly suited to our project?” They tried to work with them and determined it made more sense to tear down and start fresh, financially. I can’t imagine trying to do anything to do with healthy recuperation in 40-y.o. asbestos-laden buildings.

    If only we had lots of experts to say the buildings aren’t historically relevant… >:p

    Comment by Jennie VH — August 2, 2022 @ 4:44 pm

    • So far, only people who were paid to say the Maritime Officers Training School it is not historic have said it’s not historic, and of course those who want to tear it down instead of reusing it for the Wellness Center. Everyone else thinks it’s historic.

      Comment by Charles Lee — August 2, 2022 @ 8:00 pm

      • One of the people who wanted to tear it all down was none other than Carmen Reid in 2019.

        Comment by Pivot Harder — August 2, 2022 @ 9:43 pm

      • “Everyone else” is who, exactly?

        Comment by Jennie VH — August 4, 2022 @ 1:20 pm

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