Francis Marion Smith Recreation Center - Oakland CA
In 1942, the Oakland Recreation Department dedicated the newly renovated Recreation House at Park Boulevard and Newton Street – now the Recreation Center at Francis Marion Smith Park – which was completely remodeled with the help of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) (under the Federal Works Administration).
The brick structure contains a large, open hall in Craftsman style and a kitchen on the first floor; there are play and club rooms in the basement (Oakland Tribune 1942). It had previously been known as the Park Boulevard Clubhouse, a popular site for weddings, meetings, lectures and entertainments.
It remains in good condition. A plaque near the entrance indicates that in 1969 it was renamed for Francis Marion Smith, the “Borax King” and leading businessman of Oakland at the turn of the 20th century, whose mansion was located not far from this site.
"Recreation house ready: remodeled structure at Park Boulevard and Newton Street dedicated," Oakland Tribune, April 1, 1942, p. 7.
Project originally submitted by Gray Brechin on June 16, 2020.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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