- Oakland, CA
- Site Type:
- Parks and Recreation, Rock Walls, Paths and Trails, Picnic and Other Facilities, Landscaping and Tree Planting, Shops and Auxiliary Buildings
- New Deal Agencies:
- Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA)
- Quality of Information:
- Site Survival:
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) improved Lake Temescal Park, now known as Temescal Regional Recreation Area, one of the original units of the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). When the EBRPD was created in 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and WPA were called upon to make the first parks of the system ready for public use. Temescal Park opened to the public in 1936.
Along with the well-known beach house and cascade (see separate pages) at Lake Temescal, WPA workers made several other improvements to the park – not all of which can be pin-pointed. They created a large lawn/play area at the north end of the park by filling in the canyon below the dam. They built stone paths and rock walls around the beach house, as well as two stone benches along the main path on the east side of the lake. (the long handicapped ramp path behind the Beach House is newer).
At the south end of the park, the WPA workers very likely constructed a small picnic area and a long utility building, planted redwood trees on the hillsides around the lake and prepared the large lawn/picnic area, and built a footbridge over Temescal Creek.
All these elements have been repaired, altered and added to by EBRPD over time, making it difficult to be sure exactly what is original WPA work.
The east side of Temescal Park was much altered by another New Deal-funded project, the Caldecott Tunnel and its access roads (see those project pages). Landvale Road linked Upper Broadway (the main tunnel road) to Mountain Boulevard in Montclair, and a concrete retaining wall was built to hold it up. The Sacramento Northern trolley was rerouted below that wall and a large arm of Lake Temescal was filled in for the road and railway to pass over. An exit from Landvale road to Broadway Terrace was built over a new tunnel at the south entrance of the park.
Site originally submitted by Gray Brechin on August 11, 2008.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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