- Oakland, CA
- Site Type:
- Parks and Recreation, Lakes and Ponds
- New Deal Agencies:
- Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA)
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
The seven-acre Montclair Park in Oakland was built with the aid of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938-40. This gem of a park lies just north of Montclair Village in the Oakland hills and below Montclair Elementary School.
At the center of the park is a large, oval, stone-lined pond that is home to ducks, turtles and koi carp (giant goldfish), as well as occasional Canada geese. The pond is an extension of the Lake Merritt bird sanctuary and therefore protected by federal wildlife laws.
The park also includes extensive rock walls and stairs, large lawns and trees, tennis courts, a baseball field, picnic area, children’s play area, and more.
The City of Oakland Recreation Department put in $90,000 for the park and recreation center (Beebe 1938). The amount of federal funds is not certain. We know that $55,000 were allocated for this and another WPA project in 1937-38 (Gray 1938). More was likely added in 1939-40, but we have not been able to track down those figures.
The old fire station done in “Hansel & Gretel” style at the far north end of the park along Moraga Avenue is not park of the WPA works.
Clare Beebe, "Work started on Montclair Recreation Center project," Oakland Tribune, March 27, 1938.
Jane Gray, "Highlights of playground activities: City releases year's survey", Oakland Tribune, September 18, 1938, p. 8-A
WPA Plaque on site (see photo)
Site originally submitted by Dr. Tanya Lyn March on July 10, 2022.
Additional contributions by Ben Stone, Richard A Walker.
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