Oakland, CA

The Abandoned Railroad Station in Oakland that Wasn't Used Since 1994

Diana Rus

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16th Street stationPhoto by16th Street station (Oakland)/ Wikipedia

The Oakland Central or 16th Street station is a historic Southern Pacific Railroad station in the Prescott neighborhood of Oakland, California, United States.

Jarvis Hunt, a famous railroad station architect, created the Beaux-Arts structure, which opened in 1912. Since 1994, trains have not served the station.

The original 16th Street depot was a tiny wood structure constructed while the rails were on the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The shoreline was later filled in, and it currently lies about a mile to the west. A Jarvis Hunt-designed Beaux-Arts structure was put in its place in 1912.

16th Street station

The 16th Street station replaced the 7th Street station as the primary Oakland station for Southern Pacific (SP) through trains for many years. It served as a municipal station for the two-mile-away Oakland Pier, from which travelers could take ferries to San Francisco.

It served as a municipal station for the two-mile-away Oakland Pier, from which travelers could take ferries to San Francisco.

Additionally, the station functioned as the primary rail connection for locations north and east of the Bay Area. After 1958, passengers from the San Francisco area boarded buses to reach 16th Street instead of using ferries to Oakland Pier.

After assuming control of intercity passenger rail services in 1971, Amtrak made the decision to consolidate the majority of Bay Area service in Oakland, leaving San Francisco as one of the largest cities without direct intercity train access.

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16th Street stationPhoto by16th Street station (Oakland)/ Wikipedia

16th Street station- shutting down

The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 caused significant damage to the station, but trains were still served by an adjacent structure.

On August 13, 1993, the Capitols and San Joaquins trains were moved to the new Emeryville station, while long-distance trains continued to utilize Oakland Central until Emeryville's track work was finished.

Beginning on August 5, 1994, the Coast Starlight and California Zephyr made stops in Emeryville; on August 21, they made their final stop in Oakland at 16th Street.

Up until the opening of the new Oakland-Jack London Square station on May 22, 1995, Emeryville was the only Amtrak stop in the Oakland region.

Emeryville, which is closer to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge than Oakland-Jack London Square, has largely replaced 16th Street station as the connection point for Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach across the bay in San Francisco.

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16th Street stationPhoto by16th Street station (Oakland)/ Wikipedia

16th Street station- used for private events

During the construction of Interstate 880 in the mid-1990s, to replace the Cypress Street Viaduct, which had been devastated by an earthquake. The nearby railroad tracks were shifted west, shutting off the station from the tracks.

The elevated platforms made of ironwork and the interlocking tower are among the station buildings that are still mostly undamaged. The station is being rebuilt as part of a neighborhood redevelopment project after being purchased by BUILD, a subsidiary of BRIDGE Housing, in 2005.

The station served as the setting for a local opera company's production of Lulu in 2015.

The station is being used as a rented location for private events as of 2021.

(Source: 16th Street station (Oakland)/ Wikipedia)

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