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CLUE SET 1
1.Head North to a funky “Café” where you can enjoy peppered popcorn and elegantly strong drinks flavored with fresh-squeezed fruits along side a jackalope. Take a picture with “Van Kleef.”
2.Continue north to a place where, in the 1930’s, Oakland was as “foxy” as this theater’s name. Opened on October 27, 1928 and operating through 1973, this building will be home to the Oakland School of the Arts and a performance space for other events after a $68 million restoration project. Stars that have appeared live on stage over the years included Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Band. This building was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1973.
3.Just a quick jaunt and you’re at the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. This building initiated by Publix Theatres, was completed in late 1931. It’s “movie palace” days didn’t last long and it was neglected for three decades until its rescue by the Oakland Symphony, City of Oakland, and numerous private donors in 1972. Restoration was completed in 1973, when it was also entered into NRHP. It is currently the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and have hosted the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir’s holiday concert, every first Saturday of December, for the past decade.
4.Head Uptown on Broadway where the posh and beautiful rendezvous on Saturday nights. Look for Luka, the stray dog found in West Oakland, now crowned in glory on Grand Avenue. Take a picture with Luka!
5.Close your eyes, and remember a time when princesses and dragons were real, and when a woman really did live in a shoe! Head now to “Once upon a time…” where a plastic key can unlock stories and where puppets perform theater, and where you can follow a yellow brick road to take a picture next to “Happily ever after!” Built for $50,000 in 1950, this storybook park also inspired Mr. Walt Disney as he incorporated some of its innovations into his Magic Kingdom.
6.Take a “beautiful view” route and join skippers and first mates and head out into the high seas… or rather, just cruise along side the ducks and birds of the Wild Duck Refuge (entered into NRHP in 1966), on Mayor Dr. Samuel Merritt’s salt water lake, which used to be called Laguna Peralta. CHALLENGE: Check in with the Boat Rental office to retrieve a gem from BUOY #2. Trade in your gem for Clue Set #2
CLUE SET 2
7.Now head to one of the remaining mansions that used to line Lake Merritt. Built by Dr. Merritt in 1876, it was sold to Contra Costa County’s Deputy Sheriff, William "Will" Camron, and his wife, Alice – the first owners of the house. They sold the house when their youngest daughter died four days after her 2nd birthday. David Hewes, best known for donating the golden spike that linked the transcontinental railroad tracks, rented from the Camrons for three years before moving to Southern California. The house was then sold to Josiah and Helen Stanford, who helped to establish a large and prosperous grape vineyard. In addition to wine, Stanford Brothers Winery produced California’s first champagne. Years later, Stanford Brothers Winery later became Weibel Winery. Take a picture like the one above, when the House reopened to the public in 1978 as a house museum to serve the community. HINT: it’s located “Lakeside”
8.Jump across the street to the Oakland Public Library’s Main Branch. CHALLENGE: Look for the following: “Mayor Lionel Wilson and labor leader Cesar Chavez, March 29, 1977. Mayor Wilson (1977 – 1991) was Oakland’s first African American mayor. Oakland Tribune Collection. Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Alameda Newspaper Group.”
9.Head West on 14th street and follow the sound of the drums. This building was built in 1927-28 by the Women’s City Club of Oakland and the East Bay, designed by the firm of (Chester) Miller & (Carl I.) Warnecke, famed for a wide variety of institutional work including the main Oakland Public Library on 14th Street at Lake Merritt. Formerly the Alice Arts Center, it was renamed by the Oakland City Council on June 1, 2004, to honor the memory of Malonga Casquelourd, master drummer, dancer, and teacher who dedicated his life to promoting African culture in the East Bay. Take a picture of a dance or drumming class.
10.Head over to the “Civic Center Post Office” and Superior Court location across the parking lot, listed in 1980 to the NRHP. Look for P.O. Box #1952 – which is 100 years after the City of Oakland was founded.
11.Head to 815-817 Alice to a building erected in 1909. This building may have been erected in response to the 1906 earthquake to serve its immediate community.
12.Continue West on 9th street to visit Mr. Tom and his fortune cookies. Take a picture in front of the store.
13.Chinese residents were rousted from place to place in the boomtown that was Oakland after the transcontinental railroad linked the two coasts. Oakland’s original Chinatown on Telegraph Avenue was burned down in 1867. Fierce anti-Chinese sentiments in the period between the Gold Rush and the early 20th century, prevented them from re-building. Instead they were given a marshy piece of land near San Pablo and 20th. When City Hall was planned to be built at its current location, the Chinese were too close for comfort and were moved again to 8th and webster. Enough is enough! The Chinese claimed this last area and have thrived in what is today’s Chinatown. CHALLENGE: At the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, take a picture with the San Pablo Chinatown Exhibit
CHINATOWN BONUS (-15 minutes from finish time): Find a seahorse and bring it back to the finish line
14.Head south on Webster to where Jack London once studied. Built in 1880 as a bunk house, Johnny Heinold bought the place for $100 in 1883 and transformed it into a saloon. During the 1920's, the ferry that ran between Alameda and Oakland stopped next to Heinold's. Alameda was a dry (non-alcoholic) city at the time, and this bar was truly a commuter's First and Last Chance for a refreshment. As the years wore on, many servicemen left for overseas from the Port of Oakland, and the First and Last tradition stuck, so the name of the saloon was officially changed to Heinold's First and Last Chance. "What about the tilting floor?” When the great San Francisco earthquake struck in 1906, the pilings underneath the saloon settled in the mud and subsequent efforts to shore up the floor proved unsuccessful. You can still note the time of the quake from the clock on the wall that stopped for the occasion.
CLUE SET 3 15.What’s better than pairing quality sushi and world class jazz? NOTHING! Find out who’s playing tonight at the corner of Washington and Embarcadero. Take a picture of the artist’s name on the marquee.
16.Head up to this district, the "original" downtown Oakland during the 1860's, where the “Old” is now new as more market-rate condominiums have been constructed nearby, and as Transit-proximate development retail and housing become more and more in demand. A farmer's market is also held here every Friday. Take a picture of the carefully rehabilitated, 1878, Nicholl Block building on “Victorian Row.”
17.On 11th street at Castro, this Italianate villa was dubbed Oakland City Landmark in 1975, NRHP in 1976, and California Historical Landmark in 1997. Host a tea party at the home of Enoch Pardee who built the house in 1868-69, or just tour the house, now converted into a museum, that also hosts school tours, complete with a curriculum for 4th through 6th graders. Enoch’s son, George Pardee became known as the “Earthquake Governor” through his leadership during the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated the San Francisco Bay Area in 1906.
18.Go two blocks north on Martin Luther King Jr Way, and be transported back in time to a re-creation of a Victorian Neighborhood, with a bronze fountain from Paris as its centerpiece. Five of the Park's 16 houses are original to the site. The other homes were selected by the City Planning Department and were moved to the Park starting in 1970 to make way for construction of I-980. Completed in 1991, this business neighborhood now houses different small business, and non-profit organizations. The Park is also available for weddings, receptions, and special events.
19.Head home now to Oakland’s 5th City Hall! Take a picture with Mr. Ogawa, the first Japanese-American to serve on a City Council in the U.S. He is credited with linking Oakland to its first sister city, Fukuoka, Japan, in 1962.