Sometimes, “what’s new” is not as interesting as “what’s old.” That’s the case with our great old buildings in Downtown Alameda.
Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to a few small farmhouses scattered around the peninsula. However, things changed that year when a rail and ferry system was introduced to the city.
With improved transportation, hubs of commerce sprang up along the train routes. The primary local stop for the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad was Alameda Station, located near what is now the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Park Street. From that point, businesses spread out mostly in a linear fashion along a road that divided two large tracts of land. That road ultimately became “Park Street.”
Between 1877 and 1880, more than thirty large ornate commercial buildings were erected — ones that were grander than their wooden predecessors. In 1896, Alameda’s City Hall building was completed and by 1905 over 150 structures lined Park Street and the surrounding roads.
There were a few building booms following The Great Earthquake (1906) and between the two World Wars. But the old Victorian landmark buildings didn’t seem that cool any more, so they were either torn down or converted into something else. Thankfully, thirty of the historic structures were left standing, including one that still retains its original architecture. (more…)
Downtown Alameda, commonly referred to as the Park Street Business District, is Alameda’s vibrant historic commercial and civic downtown with buildings dating back to the late 1800’s and unique local businesses.
The Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA) is a non-profit organization designed to serve as a support network for the nearly 500 businesses located in the Park Street Business District. The Downtown Association’s goal is to develop an economically prosperous business district to ensure that the Park Street Business District continues to be the business, cultural, and civic center of Alameda, CA.
Through a united effort, we encourage the membership to promote trade, commerce, and cooperative relationships among diverse individuals and businesses. The Downtown Association also provides a collective voice to City Hall and has been instrumental in effecting numerous policy changes and improvements in the district over the past several years.