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Oakland North Presents: History of Rockridge

on May 15, 2012

“Rock Ridge is designed for people who will appreciate a high class residence district,” read a 1905 promotional brochure for Oak Park Homes. “It is only one block from the College Avenue Carline on the West,” the ad continued. “Rock Ridge, where poppies bloom in November, where meadow larks and quail announce the coming of day, and the air has a woodsy odor. With the charm of it all around him, one forgets that the heart of the city is twelve minutes away. Yet such is the case.”

“Rock Ridge” eventually became known as “Rockridge”—the neighborhood that encompasses a large portion of North Oakland from Broadway Terrace to the city’s border with Berkeley, and from the area surrounding 51st and Telegraph to Lake Temescal. The neighborhood has changed over the years, especially with the addition of Highway 24 and a BART station after the 1960s, but remains a stable and affluent area.

Oakland North is taking a look at the history of Rockridge. We have stories on its early beginnings as a home for Oakland’s upper class by Ryan Phillips, a profile of one of Rockridge’s founding fathers by Amna Hassan, as well as what the area used to look like, in the words of some of its earliest settlers, by Megan Molteni.

We also have photos of what the area looked like at the turn of the century, as well as Rockridge “then and now” side-by-side photos.

You can also read the story of a “pagan love cult” that scandalized the district.

Image: Courtesy of The Oakland History Room.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

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