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Information and Origins of Parks and Recreation facilities
With well over a hundred (100) years in service the Office of Parks and Recreations operates multiple facilities, parks, fields, and courts throughout the entire City of Oakland. Many of the site have been around just as long as Parks and Recreation and we want to share their history.
History of our Facilities:
- Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center
- Bushrod Recreation Center
- deFremery Recreation Center
- Dimond Recreation Center
Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center
7701 Krause Avenue
The original Arroyo Viejo site of 16.43 acres containing the Domoto family homes was a site of a Japanese nursery. Between 1936 and 1939, the site was developed by WPA and opened for neighborhood use in 1939. Following World War II, approximately four more acres were added to the area through a 40-year lease with the Board of Education. McConnell Sports Field located on the leased land. It is used by the public schools for inter-school athletic events. Castlemont High School plays its home baseball game here. The nearby field house was erected in 1956 to serve the adjacent playground and outdoor field areas. In addition to the Center, a unique award winning Children’s Theatre was at a cost of $11,500 but was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1970 and not replaced. A lighted playground and parking lot were added in 1957. Funds for the barbecue area in the patio were donated by the East Oakland Rotary Club. In 1960 and 1979, major arson-set fires resulted in extensive damage to the main center and studio wings of the complex respectively. Also at this site is a childcare center housed in a building leased to the Board of Education by the City.
The present center/studio building - constructed and furnished in 1965 at a cost of $180,000 from federal and local funds. The original park area was purchased from the Central Bank of Oakland in 1935. The federal government through its W.P.A. programs developed the park site (1936-39).
Site Information Acreage 18.75 Center Building's Square Footage 14.457 Building Room Description Center/social hall
Enclosed outdoor patio/barbecue area
Studio Pottery/kiln room
Photo lab room
Arts and Crafts room
Outdoor Facilities Football/soccer field
Baseball/softball fields (2)
Basketball courts (5)
Tennis courts (4)
Tot lots (2)
Auto parking lots (2)
Day camp site
Bushrod Recreation Center
560 - 59th Street
Opened in June 1910, Bushrod became the city's second municipal playground. A field house built on the site was Oakland's first recreation building and remained standing until 1958, when it was raised in anticipation of current playground improvements. Bushrod is situated on land given to the city in 1904 by Dr. Bushrod Washington James, a Philadelphia writer of verse and retired army surgeon, who purchased the North Oakland property by proxy. The present recreation center was erected in 1947 as an experiment in building construction. Thc pre-fab construction was completed in 90 days at the low average cost of $4.37 per square feet. During 1961, a program renovation occurred, with major improvements made in the outdoor facilities and a new entrance added to the west side near the lighted parking lot. The area between the center and Washington Elementary School, formerly occupied by the then Recreation Department Shops, was turfed and lighted. Three lighted tennis courts, a lighted asphalt basketball and other court games area were completed. At that time, two of the latest ideas in tot lots were constructed whose equipment had such names as Lilliputian, Woods, Space Station, Tot House, Cliff Climber and Wing Ding, all suggesting fun play. This equipment was especially designed for safety and self-directed activities.
Current center and outside improvements - city monies.
|Center Building's Square Footage||9316|
|Building Room Description|
Gymnasium (90' x 50’)
Club rooms (2)
Restrooms with showers
Table tennis alcove and storeroom
|Outdoor Facilities||Football/soccer field |
Baseball fields (2)
Basketball courts (4)
Tennis courts (3)
Tot lots (2)
Hard court game area
deFremery Recreation Center
1651 Adeline Street
This was Oakland's first municipal playground and is the major community recreation center in West Oakland. The playground opened in June 1910, and served as a neighborhood family center.
The clubhouse was used as headquarters for the City WPA Recreation Service Project during the late 1930’s. It was dedicated as a Hospitality House for servicemen on December 16, 1941. In August 1942, servicemen leased the clubhouse to the National USO for use. The USO renovated and improved the clubhouse, adding the present social hall. Under the supervision of the Oakland Recreation Department, the clubhouse reopened in 1948 as a settlement house type of community center, with a resident director.
The center and park site were purchased from the Leon deFremery family by the City Council in 1907 for $135,000.
|Center Building's Square Footage||9842|
|Building Room Description||Social hall and small stage |
Plus several upstairs meeting
and activity rooms
|Outdoor Facilities||Redeveloped field house (1950) |
Football/soccer area (lighted)
Softball diamond (lighted)
Basketball courts (4) (lighted)
Tennis courts (3) (lighted)
Handball courts (3)
Tot lots (2)
Swimming pool (lighted)
Dimond Recreation Center
3860 Hanly Road
Prior to 1850, the land on which Dimond Park and Recreation Center are located belonged to the famous Peralta family. In 1850, the Hugh Dimond family bought the land from the Peraltas. In 1879, Hugh Dimond built a playhouse for his son out of the original adobe bricks from the Peralta house. The site of this playhouse is where the now existing "Boy Scout Hut" stands (note: The structure has been damaged by fire and is pending repairs). In 1917, the City of Oakland Parks Department purchased 12 acres of land along the Sausal Creek to be used as a park site. In 1929, Lions Pool was constructed in the park and subsequently remodeled in 1959. The modern type Dimond Recreation Center was opened in September 1957 in the wooded ravine adjacent to the Lions Pool site. In June 1955, the development of Dimond Recreation Center was spearheaded by an active neighborhood committee interested in, community improvement with a specific desire that a center building be erected which would provide program facilities for all age groups. The building rooms overlook Lions Pool and Dimond Park. Its unique design provides a versatile downstairs area which serves for five months of the year as a shower and locker room for Lions Pool and for seven months as the center's teen game room.
Donations from neighborhood community groups, Dimond Merchants Association, and other local organizations plus city funds.
|Center Building's Square Footage|
Includes Recreation Center and dressing rooms.
|Building Room Description||Social hall |
Arts and Crafts Room
Teen/locker room (downstairs)
Large deck area
|Outdoor Facilities||Basketball Court |
Tot lots (2)
Tennis courts (2)
Turf game areas