During its 138-year history, the Oakland Tribune newsroom has had a series of homes in the city. Last month, the newspaper moved to its newest one: a ground-floor suite in the former World Savings building on Broadway at 20th Street.
When the first issue of the Oakland Tribune hit the streets Feb. 21, 1874 -- a four-pager that cost a nickel -- its newsroom was upstairs from the post office on Ninth Street between Broadway and Washington Street.
Over the next several years, the Tribune moved around in what is now known as Old Oakland. In 1915, then-owner and Publisher Joseph P. Knowland bought six buildings at 13th and Franklin streets and, in 1923, added the signature Tribune Tower next door.
The 20-story, 310-foot medieval-Italian style campanile structure was designed by then-prominent architect Edward Foulkes. While training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he traveled throughout Europe, and many believe the campanile in St. Mark's Square in Venice was the inspiration for the Tribune Tower's design.
The tower's 11-foot-tall TRIBUNE letters and four-way clock faces, 15 feet in diameter, made a bold statement on the downtown skyline, then and now.
In 1983, New York journalist Robert Maynard assumed ownership of the Tribune, becoming the first person of color to publish a major metropolitan newspaper in the United States.
Maynard and his co-publisher, journalist and wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard, steered the paper through the decade after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, before health issues forced him to retire. In 1992, Maynard sold the paper to the Alameda News Group, a precursor to Bay Area News Group.
The new owners moved the paper to Jack London Square, where the newsroom operated on the top floor of a converted 1926 warehouse and former Port of Oakland headquarters at 66 Franklin St. The paper then had a second sojourn at the tower, when operations moved back in 2000, and seven years later moved yet again to a building on Oakport Street across Interstate 880 from the Coliseum complex. Known as the Equitec Building, the high-rise's ninth floor was home to the paper for the next five years.
The paper's current home on Broadway was built in 1970 and was designed by the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, best known locally for the Terminal One building at Oakland International Airport, the iconic Ordway Building also known as One Kaiser Plaza, and most recently, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the Light, completed in 2008 across from Lake Merritt.
Previously on the site was a 1926 Elks Lodge building, Gothic Revival in style and faced with granite. It, too, featured a clock tower, this one with carillon bells that played "Auld Lang Syne" each evening. The old Elks Lodge stood opposite Capwells department store, now Sears, and the Art Deco I. Magnin building.
Close by were the Paramount and Fox theaters, in the 1920s ground zero for the lively then-new Uptown shopping and entertainment district.
To learn more about the history of the Uptown district, the Tribune Tower and Old Oakland, where the early buildings associated with the newspaper still stand, sign up for this summer's free Oakland Walking Tours.
For dates, descriptions and starting places, go to www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours, or call for a brochure and schedule, 510-238-3234.