Oakland's Trestle Glen area was built around transportation.  Before it was as you see it today, it was the heart of  railroad line which ran along Trestle Glen Creek (mostly underground, now), and was originally named Indian Gulch after the Huchiun Indians who lived in the area. That railroad ran through nearby Montclair, and back through the Oakland hills, carrying freight, passengers and tourists from 1893 to 1906 when it was rerouted and torn down. The next transportation influence to encourage growth and development was the expansion of streetcar lines which allowed homeowners in the neighborhood to travel the short distance from their newly built homes above Lakeshore Avenue to their jobs in downtown Oakland, or across the bay to San Francisco. 

Built during the 1920's and 1930's, many of the homes in the area were designed to attract prosperous business owners.  The streets were laid out by the Olmstead brothers (whose father, Frederic Law Olmstead, designed the nearby Mountain View Cemetery).  The streets are tree lined, wide, and often with graceful curves.  Classic designs are seen throughout with French and Italian influences, gracious yards and porches, and many with large front and back yards for entertaining.  Other famous architects whose work can be seen are homes built by Maybeck & White, and Julia Morgan. 

Today, much of its growth and activity is centered around it's commercial hub-Lakeshore Avenue, which is a constantly active street with unique food, coffee, clothing stores and restaurants that attract Oaklanders from all over the area.  Immediately adjacent to famous Lake Merritt, it also is near three popular sites that attract families that visit them regularly.  The first is the historic Grand Lake Theater which is in the mold of the old grand theaters of the 1920's and 30's.  Built in 1926, it still shows a regular schedule of movies daily, an offers a special treat when it presents a live Wurlitzer mini-concert every Friday and Saturday night, featuring the amazing original theater organ. 

Another nearby draw Splash Pad Park.  Located among the busy streets that surround it, It  is a wonderful and pleasant gathering place to have a picnic, listen to it's pleasant fountain,  snack on goodies from the nearby restaurants, and sit among the native plants that were installed there by famous landscape designer Walter Hood. 

Last, but not least, is the popular Grand Lake Farmer's Market, which is held in the Splash Pad Park. Held every Sunday, it attracts crowds from the neighborhood and nearby neighborhoods to enjoy the ambiance of a huge variety of food, fresh produce, and pleasant surroundings.

It is difficult to be bored or indifferent about this vital Oakland neighborhood.

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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