Oakland City Hall by Palmer & Hornbostel

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

When the Oakland City Hall was completed in 1914, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Designed by the NYC-based firm of Henry Hornbostel and William Palmer, this grand Beaux Arts structure is located at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.

The building was badly damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and then rehabbed and seismically retrofitted over a period of 6 years. Sidenote: I know the architect on that project.

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

A view of the public plaza, showing the decorative terrazzo installation:

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

The exterior is built using white granite and terra cotta. I’ve never been inside, but it’s apparently covered in black and white marble:

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

The bottom tier houses the mayor’s office, city council chamber, hearing rooms, and a police station. The second tier is a ten-story office tower, which includes an obsolete jail with an outdoor yard. The top tier is two-story tall podium with a clock tower on top:

Oakland City Hall by Henry Hornbostel

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