Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Uptown parking lot gets the boot, for now

By cburt
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 3:55 pm in Oakland City Council, Uptown.

Thanks to LOTS of public pressure from assorted bloggers (dto510, Becks from Living in the O, etc…) and downtown neighbors, Oakland’s elected leaders decided late Tuesday night that maybe a temporary (until June 2011) surface parking lot with only 110 spaces wasn’t perhaps the best use of a prime piece of property on Telegraph Avenue next to the Fox Theater. Especially since it was gonna cost $400,000 or $500,000 (paid by developer Forest City) and be months before it would be ready for use.

Besides the wealth of alternate ideas that folks had for the space were just so darn great (park, plaza, large sculpture space, pee-wee golf), the council couldn’t help but take notice, apparently.

So last night the council voted to give the community two weeks to develop a plan to transform the dirt lot into a spot to display large public art, a la Burning Man-sized creations. Like IT by Michael Christian??? How cool would that be???

Could great art like this be headed downtown? Stay tuned.

Could great art like this be headed downtown? Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to “Uptown parking lot gets the boot, for now”

  1. Karen Hester Says:


    Thanks for blogging about this.I would add as I said to Nancy Nadel, there is a definite cost to the City if the public art idea is scrapped for a parking lot. It’s called greenhouse gas emissions and there’s already plenty of them in Oakland. I am elated that the council for once listened to the residents of Oakland, many of whom are the most creative folks I know. Let’s think to the future, when some of these whippersnappers run for council and we have some real “community organizers” thinking outside the box. Berkeley opens its nationally recognized Brower Center (www.browercenter.org) this Sunday while Oakland council has to be persuaded not to add a car polluting lot in the middle of artsy and economically generating Uptown–where is the justice?

  2. andrew danish Says:

    what’s up with this?
    two weeks is not a lot of time.
    is there a group forming? anyone spearheading it? website?

  3. Cecily Says:

    I would check out the blog Living in the O, the folks there were really instrumental in getting the council to reconsider.

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