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Nostalgia & History > Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery


Date: 11/14/20 13:28
Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

 I was perusing some of the 1965 aerial photos at UCSB's FrameFinder and noticed that an adjacent set of flights, one flown on May 11 and the other flown on May 18, 1965, captured the demolition of a bit of infrastructure on the SP's Oakland Mole site. I circled the structure in yellow. The top two photos are from the May 11 flight. The third is from May 18. You can see in the third photo that the structure has been removed. 

Anyone know what this was? I looked at some 1930's photos on the UCSB site and I think there was a freight wharf on that site but it's hard to tell if the structure in question is related. It might have been built later. 








Date: 11/14/20 13:33
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Went back to FrameFinder and downloaded a 1958 aerial. Crop of that shown here. There is no structure on the site in 1958. Also, the tanks that appear in the 1965 photo, between the carfloat slip site and the mysterious structure, are also not in situ. 

Perhaps there was a marine industry that leased that space and it just didn't last long. There appears to be tracks of some kind, perhaps ways like you'd have at a shipyard, running from the structure into the water. There might be one of those harbor resources documents for 1960 that would explain what is going on here. 

Looks like the old SP freight wharfs were being used for some kind of lighter/barge storage or loading or operation in 1958, also interesting. 




Date: 11/14/20 13:58
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: TCnR

There's some info in previous discussions that included KeyRouteKen and Thomas, as well as many others. The detailed stuff seems to be the last entries in the posts, not simply the answers but also some extra info or something that excludes other tidbits of info. For example some info and photos concerning the Moore Shipyards vs the SP Shipyards. Way beyond my comprehension at the moment.

Date: 01/08/08 20:43
Re: SP W Oak pic
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,1571575,page=2

Date: 10/20/08 09:17
Santa Fe Ferryboat "San Pablo" Recycled
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,1786497,1787407#msg-1787407

Date: 12/27/09 09:01
Northwestern Pacific Ferryboats
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,2086383,2086488#msg-2086488



Date: 11/14/20 14:15
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: Evan_Werkema

phthithu Wrote:


> Perhaps there was a marine industry that leased
> that space and it just didn't last long. There
> appears to be tracks of some kind, perhaps ways
> like you'd have at a shipyard, running from the
> structure into the water. There might be one of
> those harbor resources documents for 1960 that
> would explain what is going on here. 

See also: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3631918,3631924#3631924

Wonder if that might have been a later incarnation of the "Asiatic Wharf" shown in this old thread: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3529207,3529208#3529208

> Looks like the old SP freight wharfs were being
> used for some kind of lighter/barge storage or
> loading or operation in 1958, also interesting. 

Look close at that barge and you can see the shadow of the wheelhouse on the left.  Wonder if that's our mysterious SP barge yet again:

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3801088,3801645#3801645

 



Date: 11/14/20 14:21
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Good spotting Evan. I think that must be the No. 1. I didn't see it in the 1965 images but I believe by then it had already been documented up in Petaluma by Don Jewell, as seen in his book Trackside Around San Francisco.  



Date: 11/14/20 14:38
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: Evan_Werkema

phthithu Wrote:

> the demolition of
> a bit of infrastructure on the SP's Oakland Mole
> site. I circled the structure in yellow. The top
> two photos are from the May 11 flight. The third
> is from May 18. You can see in the third photo
> that the structure has been removed. 

It looks like a support structure of some kind lying on its side.  You can see four "feet" on the lower left.   My guess is it was either assembled on that spot and barged to its final destination, or it was uprooted and barged to that spot for scrapping (probably the latter).



Date: 11/14/20 15:57
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Good call Evan. So rather than a demolition these two May 1965 images likely capture an ongoing enterprise of some kind. I wonder what bridges might have been under construction in 1965 somewhere in the Bay Area or Delta region. I 

I checked the following document and there is nothing in it for the SP or Naval Supply Depot. 
Ports of Oakland, Alameda, and Richmond on San Francisco Bay, by Corps of Engineers, 1963
https://hdl.handle.net/2027/osu.32435008659948

Here's some pictures I came across in this book of wharf facilities including the ATSF Alice St. carfloat slip. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/osu.32435008659948?urlappend=%3Bseq=28



Date: 11/14/20 16:40
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: TCnR

Looking at an enlargement and given the location, maybe something to do with BART, beginning construction of the Tube in November 1966. Possibly something to do with moving the sections around, build it locally then mount it on a barge for example, or maybe an anchorage at the land interface, although there would have been more than one needed. The tube sections themselves were built 'at pier 70' and barged to the site.

+ Looking at the article the object may not have been big enough for anything used on the underwater work:

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-BART-Transbay-tube-construction-archival-photos-10968869.php#photo-12468871

++ that said, it does look like the overhead portion of a bascule drawbridge. Possibly loaded onto a barge and moved to the site, maybe in the delta for example.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/20 16:55 by TCnR.



Date: 11/14/20 17:07
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Great research TCnR. I am looking right now at Port of Oakland meeting minutes. 1965 minutes mention contracting with BART for their transbay tube through the Mole area which would include BART removing all the SP structures. In 1964 the Port resolved to tear down a number of buildings on the Mole site and approved a few contracts with firms to scrap select buildings. 

Also mentioned is a bulk loading terminal planned for the Mole site.

Sounds to me like the property in question was Port of Oakland land so I think I'm going to find something helpful in there. About to look at the 1963 minutes now. 

https://www.portofoakland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1963_minutes.pdf

You can change the year in that link to see other years minutes.  



Date: 11/14/20 17:21
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

I threw the 1958 and 1965 images through the georeferencer and into Google Earth and made a video dissolving between the 1958 and 1965 images to show changes to the area. 

Gleaned from the Port of Oakland meeting minutes that the trainshed demolition apparent in the 1965 image happened in 1963. And BART would tear down the rest of the complex in 1965 sometime after the 1965 image was taken, obviously. 

The two large tanks that appear in the 1965 image appear to belong to a company called Powerine and were connected via a pipeline to a wharf to the north of SP mole. They were mentioned in 1964 I think as being built.  

The smaller tanks that can be seen on the water in the 1965 image near the old site of the SP carfloat slip are another mystery. They weren't there in 1958 but by 1965 they look pretty derelict to me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/20 17:23 by phthithu.

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Date: 11/14/20 18:40
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: TCnR

There's been quite a few Oakland Mole posts on TO, KeyRouteKen has a huge number of photos of the structures and surrounding areas still in the TO archives. Signor has material in his Westrn Division book as well. I'm certainly not the subject matter expert, but this is the first time I've heard the chain of responsibility for the final tearing down of the structures. I didn't really pick up on the idea of the BART tunnel being underneath the Mole property, the timing and the location certainly fits. Wish I could find the post showing the abandoned Oakland Mole structures all falling apart, not sure who posted those, there may have been an explanation in the text.

Great job on the Google presentation tool.



Date: 11/14/20 18:59
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There's been quite a few Oakland Mole posts on TO,
> KeyRouteKen has a huge number of photos of the
> structures and surrounding areas still in the TO
> archives. Signor has material in his Westrn
> Division book as well. I'm certainly not the
> subject matter expert, but this is the first time
> I've heard the chain of responsibility for the
> final tearing down of the structures. I didn't
> really pick up on the idea of the BART tunnel
> being underneath the Mole property, the timing and
> the location certainly fits. Wish I could find the
> post showing the abandoned Oakland Mole structures
> all falling apart, not sure who posted those,
> there may have been an explanation in the text.
>
> Great job on the Google presentation tool.

I don't know if if this is what you were thinking of but I searched for photobob oakland mole and you posted this thread in there: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,2714576,page=1

Here's the photobob thread: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,4747294

 



Date: 11/14/20 19:07
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: TCnR

Yep, that's the one. The John Harder photos are etched in nuerons.

...and this one:
Date: 01/11/06 21:47
Oakland Mole Memories
Author: box8513
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,1077241,page=1



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/20 19:59 by TCnR.



Date: 11/14/20 20:58
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Here's some stuff out of the Port of Oakland meeting minutes from 1963 (see link above): 

Early in the year: 
"The Executive Director made a written report to the Board on the condition of train sheds at the old Southern Pacific Mole at the foot of 7th Street, and recommended that due to their hazardous condition the sheds be razed immediately, with the debris to be disposed of at a later date, which procedure was approved on motion of Commissioner Chaudet, seconded and passed unanimously, "

Later: 
""RESOLUTION NO. 14922 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING DISPOSAL OF DEBRIS AT FORMER SOUTHERN PACIFIC MOLE. WHEREAS, portions of the train sheds located at the former SOUTHERN PACIFIC MOLE at the foot of Seventh Street in the Port Area have been demolished and the debris resulting from such demolition still remains upon the premises; and -19- WHEREAS, such debris is of no value to the Port and the best interests of the Port will be served by permitting others to remove such debris without cost to the Port and under such conditions as well protect the interests of the Port; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that the Executive Director be and he is hereby authorized to dispose of such debris and to permit others to remove such debris in such manner as he deems appropriate and consistent with the provisions of this resolution."

Also: 
" The Executive Director reported on contacts made in connection with the shipment of iron ore to Japan through the proposed new bulk facility on the former Southern Pacific Mole property, consolidation of Japanese shipping lines, and the need for a new super terminal in the Bay Area to handle their combined operations, and he reviewed with the Board various plans which have been prepared by the Port's engineering department for the location of such a terminal. He stated that they had also met with governmental officials, steamship companies, trading companies and airlines and, in his opinion, the trip was well worth the time and expense involved."

Here's some excerpts from the 1964 meeting minutes: 

"The Executive Director recommended to the Board that some 25 small buildings at the old Southern Pacific Mole which are in various stages of disrepair should be removed and asked approval of the Board to receive informal bids for their removal, which was approved upon motion of Commissioner Chaudet, seconded and passed unanimously. "

"The Manager, Properties Department, transmitted a letter to the Board regarding negotiations being carried on with Powerine Oil Company toward a long-term lease to locate storage tanks in an area south of 7th Street adjacent to Terminal Street extended, with pipeline connections to the 7th Street Terminal presently under lease to McGuire Chemical Company, which has preferential, but not exclusive, use of the berthing facilities. The Board indicated unanimously that it had no objection to the proposal upon being assured by the Executive Director that such use of these properties are compatible with the Master Plan for the area and will not interfere with the proposed development of the Southern Pacific Mole Area for the bulk loading facility. "

""RESOLUTION NO. 15516 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SALE OF BUILDING NO. 18 LOCATED AT THE FORMER SOUTHERN PACIFIC MOLE. RESOLVED that Building No. 18, located at the former Southern Pacific Mole, be and the same is hereby sold to NORDIC YAGH1 IMPORTS for the sum of $1.00, being the highest and best bid therefor after the receipt of informal bids, upon the condition that the buyer shall dismantle and/or remove all surface material but not the foundations or concrete pavement; and be it "

"RESOLVED that the Executive Director and Chief Engineer be and he hereby is authorized to execute for and on behalf of this Board that certain Agreement dated the 7th day of August, 1964, with JOHN C. LYONS, CLABIN CHRISTIAN and AMOS HALL, individually and doing business as a copartnership, Contractors, providing for the demolition and scrapping of Buildings Nos, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, and 17a at the former Southern Pacific Mole premises in the Outer Harbor Area by Contractors, said work to commence -17- not later than the 12th day of August, 1964 and be completed by the 28th day of February, 1965, and that Contractors shall pay to the Port therefor the total sum of $86 0 00, plus sales tax, and that such agreement shall be upon a form approved by the Port Attorney." 

"RESOLVED that the Executive Director and Chief Engineer be and he hereby is authorized to execute, for and on behalf of this Board, that certain Agreement dated the 14th day of August, 1964, with JAMES H. PRATT, JR., an individual doing business under the firm name and style of RED'S YARD, as Contractor, providing for the removal of the Port's Ramp No. 6, including its hinges at one end, pulleys, weights, super structure and all other operating parts of said ramp, located at the former Southern Pacific Mole premises in the Outer Harbor Area, and providing for payment to the Port of $1,286.51, and that such agreement shall be upon a form approved by the Port Attorney." 

"RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SALE OF CERTAIN PERSONAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT THE FORMER SOUTHERN PACIFIC MOLE. RESOLVED that twenty railroad rails and approximately four hundred feet of two-inch pipe located at the former Southern Pacific Mole, be and the same are hereby sold to ACE IRON AND METAL CO. for the sum of $210.00, being the highest and best bid therefor after the receipt of informal bids; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED that approximately ten metal telephone poles located at the former Southern Pacific Mole, be and the same are hereby sold to WESTERN IRON AND METAL CO. for the sum of $15.33 each, being the highest and best bid therefor after the receipt of informal bids; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Dire"

"The Board was informed that the application of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Public Notice No. 65-34 for a permit to construct the Rapid Transit tube under the San Francisco Bay conforms with the Port plans for development of the old S. P. Mole at the Foot of 7th Street, both in the routing of the tube and the depths provided."



 

 



Date: 11/14/20 21:12
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

I found a bingo on this mystery but I'm going to post excerpts from the 1965 board meeting minutes first then post the bingo below this post. So fast forward if you're interested to that post. 

Here's 1965 meeting minutes bits: 

"Sale or disposal of surplus property was acted on as follows: Sale to Red's lard of the personnel loading ramp of the former S. P. Mole for the sum of $111 was approved on passage of Resolution No. 15825."

BART stuff: "The minutes of the regular meeting of April 26, 1965 were approved as written and ordered filed. A proposed agreement between the Port of Oakland and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District was the subject of a letter to the Board from the Assistant Executive Director.

In the letter it was explained that the Rapid Transit transbay tube is to enter Oakland through the old Southern Pacific Mole property at the foot of Seventh Street and thence to proceed underground along Seventh Street to a point east of Maritime Street, and that the District will require temporary construction easements and a permanent easement for tube location and fee title to a plot approximately 170 feet long and 95 feet wide for its ventilation building to be located along Seventh Street extended westerly of Albers Mill, as well as a temporary storage area of about 3 acres for excavated material during the construction program. in return the District agrees to:
1. Demolish and remove the old train shed and piers and other facilities in the Southern Pacific Mole area.
2. Require its tube contractor to dike the 140 acres included in our recent application to the Corps of Engineets, if necessary, and to deposit in the diked area all material excess to its construction needs and originating within the City of Oakland from BARTD's trans bay tube job. The contractor on the Broadway subway project will be permitted to deposit dry excavated material in this area.
3 Relocate temporarily and permanently all utilities and rail lines and construct a temporary 2-lame access road around the south end of the Powerine leasehold to gain access to the 7th Street, Mole Area during BARTD's construction.
Port Ordinance No. 1308 authorizing the execution of an agreement with San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District was passed to print. The Board was informed that final reading of the ordinance will be scheduled for its regular meeting of May 17, 1965." 

Fill from BART's Berkeley Hills tunnel being bought by the Port:
"A proposal to sell to the Port some 750,000 cubic yards of fill material originating from the Berkeley hills tunnel project of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, made to the Port by Shea-Kaiser-Macco at an estimated cost to the Port of 60$ to 70$ per cubic yard delivered to the 7th Street Mole Marine Terminal project, was the subject of a letter to the Board from the Assistant Chief Engineer. The proposals from Shea-KaiserMacco were contained in two letters which were attachments to the Assistant Chief Engineer's letter to the Board, and contained alternate methods for payment of the fill, which would permit payment on or after July 1, 1967. The use of the fill in the Industrial Park area rather than the 7th Street Mole project was discussed, and it was the staff's recommendation that all such fill material because of its quality be used for the 7th Street Mole project. On motion of Commissioner Chaudet, seconded and passed unanimously, the staff was authorized to proceed with negotiations for acceptance of the fill subject to securing approval of the Corps of Engineers of the change of the bulkhead line which change has been applied for and is required before the 7th Street Mole project can proceed."

 



Date: 11/14/20 21:20
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Sale of route indicator boards from the mole in the 1961 minutes:

""RESOLUTION NO. 13370 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SALE OF ROUTE INDICATOR BOARDS TO BkRRENUTON SOCIETY OF MODEL ENGINEERS, RESOLVED that the Executive Director be and he hereby is authorized to sell to BARRINGTON SOCIETY OF MODEL ENGINEERS three (3) route indicator boards, being one diagram of the track layout of the former Southern Pacific Mole, for the sum of $1.00;"



Date: 11/14/20 21:30
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

Here's the bingo: 

From the January 25, 1965 meeting:
"The Board approved the following building permits: Kaiser Steel Company covering the installation of launching ways on Port property at the Foot of 7th Street was approved on motion of Commissioner Chaudet, seconded and passed unanimously." 

Foot of 7th Street I believe is the location of the SP mole. So that fits the yard we see in the 1965 aerial photo, constructed on a significant part of the mole site. 

Then this next excerpt from the same meeting: 

""RESOLUTION NO. 15824 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AGREEMENT WITH KAISER STEEL CORPORATIOL RESOLVED that the President of this Board be and he hereby is authorized to execute and the Secretary to attest that certain License and Concession Agreement dated the 1st day of January, 1965, with KAISER STEEL CORPORATION, a corporation, providing for the occupancy by Licensee of that certain parcel of land and water area containing approximately 20.628 acres located in the Outer Harbor Terminal Area westerly of Terminal Street and southerly of 7th Street if extended westerly, for a period of one year commencing January 1, 1965 or until the commencement of the term of a lease, whichever event shall first occur, and as consideration therefor Licensee shall pay to the Port commencing with the commencement of the term of said lease or when Licensee commences revenue-producing o perations on said premises, whichever event shall first occur, the sum of $4,10.29 per month, and that such a g reement shall be upon the form of agreement approved by the Port Attorney." 

Then this note from a later meeting: "The request of Mr. Sol Gilberg that payment of brokerage commission on Kaiser Steel Lease earned during 1965 be postponed until January 1, 1966, was approved by passage of Resolution No. 15917. "

Sol Gilberg the broker for the lease of the Port property to Kaiser. Later there's a resolution about the land which notes it consisted of 14 acres of land and 6 ares of water area. 

""RESOLUTION NO. 15917 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AGREEMENT WITH SOL GILBERG. RESOLVED that the President of this Board be and he hereby is authorized to execute and the 'Secretary to attest that certain Agreement, dated the 25th day of January, 1965, with SOL GILBERG, as Broker, providing for the payment to Broker of a commission in, accordance with. Port Resolution No. 15191, for the procuring of a prospective tenant of certain Port property consisting of fourteen acres of land and six acres of water area in the former Southern Pacific Mole Area at the foot of Seventh Street..." 

In Google Earth I measured the area and sure enough that yard that shows up in the 1965 aerial measures 14 acres. See attached pic. 

So question now is: what was Kaiser Steel building in 1965?

 




Date: 11/14/20 22:37
Re: Oakland Pier 1965 Mystery
Author: phthithu

1975 Port Series document here https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.c101844214?urlappend=%3Bseq=41 records Kaiser had an assembly yard on the inner and southern part of the 7th Street Terminal. Also a wharf and a ways. Used for launching of offshore drilling platforms. So that seems pretty likely this spot, although who knows if that's what was going on in 1965.  

One more thing, the document does mention that Kaiser was served by the SP with a spur track. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/20 11:42 by phthithu.



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