New Deal/WPA Art in Oakland, CA

Alameda County Courthouse

There are two variated marble murals designed by Marian Simpson in the lobby's entry stairway. The south panel depicts early Native American and Hispanic history of Alameda County. The north panel depicts the settlement of the area by frontier settlers. (source: June 1, 2003, The San Francisco Chronicle)

Woodminster Theater & Cascade

The Woodminster Theater and Cascade is located at 3300 Joaquin Miller Road Oakland California 94602. It was built by the WPA in 1939-40, and continues to function as an entertainment venue.

This is a WPA construction project that is in need of help to compensate for the deterioration of time.
Kristin (who contributed these photos) is currently trying to compile information about the Woodminster Theater and Cascade in order to help restore Woodminster.

According to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, "Woodminster Cascade flows from the base of Woodminster Theatre and falls over 100 feet through a series of pools. The cascade and theatre were conceived by Juanita Miller, daughter of Joaquin Miller, and were constructed by the Works Progress Administration as a memorial to California writers and poets. During their construction in 1939-40, William Penn Mott was starting his career with the Oakland Parks & Recreation Department. He was responsible for the original landscaping, roads, parks and picnic grounds in the area we are now working to restore. "

The Alameda County Historical Society conducts walking tours of the Woodminster Theater and Cascade, led by Helen Lore. The ACHS is located at 484 Lake Park Ave. #307 Oakland Ca 94610-2730.

If you have any additional information you would like to contribute, please email me!

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© 2005 Nancy Lorance
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