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Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center

10 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Review Highlights
It's Closed

It used to be a place for meetings, concerts, shows. And it has some good architecture. But it's... read more

Reviewed 9 August 2017
Thomas V
Oakland, California
Just walk around the building

Was closed to visitors while work was going on inside. Much work around the outside was underway... read more

Reviewed 14 May 2016
Oakland California
Read all 3 reviews
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Located across from Laney College near Lake Merritt and the Estuary at 10 10th St Oakland, CA 94607 the Oakland Municipal Auditorium (a.k.a. The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center) includes the 1,900 seat formal Calvin Simmons Theater, and a multi-purpose arena, which seats up to 4,500 people. The Oakland Municipal Auditorium was opened in 1914 has been used for everything from the provision of emergency medical services in the Flu pandemic of 1918, to Grateful Dead and Oakland Ballet performances to the Black Panther Party Black Community Survival Conference and the Green Party Presidential Campaign of Ralph Nader.Mayor Jerry Brown closed the auditorium in 2006, allegedly because of a slight operating deficit, but more likely in an attempt to set up the sale of the property in the booming real estate market of the time. The Convention Center was one of the few large venues staffed by Union workers and many labor unions and left political groups used the hall because it paid the workers decent wages. When Brown closed the hall 20 workers lost good paying union jobs and the community lost a locale for everything from high school graduations to AC/DC concerts. The supposed annual budget savings were $300,000 a year. (City staff recently estimated that in the intervening five years $5,000,000 to $9,000,000 worth of decay had occurred in the property. ) Jobs, public service and economic stimulus of a vital downtown jewel were destroyed due to property speculation. (Even the Citty’s 1% were hurt—the Oakland Ballet which used the Calvin Simmons Theater in the Center became homeless and went out of business for over a year.) The property has been left largely vacant, except for some isolated event rentals since then. In 2011, in a paperwork shuffle the City of Oakland sold the property to its the Redevelopment agency (the City Council is the board of the Redevelopment Agency).
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8 Aug 2017
“It's Closed”
14 May 2016
“Just walk around the building”
10 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
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Reviews (3)
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Reviewed 9 August 2017

It used to be a place for meetings, concerts, shows. And it has some good architecture. But it's been closed for a long time and is in bad shape. I have no idea what it's future will be.

Thank Thomas V
Reviewed 14 May 2016

Was closed to visitors while work was going on inside. Much work around the outside was underway so glad we had not kids with us. The building was closed for so long. So pleased it is being fixed up along with the area across from...More

Thank Zman47
Reviewed 22 April 2015

While the building is not used, it is still an iconic building. I took a photo of it from the Lake Mead area. The style of the building is Beaux-arts. The architect was John J. Donovan. At the beginning it was known as the Oakland...More

2  Thank mini
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