Oakland Army Base, Transit Shed, East of Dunkirk Street & South of Burma Road, Oakland, Alameda County, CA
Significance: Oakland Army Base (OARB) was planned and constructed a a time when military planners recognized that the West Coast would have a vital role in responding to Japanese aggression during World War II. OARB is significant at the local, state, and national level of significance for its role as part of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation (SFPE) during World War II. SPFE served as the center for coordination of West Coast military requirements of moving materials and troops to and from Pacific Ocean areas of operation. The logistical area of OARB, including Pier 7 which Building 161 is located, made accommodations for an increasing number of vessels during World War II and beyond. The base was organized to move, store, and ship cargo. On the eastern end of the base, rail tracks formed a marshalling yard where rail car shipments of supplies were received from the two transcontinental lines adjoining the base. From here, Army-owned diesel locomotives moved the carloads from spurlines to designated warehouses. These quarter-mile-long warehouses, designated according to type of cargo, were built at the same time as the wharves. Outbound shipments were then lifted from warehouses and open storage areas to the waterfront. Here, the shipments rested in the transit sheds temporarily until Army fork lift trucks positioned them for lifting onto ships docked at the wharves. Built for storage of materials awaiting water shipment, Building 161 had an important role in military transportation. It represent the massive mobilization effort made for the Second World War and is a rare example of a World War II wood temporary building.
Survey number: HAER CA-125-A
Building/structure dates: 1942 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1979 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1989 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1992 Demolished
Building/structure dates: 1964 Subsequent Work