Alameda County is named for the Spanish word for “avenue shaded by tress” or “cottonwood grove”.
Created: March 25, 1853
Alvarado 1853 – 1855
San Leandro 1855 – 1873
Oakland 1873 – present
Old County Courthouse – Oakland
Location: 1225 Fallon Street / 12th Street
Built: 1938 – 1939
Style: Art Deco
Architect: Will G Corlett, Henry A Minton, James W Plachek, William E Schirmer and Carl Werner
Contractor: Public Works Administration
Description: The building faces south and is an eleven story steel frame and reinforced concrete and granite structure. The building which has a California granite base and granite exterior, is located on landscaped grounds on the edge of Lake Merritt. The base of the square shaped building is three stories with vertical windows. In the center is a large square eight story tower with vertical windows and small square windows at the top. There is a cupola at the top of the building. The interior has a spacious lobby flanked by fifteen foot high marble mosaic murals depicting the county history and created by artist Marian Simpson of Berkley and sculptor Gaetano Duccini of San Francisco.The building is named as the Rene C Davidson Courthouse.
Note: The first courthouse was a converted loft above the general store in Alvarado ( Union City ) until 1855. The second courthouse was a Greek Revival structure constructed at a cost of $30,000 in San Leandro. The building was damaged in the 1868 earthquake, was restored and served until 1873. In 1926, the building was demolished. The third courthouse was a two story structure built in Oakland for $18,000. The fourth courthouse was a Second Empire style structure designed by John J Newsom and Thomas D Newsom in 1875. The building was demolished in 1950.
Note: The third courthouse is still standing and located at 1952 20 th Avenue and International; Boulevard in Oakland.
County Courthouse – Oakland
Location: 661 Washington Street / 6th Street
Description: The building faces north and is a six story concrete and glass structure. The rectangular building has horizontal windows and the north front is concave along the center section. The roof line is flat. The building is named as the Wiley W Manuel Courthouse and houses the Superior Court..
County Justice Center – Oakland
Location: 660 Washington Street / 6th Street
Description: The building faces west and is a six story concrete structure. The building is named as the Allen E Broussard Justice Center and houses the Superior Court.
Other Branch Courthouses
Photos taken 2015