“This bay front site originally bordered Ohlone Indian settlements. In 1820 the Spanish crown granted it to Luis Maria Peralta. In 1842 it was given to his son Antonio Maria Peralta. The area was acquired by Horace Carpentier (first mayor of Oakland), in 1852. He then founded the Oakland Waterfront Company. In 1892 Carpentier sold the site. Beginning with the Pacific Carbonic Gas Company in 1893, this site has been occupied by several important industries. In 1979, fortuitously, it was acquired by the Hon. Robert A. Schultz.”
-Bronze Plaque Inscription Placed at Shadetree
E Clampus Vitus
A life worth living and a community
On December 12, 1979, Schultz purchased the property and building we now call Shadetree. As was Schultz’s dream, the property quickly became a lighthouse to those unique characters, artists and craftspeople who shared his vision of a life worth living and a community worth building.
Since that fortuitous day, Shadetree has evolved and bloomed, thanks to the skill and ingenuity of its residents and Mr Schultz himself. Generations of families and individuals- artists and sailors, carpenters and craftspeople of all kinds- have called Shadetree their home and nearly every one of them has left their mark in some form.
Robert A Schultz has long been a truly unique pillar of the Oakland community. After serving his time in the Navy abroad, he returned to Oakland, California and immediately took a seat in the heart of the town, spending many years working for the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department, assisting in the design of the Oakland Zoo and designing and constructing many of the original storybook-themed sculptures and structures of Children’s Fairyland, Oakland’s own vibrant amusement park which went on to help inspire Walt Disney to build one of his own. Schultz shook Walt’s hand and spun some yarns of his own on that fateful day when the fabled animator walked the grounds with a sketchbook and pencil.
Schultz also spent years working at the Oakland Museum of California as curator of technological history, was an integral member of the famous Bohemian Club, and is a high-ranking member of the Clampers, that indispensible cultural and historical preservation society with a penchant for serving and protecting those individuals and institutions underserved and unprotected in our fast-changing modern world.
Schultz is more than a man of the people and city, he is also a curator of a curious museum of his own. Amongst his eclectic collection is the first car to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, carrying then San Francisco mayor Angelo Rossi for the opening ceremonies. Schultz discovered the 1937 Cadillac convertible in a junk yard and restored it to its former glory, as he has done time and time again with literally dozens upon dozens of such automobiles over his expansive existence.
He is also a painter, a sailor, a sculptor and assemblage artist, fashioning fantastic whimsical contraptions from his impressive collection of rare and salvaged materials. His work has been featured at OMCA, Oakland Art Murmur and many galleries throughout the greater bay area. But perhaps the greatest and most fantastic creation which Robert A Schultz has brought into the world is the remarkable artisan settlement known as Shadetree.