Over the years, the original structure which Mr. Schultz purchased has been fantastically augmented with architectural pieces of Oakland’s history: The door to the mayor’s office, discarded following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989; a management office building from the Howard Street ferry terminal and on it goes.
Countless historical relics have been salvaged from deconstruction sites which, whether due to economics or ignorance, would sooner send them off to the landfill and obscurity than preserve them. Shadetree rescues these markers of time, absorbs them, and creates new ones of its own. Remarkable dwellings fashioned by those who would soon inhabit them- Oakland citizens ripe with the skills and vision to make a home for themselves and a community for all.
This is an historical and cultural landmark that defies categorization. More than a famously unique historical settlement and structure, it is a piece of living, breathing art- a life boat amidst a sea of modernity with a legacy of ingenuity, integrity, and historical preservation that continues to flow through the veins of its inhabitants.
The precious jewel it continues to be
As the entire bay area, and Oakland in particular, undergoes its most recent and historically significant growing pains of destruction and development, one would be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted historical jewel of the city as the one known far and wide as Shadetree, let alone one who’s heart is still beating strong, producing innumerable goods, services and entertainment to the populace at large. This is quite literally “history in the making.”
The Shadetree community and the property which it calls home stand as a testament to the creativity, strong will, and thirst for life that are hallmarks of Oakland citizenry throughout the city’s history.
It is perhaps no coincidence that Shadetree itself sits so closely to Jack London Square- an area named for one of Oakland’s most famous and historically resilient residents. However, while nearly all of the square’s original structures, save for a quaint bar and an empty reconstructed cabin, have been replaced with modern amenities, Shadetree draws a continuous line between the past and the present. The Jack and Jane Londons of today are alive and well, and they have constructed a monument to the true spirit of Oakland, quietly and ingeniously, on the other side of the tracks, down by the water. They are we. And we call it home. Many throughout Oakland, including those who continue to work in various city departments and organizations, call it a landmark of history and heart, gloriously impossible to replace or reproduce.
Shadetree reminds us that history isn’t just something that happened. It’s something that is still happening, right here, right in front of our eyes. It only asks that we’re here to take note.