BARBARA’S BOOK

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"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

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The Oakland Tribune Tower — A 1923 Structure With a Twenty-First Century View

the view from the Oakland Tribune Tower. In the foreground, the Bank of America Building. In the background, the 1111 Broadway and the Clorox Building. In the distance, the Bay Bridge. Photos by Barbara Newhall

The view from the Oakland Tribune Tower. In the foreground, the Bank of America Building. In the background, 1111 Broadway and the Clorox Building. In the distance, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I worked at the Oakland Tribune for years, but, working stiff that I was, I was never invited to the lofty heights of the Oakland Tribune Tower. I finally got my chance on April 4, the last day of my paper’s publication, to take the elevator all the way to the top and take in the view — the bay, the East Bay hills, the sometimes sleek, sometimes fanciful architecture produced in Oakland over the past 100 years. Young, old, graceful, awkward, the buildings of the East Bay sparkled in the April sunshine.

The Oakland Tribune Tower viewed from 13th and Franklin Streets, Oakland, CA. Photos by Barbara Newhall

The Oakland Tribune Tower viewed from 13th and Franklin Street. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The Tribune Tower, designed by Edward T. Foulkes and erected in 1923 at the behest of Oakland Tribune publisher Joseph R. Knowland, no longer houses the Tribune. The paper was absorbed on April 5 by the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay Times. But the tower remains the symbol of the city of Oakland.

The 22-story brick structure is in much better shape than when I worked there as a feature writer and columnist back in the ’80s. That fact hit home when I took the elevator to the top of the building along with dozens of other former Trib employees who’d come together to mourn the Tribune’s last day of publication.

The occasion was gloomy, but the photo op was lit by a cloudless sky. These pictures are the result.

More about the wake for our old newspaper at “The Trib Is Dead, Long Live the Tribbers.”  More about life after newspapering at “My First Royalty Check Has Arrived — How Cool Is That?” 

Tribune Tower views. On April 4, 2016, former employees of the Oakland, California, Tribune, had a wake in honor of the paper's last day of publication. Photos by Barbara Newhall. Looking north at San Pablo Avenue throiugh Oakland, Berkeley, Albany toward the Albany Hill.

San Pablo Avenue stretches north through Oakland, Berkeley and Albany toward the Albany Hill. Photo by Barbara Newhall

April 4, 2016. Photo by Barbara Newhall. Looking NW from the Oakland, CA, Tribune Tower into Oakland City Center Walk. Clorox company building at left, Citibank to the right.

Looking northwest, Oakland City Center with Clorox building, left, and Citibank, right. Photo by Barbara Newhall

the view from the Oakland Tribune Tower with Lake Merritt and the Oakland Hills. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Oakland’s Lake Merritt and the Oakland Hills. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The view from the Oakland Tribune Tower, California. Here, the back side of one of the Tower's four clocks, which rarely showed the correct time when we worked there. Photos by Barbara Newhall

The back of one of the Tower’s four clocks. Now repaired, the clocks rarely showed the correct time when I worked there. Photo by Barbara Newhall

View from behind the filigree atop the Tribune Tower, Oakland, California, Tribune, on the paper's last day of publication. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Former Tribune employees got an up-close view of the filigree atop the Tribune Tower on the paper’s last day of publication. Photo by Barbara Newhall

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Comments

  1. Nice work, Barbara. It was a sad, but great day. The thing I remember most about the days on the 20th floor was WFK mixing martinis with Beefeater’s in a huge pitcher. At one endorsing session, Virgil Meibert casually lit a cigarette (you remember smoking, don’t you?), then casually flipping his match toward a wastebasket. It landed in Frank Finney’s glass. Lunches were catered by Trader Vic’s.

    gayle

    • Ha! Yes, I remember smoking. I also remember a lot of drinking, but it was at the Chronicle in the 1970s. On opera opening night there, Vic’s would cater late night snacks for us on the features desk. No alcohol. We had to work fast and get everybody’s name right.

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