Once the terminus of the transcontinental railroad, Oakland’s 16th Street Station was abandoned in 1989 after the Loma Prieta earthquake. BUILD—a partnership between nonprofit BRIDGE Housing and state pension fund CalPERS— acquired the building as part of their role in the larger Central Station development. Through an involved community process, in April 2008 BUILD joined with a coalition of community organizations to form a new non profit called RAILS (Restoration Association for Improving the Landmark 16th Street Station which is working to restore the site.
New life will come to this beautiful old building with the revitalization of the site. Preliminary plans call for uses such as flexible space for events and performances; a food-preparation and service business; youth education functions; and exhibits that celebrate Oakland’s history. The initial planning process and studies were done by BUILD and its team including award-winning architect ELS, development consultant Equity Community Builders, the City of Oakland, public outreach consultant Envirocom Communications Strategies, and a community advisory committee. These plans are being evaluated and enhanced by RAILS and its team of consultants led by California Capital Group.