The Tallest Buildings in Oakland

The Kaiser Centre (left) and Ordway Building (right) are two of the tallest buildings in Oakland, California.
The Kaiser Centre (left) and Ordway Building (right) are two of the tallest buildings in Oakland, California.

Oakland is a city in the US state of California. The city has more than forty skyscrapers, and the majority are situated within the downtown district. Twenty-one of these buildings exceed a height of 200 ft, and the tallest is 404 ft tall. Completed in 1907, the the Bank of America Building was Oakland's first skyscraper. This 9-story structure was the city's tallest until the 320 ft Oakland City Hall was built in 1914.

The Tallest Buildings in Oakland

1. Ordway Building

The Ordway Building is a 28-story skyscraper in Downtown Oakland, close to Merritt Lake. The twenty-eight floors are used for office space, and the building has a unique H-shaped floor-plan which means that each floor contains eight corner offices. The 404 ft building is the tallest in Oakland and the entire Bay Area, outside of San Francisco. The building's primary tenant, Kaiser Permanente, who has been in the building since 1970. In 2009, Kaiser Permanente had leased twenty-one floors, and signed a 9-year lease with the landlord, CIM Group.

2. Kaiser Center

The Kaiser Center is a 28-story skyscraper located at 300 Lakeside Drive in Downtown Oakland, next to Lake Merritt. The building was designed by Los Angeles based architectural firm Welton Becket & Associates. The building is bounded by Lakeside Drive and upon its completion in 1960 it was the tallest building in the city and had the largest office-space on west of Rocky Mountains. Theodore Osmundson & Associates, a San Francisco based Landscape architecture firm, designed the garden roof of Kaiser Center. Currently, the skyscraper is home to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) headquarters. Other building tenants include the University of California's Office of the President, The Port Company, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

3. Lake Merritt Plaza

Lake Merritt Plaza is a 371 ft skyscraper located at 1999 Harrison Street in Downtown Oakland, California. The building has twenty-seven floors and was designed by Bill Valentine during the 1980s. The Transpacific Development Company owned the building until 2006, when it was sold to Beacon Capital Partners of Boston for $160 million. The building has been owned by Divco West since 2014.

4. 1111 Broadway

1111 Broadway is a 360 ft tall building with 24 floors and is the fourth tallest building in Oakland. It is part of a redevelopment project which began during the late 1950s known as Oakland City Center. Oakland City Center includes a shopping mall, hotel, apartment buildings and office buildings in Oakland, California. The mall has a racquet club, various take-out restaurant, and upscale fitness. The first office building in Oakland City Center opened in 1973, while construction of the redevelopment project's first skyscraper was completed in 1976. Various buildings, including 1111 Broadway, and were opened in 1990. 1111 Broadway was previously called the American President Line (APL) Building as it served as APL's headquarters. The high-rise was renamed after APL relocated to Phoenix, Arizona.

5. Kaiser Engineering Building

The Kaiser Engineering Building is 336 ft tall skyscraper located at 1800 Harrison Street in Downtown Oakland. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and built by the Clark Construction Company during the early 1980s and opened in 1984. The Kaiser Engineering Building has 25 floors of commercial office space.

6. Clorox building

The Clorox building is a 330 ft tall skyscraper located in Downtown Oakland's City Center complex. The Clorox Building opened in 1976 and contains 24 floors of office space. The building was designed by Cesar Pelli of Gruen Associates, an architectural firm currently based in Los Angeles, and built by Turner Construction. The building serves as the headquarters of the Clorox Company.

Future Skyscrapers in Oakland

The skyline in Oakland continues to grow as new skyscrapers are approved for construction. One of the tallest approved structures is a 400 ft skyscraper that will be located at 1314 Franklin, and has an expected completion date of 2020. 1640 Broadway is another residential building which will be completed by 2019. Additional office buildings under constructions include 1100 Broadway and 601 City Center.

The Tallest Buildings in Oakland

Rank´╗┐Building NameHeight (ft)Height (m)FloorsYear
1Ordway Building404123281970
2Kaiser Center390119281960
3Lake Merritt Plaza371113271988
41111 Broadway360110241990
5Kaiser Engineering Building336102251984
6Clorox Building330101241976
7EM Harris State Office Building328100221998
8Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building South328100181994
9Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building North328100181994
10Oakland City Hall32098141914
11Tribune Tower31094221906
121330 Broadway29791211956-1959
13Pacific Bell Building29690201985
14555 City Center27985202002
15Park Bellevue Tower27082251969
16St. Paul's Towers26781221966
17The Grand Apartments26380222008
18Central Building23572151926
19Bank of America Building22569181907
20Financial Center Building21465141929

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