A podcast about history

That's not stuck in the past


There’s a small stretch of Oakland’s shoreline unlike any place else. Nestled between the restaurants of Jack London Square and the modern apartment blocks of Brooklyn Basin sits 5th Avenue Marina. This collection of rusty warehouses, eclectic studios, and surreal art installations recalls a bygone era, when crafty Bohemians dwelled amongst decaying shipyards. Schultz, a man who bought a chunk of this area in 1979, calls it “the neighborhood time forgot.”

Although developers have attempted numerous times to dislodge the scrappy community at 5th Avenue Marina, these efforts have been stubbornly blocked, most notably in 2017 when residents formed a nonprofit called SHADE (Shadetree Historical Artisan Development Engine) and purchased the property formerly owned by Schultz.

This episode traces the long history of the 5th Avenue Marina, from its days as a World War I shipbuilding facility up through its transformation into an unusual compound sometimes referred to as “Oakland’s Riviera.” Our tour guide for this voyage is the legendary Schultz, who is still a feisty storyteller at 88 years old and, like Rihanna or Cher, prefers to go by a mononym. To hear our conversation, listen to the episode via Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

East Bay Yesterday can’t survive without your donations. Please make a pledge to keep this show alive: www.patreon.com/eastbayyesterday. You can also support East Bay Yesterday by purchasing the official t-shirt or hat from Oaklandish. Don’t forget to follow East Bay Yesterday’s Substack newsletter to stay updated on upcoming tours, events, and other local history news.

Photo credit: “5th Ave: A Cultural Biography” edited by Constance Hockaday,
published by Shadetree Historical Artisan Development Engine
A sample of the eclectic art on display at 5th Ave Marina [Photo: Liam O’Donoghue]
Photo credit: Liam O’Donoghue

Special thanks to the sponsors of this episode: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Oakland and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. I encourage you to learn more about UCSF Benioff Oakland’s new program BLOOM: the Black Baby Equity Clinic, and to visit BAMPFA’s upcoming exhibit “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration.”

“The neighborhood time forgot”

A strange sliver of waterfront
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