A podcast about history

That's not stuck in the past


The abandoned pink building on the corner of MacArthur and Martin Luther King Jr. Way has visually dominated that busy intersection for so long that it feels like a monument. But what this monument represents depends on your perspective. It could by a symbol of what happened to one of Oakland’s thriving Black business corridors and the ongoing exodus of a community. Or it could be a symbol of how the revolutionary dreams of the Occupy era literally went down in flames. Or it could symbolize the East Bay’s insane real estate market, where the same piece of property could sell for $90,000 in 2012 and then $3.2 million a few years later. This episode explores these questions with journalist Sam Lefebvre, who recently dug into this history for Open Space magazine.

Here’s a link to Sam’s article: “Nine Tenths of the Law”.

Update: The sign fell off.

RCA squat party, circa 2013. [Photo: Lauren O’Connor]
[Photo: Lauren O’Connor]
Hot Mess, Garage, RCA [Photo: Elizabeth Sy]

“This strange monument”

The story behind one of Oakland’s most prominent abandoned buildings
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