Adams Point is a neighborhood named for its former owner, Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s three founding landowners/squatters. wikipedia
Adams Point has experienced gentrification and has become an area full of young professionals, artists, and gnomes, creating a broad socio-economic mix. The area is very well served by a Whole Foods Market (on Vernon street - video) and an array of different restaurants and bars all along Grand Avenue.
Adams Point is a short walk or quick cycle from Lake Merritt, the Grand Lake Theater, and the 19th Street BART station. Still, it has its share of problems, particularly robberies and dumping, as this video reveals.
Still, Adams Point residents love and care about the neighborhood, and either stop to give testimonials about it, or come out to defend it in the case of redistricting, or hold block parties in it, like the one for National Night Out in this video.
- Lakeside Park, home to Children's Fairyland
- Grand Avenue, the commercial link between Downtown Oakland and Grand Lake.
- Whole Foods Market, Oakland, formerly the Cox Cadillac Showroom
- The Bellevue Staten Historic District, site of The Bellevue-Staten Apartments, The Bellevue Club, and an oversized dollhouse.
- Saint Paul's Towers, looming over us all
Notable residential buildings include:
- The Earl Warren House (now known as Clausen House), 88 Vernon Street
- The Joe and Rose Shoong House, 385 Bellevue Avenue
- The Charles and Lucretia Bates House (operated, until recently, as a B&B), 399 Bellevue Avenue
- The John and Anna McElroy House, 401 Lee Street
See the full list of Oakland Landmarks.
- Jong Ga House - Korean restaurant
- Enssaro - Ethiopian restaurant
- The Working Body - Oakland's Hub for Brain|Body Fitness
Claimed by the Adams family (not the altogether-ooky one!) since at least the 1860s [someone please doublecheck this], the property now known as Adams Point had originally been so far from town as to be more or less a country estate. The Adamses themselves lived near, but not on, the property, nor did they even try to develop it much, beyond clearing the oaks and allowing some of its more level portions to be farmed. But things began to change in the 1880s, as the coming of streetcars quickened the pace of Oakland’s expansion. Suddenly, the area was looking more and more desirable. Certainly by the summer of 1906, with the mass influx of refugees from the SF earthquake (an army of whom were camped out — with permission — in what later became Lakeside Park) the City of Oakland had realized the area’s increasing centrality; plans were afoot to ring the lake with grand boulevards and formalize a park area … but by then old Edson was long gone, and the City’s various attempts to buy out his heirs never seemed to go anywhere.
Edson F. Adams, Edson Adams' son, was a wealthy banker — picture old man Potter from “It’s A Wonderful Life”, or witness his sneer of cold command as he sits in the presidential carriage during Taft’s Oakland visit [photo on main library wall outside newspaper room] — who kept rejecting Oakland’s increasingly frequent (and, using historical money value estimates, seemingly reasonable) offers for his property. By 1909, the City had had enough of this greedhead’s stonewalling and initiated proceedings to use eminent domain to have the property condemned and forcibly taken from Adams. That got his attention. “Wait a moment — what was your last offer again?” was the response. “Why yes … on second thought, $300,000 does sound fair.”
You’d better believe that homeboy grabbed that cash with both hands. He then unfurled his leathery wings and absconded straight to Piedmont, the new haven for “all the best people”. Then, it was just a matter for lawyers and surveyors to clean up boundaries, lay out streets and subdivide. By 1912, every square inch of the Point was accounted for and sold, even if not built upon yet.
More coming soon (the neighborhood’s original character may surprise you) ….
A new neighborhood group is being advertised by fliers around the 'hood. Check it out: facebook.com/groups/AdamsPointOpen
In the Media
- Oakland Magazine wrote about Adam's Point in April, 2014 in an article about 6 East Bay neighborhoods to know about. Here's what they said:
When the corner burger stand starts selling steak sandwiches and roasted-beet salad, as Kwik Way has, it’s sure that the nabe has tipped all the way over into trendy. And that’s the case with Adams Point, the formerly low-key residential area that’s getting spillover buzz from Uptown.
This hill rising above Pill Hill on one side and Lake Merritt on the other is dotted with blocky, Los Angeles–style apartment buildings that tend to crowd the lovely Craftsman and Edwardian houses next to them. That hasn’t put off homebuyers, who’ve raised the median sale price of a home by 53 percent in the past year. Given its prime location, with great transportation, easy access to downtown, and a wealth of shopping and culture, Adams Point seems underpriced compared to other parts of Oakland—but that’s unlikely to last.
The luxe Whole Foods Market acts as a neighborhood center, and more groceries are a 15-minute walk to Trader Joe’s and Safeway in Grand Lake. Adams Point gets a solid B+ for shopping, but it’s A+ when it comes to dining and entertainment. There’s always been a string of restaurants along Grand Avenue across from the lake, as well as a couple blocks of cute shops and cafes on upper Grand. The corner across from Splash Pad Park at Lakeshore and Grand now thrums night and day, thanks not only to Kwik Way but also to Caña, the sizzling Cuban cafe that hosts dancing at weekend brunch. And the Grand Avenue excellence keeps creeping further west, merging with the edge of the Uptown, home of some of the Bay Area’s slickest restaurants, hottest nightspots, and weirdest galleries.
Crime here is 8 percent lower than in Oakland overall, per City-Data.com. And there’s family fun to be had at Lake Merritt, especially at Children’s Fairyland, the marvelously retro miniature theme park.