from city hall files

Carl Frederick ("Fred") Soderberg (July 18, 1874 – July 14, 1958) was an architect. He was elected to City Council in 1917 and served a term as the Commissioner of Streets, then in 1918 transferred to Commissioner of Public Works. 8

Soderberg was born in Falun, Sweden, in 1874, and left Sweden in 1890. Soderberg married Katherine Stoer (Soderberg) of Emeryville in May, 1910. 6 They lived at 276 Perkins Street from at least 1920 to 1935. The 1940 census lists them at 2739 - 21st Avenue. It appears they didn't have any children.

The Soderbergs are buried in Mountain View Cemetery in the Stoer family lot in plot 33. [ don't see Katherine; need to confirm ]

Architecture Career

Soderberg designed the Jenny Lind Hall at 2216 Telegraph, which now houses a Buddhist Association, a house on Park Blvd. for Louis Schaffer, and a school in Emeryville as well as the 1903 City Hall there (before it was rebuilt). He participated in the contest to design San Francisco's City Hall. He also built a house on Lakeshore Ave. for Mrs J. J. Shoo.

He designed several firehouses in Oakland: a firehouse on Magnolia and 14th,7 and what was formerly Station 11 at 817 Alice Street in 1909. The station was converted in 1966 to a private residence when Fire Station 12 was built across the street. Soderberg also designed the Brooklyn Firehouse. There was another at 25th and Broadway.

He had an office in the Union Savings Bank building, although one source stated that his office was in the First National Bank building in 1918. (ref)

It appears Soderberg may have had a brief partnership with Charles W. Dickey. In 1904, "Soderberg & Dickey" were awarded the design for a new school building at 39th and Market. 5

Soderberg had a disagreement with his former draftsman. In 1907 he filed suit against Victor Dunkerley, alleging that Dunkerley was still collecting funds owed to the partnership, and not giving a accounting of them or a fair share.

Political Career

1917 campaign ad 9

Soderberg was with the Taxpayers Party.

In 1917, Soderberg raised a stir by refusing to buy a Liberty Bond. Of Swedish decent, people accused him of being pro-German. He refused comment, though some called for his resignation. 1

There was a shuffle of commissioners in 1918. Fred Morse became Commissioner of Public Health and Safety (replacing F. F. Jackson); Soderberg became Commissioner of Public Works (replacing Morse); and F. F. Jackson became Commissioner of Streets (replacing Soderberg). This was referred to as the "Soderberg Ordinance." 8

In 1920, in official capacity, he rented the Municipal Auditorium out to some Japanese performers for $300 for 3 days, and the city looked into it, alleging that the price was too low.3

In 1920, Soderberg, and his council colleagues Fred F Morse and William Edwards were the subject of another recall. Soderberg was the primary target and Morse and Edwards were backup candidates for removal. Unsurprisingly given the political climate, the reason given was forming a "combination in political bickering detrimental to the city of Oakland." 2 The recall was ruled out because many of the petitions weren't properly signed.

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Links and References

  1. "SODERBERG'S ACT STIRS MUCH INDIGNATION: Oakland City Commissioner Turns His Back on Bond Salesman in Office." San Francisco Chronicle: Oct 28, 1917
  2. "RECALL NOTICE FILED AGAINST OAKLAND MEN." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 11, 1920
  3. "Theater Managers Object to Rent Of Auditorium." San Francisco Chronicle: May 16, 1920
  4. Oakland Architect Sues Former Partner San Francisco Call June 29, 1907
  5. Awards Plans to Architects San Francisco Call November 29, 1904
  6. Marriage Licenses San Francisco Call May 17, 1910
  7. New Fire House San Francisco Call September 27, 1906
  8. Morse Gets Police 'Job' With Vote of Edwards Oakland Tribune October 14, 1918
  9. campaign ad Oakland Tribune April 14, 1917