Lake Merritt Bandstand, Oakland, California (1936) 2

The Lake Merritt Bandstand (James P. Edoff Memorial Bandstand) graces Lake Merritt’s shore near the sandy cove. Architects Walter Reed and William Corlett based their design on a Milan, Italy bandstand. From its 1918 dedication, 3 as many as 5,000 people would enjoy live concerts conducted each weekend by the Oakland Municipal Band. 1

The bandstand's name recalls James P. Edoff, the president of Oakland’s first Board of Park Commissioners. Edoff passed away on April 24, 1915. He was a big supporter of the Oakland Municipal Band. Paul Steindorff, appointed by the Oakland Board of Park Commisioners in 1912 to organize the Oakland Municipal Band, and his wife took a picture of a famous bandstand in Milan, Italy in 1914. The Park Board patterned the Lake Merritt bandstand after the one in Italy. The bandstand has been the band’s home since its dedication on September 8, 1918.

The bandstand is symmetrical, “an open walled octagon with limestone columns and limestone entablature above a cast stone (precast concrete) base. Eight columns hold up the corners of the sloped tile roof, with arches between.” 1

In 1979 the City of Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board designated the Bandstand an Oakland Landmark No. 9945, which also includes the entire park surrounding the Bandstand.

After the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, repairs and renovations were made. In 2008/2009 [exact date??] the architectural firm of Muller & Caulfield was commissioned to construct a “permanent accessibility solution which would not detract from the bandstand’s overall aesthetic and eightfold symmetry.” 1

According to the Oakland Museum, Oscar Prager designed the bandstand. However, I believe that was the first bandstand, constructed in 1911, and made of wood. [ However, this photo dated 1908 shows the current bandstand. [ I would guess that the photo is mis-dated. ] ]


666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, California

Lake Merritt Bandstand, April 2013 (photo by himy)

Lake Merritt Bandstand, April 2013 (photo by himy)

Links and References

  1. Lake Merritt Bandstand, Oakland, CA Muller & Caulfield
  2. Oakland Museum of California
  3. James P. Edoff Memorialized Oakland Tribune September 9, 1918