SF Call November 20, 1900 3

The Maccabee Temple was built for the Knights of the Maccabees fraternal organization at 11th and Clay. While many features have been lost or covered, the building is still there.

The Knights of the Maccabees was a fraternal organization started in Ontario, Canada in 1878. Later the fraternal aspects took a backseat to providing low-cost insurance to members. In the early years, they also provided "final expense" benefits. The local organizations were organized into "camps", and they also had a ladies' auxiliary, organized into "hives". 1

The building was designed in a Spanish-revival style by Cunningham and Politeo of San Francisco, and constructed by R. H. Russell of Oakland. The building was completed in 1901, 2 although the County's records mistakenly state that it was built in 1912. It was designed to have stores on the ground level and the meeting hall on the upper level. 3

South side of 11th Street between Clay and Jefferson Streets, March 1958 4

Present Day

CC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our Oakland

In 2015, the ground floor is home to several restaurants, and the upper level is a night club. The tower and some of the Spanish revival details are gone, but the right-hand portion of the building has many of the details still intact. According to an Old Oakland neighbor, the unusual windows below the former tower were re-discovered in the last 10 years or so when a facade was removed.

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Links and References

  1. Knights of the Maccabees on Wikipedia
  2. Knights of the Maccabees Oakland Tribune March 7, 1901 (announcing the move into the Temple)
  3. New Temple Soon To Be Ready For Occupancy San Francisco Call November 20, 1900
  4. South side of 11th Street between Clay and Jefferson Streets, March 1958, Downtown Property Owners Association, Oakland Public Library Archive