Saturday, August 22, 2009

7th and Market Streets, Oakland: August 7, 2009

On August 9, 1969, the City of Oakland held a Synanon-sponsored Street Fair. It featured a 14-hour free concert on two stages, headlined by Country Joe and The Fish. Just one week before Woodstock, the Oakland Tribune reported that 75, 000 people attended the event.

I have written about what I could determine about this remarkable event here. When I was in California recently, I took pictures of the site. Of course, the area has changed dramatically, both because of redevelopment and because of changes resulting from the aftermath of the Cypress Freeway collapse during the Loma Prieta Earthquake (October 17, 1989).

In August, 1969 these blocks were probably largely empty, which is why a large, free event could be held there. I have assumed that the area was slated for redevelopment, so many buildings must have been razed, but there was probably nothing yet in its place.

These photos were taken from a gas station on the corner of 7th and Market, looking across Market street. The top photo, with the tall apartment building, is the Southwest corner of 7th and Market; the lower photo, looking at a McDonald's, is on the Northwest corner of 7th and Market.

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