THE HENRY J. KAISER CENTER
You’ve spoken, and we’ve listened. After talking to several hundred Oaklanders over the past six months, we’ve heard you loud and clear: Oakland needs more space for artists and makers struggling to afford Oakland’s new rents; it needs event space flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of performances, big and small; and most of all, it needs a place where Oaklanders from all walks of life can collaborate together and learn from one another.
With your input in mind, we’ve been hard at work designing the rebirth of this Oakland landmark. Our goal is to create a community centered on arts, education, and inclusiveness.
Thank you for telling us your stories, and please let us know if you’d like to chat in the months or years to come. Together, we will reopen the Oakland Civic.
The Orton Development Team
P.S. If you want to give more input, please fill out our survey
Orton Development is approaching its redevelopment
of the Oakland Civic with these values in mind:
History: honor the building’s illustrious history in both function and design
Energy: create a hub of activity that spans the building throughout the day
Community: invite the public into the building, and design space that builds community within it
Arts: accommodate artists as tenants, and value the arts throughout the building.
Education: provide places for people of all ages to learn from experts and each other
Fairness: support uses that all Oakland visitors and residents can enjoy
Explore ODI's other projects here.
We aim to improve both the building and the public spaces around it, creating better links between the Oakland Civic and the community.
The Arena space will be mixed commercial, with arts and non-profit offices occupying the lake-facing north corridor, south 10th Street corridor, and former arena space.
The Calvin Simmons Theatre will return as a stunning performing arts center, hosting live performances and providing event and practice space for local arts organizations. Loge boxes will be added to a section of the second floor mezzanine. A new restaurant will be in the first floor's north concourse.
The building’s basement will house commercial space for the arts and non-profit offices as well as music studios, makers’ spaces, and storage space.
On the north, lake-facing exterior of the building, a porch will be added which will offer visitors spectacular lake views and provide space for restaurant patrons and events.
A simplified landscape design and the removal of the parking lot's central walkway will redirect foot traffic towards the ADA-accessible east and west corners of the building. Special treatment will be given to the area shared between the Calvin Simmons Theatre, Oakland Museum of California (OMCA), and Lake Merritt.