Cathedral Building Oakland

As we first wrote about Oakland’s Cathedral Building at 1615 Broadway when it went condo in early 2008:

It’s across the bay, but we do love the building. Built in 1913 and designed by Benjamin Geer McDougall, the 14-story Oakland Federal Building is a shining example of the Gothic Revival movement.

Renamed the Cathedral Building in 1969, the building is now going condo with the first six floors commercial and the top eight full-floor residences with prices ranging from $895,000 for the 1,476 square foot 11th floor to $1,300,000 for the 2,016 square foot 14th.

And while the finishes are just okay, and there isn’t any parking, we’re suckers for the skin deep beauty and bones. Now if only the ceilings we just a little bit higher…

Having ended up selling for $995,000 in July of 2009, the aforementioned penthouse on the 14th floor, the one unit with higher than average ceiling heights, is back on the market for $1,499,000.

Cathedral Building Penthouse

An elevator runs to the main floor of the unit which is configured with three bedrooms and two full baths. And from the main floor, a custom-built staircase leads to a vaulted concrete attic space/lair under the blue tile roof of the landmark building.

Cathedral Building Penthouse Attic

From the attic, the stairs continue on to a little private roof deck atop it all.

Cathedral Building Penthouse Roof Deck

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by jwb

    The developers here haven’t done a very good job of getting tenants on the ground floor space or in the commercial spaces on the lower floor. The building looks really shabby and I think the retail space is still not occupied.

  2. Posted by Conifer

    This is a 20th century commercial building, heir to the Gothic Revival, the most important nineteenth century architectural movement, whose major English proponent was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852.) There are a number of Bay Area commercial buildings in this taste, including the Russ Building in SF. There was also another “Gothic For Ever” early 20th century style on college campuses, including Yale, Duke, and Princeton.

    It is a pity this delightful building is not in San Francisco, and is still relatively neglected and unknown in Oakland.

    • Posted by cfb

      “It is a pity this delightful building is not in San Francisco, and is still relatively neglected and unknown in Oakland”

      Why? Oakland isn’t allowed to have nice things? And it’s not like SF is devoid of beautiful but neglected buildings…it’s not an “Oakland thing.” This building really isn’t that neglected anyways. It’s in pretty good shape.

      PS: this is probably one of the most well known buildings in Oakland.

    • Posted by Matt in Uptown

      When commenting on Oakland stories I’ve noticed that Conifer suffers from chronic foot-in-mouth disease.

  3. Posted by emanon

    “It is a pity this delightful building is not in San Francisco, and is still relatively neglected and unknown in Oakland.”

    Oh San Francisco, so full of itself. What a smug thing to post. Gotta tell ya, the best thing about living in Oakland is it’s not Frisco.

  4. Posted by EBGuy

    Note to self: Ease off on the HDR when photographing exposed concrete on 100+ year old buildings.

  5. Posted by condoshopper

    For a place like this, and those warehouse-turned-loft units in general, how do u handle the cleaning and dusting of the higher areas?

  6. Posted by ARC

    Great building, shabby remodel, no attention paid to ground level pressence, expensive, and NO parking.

    • Posted by jwb

      There is so much unused garage space in downtown Oakland that I can’t imagine who would want for a cheap space, and the lack of parking means those who choose to live without a car — extremely easy in this location literally on top of a BART station — won’t be paying extra for parking spaces that cost ~$40k in new construction and more like $100k in old construction.

  7. Posted by pvc

    I wanted to be excited about this because the building is pretty amazing from the outside and it’s a unique space. Interiors are totally uninspired. The upstairs room is kind of gloomy. No parking in that location really sucks.

    • Posted by Alai

      “That location”?

      All of a block from the BART station? Zipcar across the street?

      • Posted by anon

        Alai, the majority of the Bay Area uses a car to get to work. Zipcar and BART are not an option for most commuters.

        • Posted by jwb

          This building isn’t in “the Bay Area” it’s in Oakland where people have BART cards.

  8. Posted by ARC

    BTW, these condos are not new. They came on the market just about or after the crash. They’ve linger on for some time!

  9. Posted by EH

    I wanna see what the unit below this with the large window is like.

    That’s not really much of a roof deck. More like a smoker’s hangout.

  10. Posted by Matt in Uptown

    This building, the Emporium/Capwell/Sears, and the I Magnin building all suffer from owners with ZERO vision. In the case of the I Magnin building they salvaged one interior wall of the original palace of a store -ONE wall! They even removed the cove ceilings in the elevators! The good news is the Emporium/Capwell/Sears was recently sold and the new owners have pledged to restore the facade and much of the interior -and give it the street presence it’s fully capable of having. Perhaps the street level of the Cathedral Building will see the same improvements.

    You can’t undo 50+ years of divestment in a day -it’s going to take a few more years.

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