Page One

Crossing the Bay before bridges

By Susan Cerny
Saturday June 09, 2001

Berkeley Observed 

Looking back, seeing ahead 


Until the Bay Bridge opened in 1936, the only way of crossing the bay was by private boat or ferry.  

To facilitate travel to the ferry many roads cut a diagonal path to the Ferry terminal, called the Oakland Mole.  

The ferry terminal was located on “Long Wharf” which was near the present approach to the Bay Bridge. When the Berkeley Branch Line of the Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific) Railroad began running in 1876, the route from Oakland began its diagonal path along Stanford Avenue named for the man who owned the railroad, Leland Stanford.  

In the foreground of the photo are three freight cars located in the triangular island created by the diverging streets.  

Originally used for railroad operations, these parcels were later developed when the trains stopped running.  

These islands today are the location of a parking lot on the smallest section, a drug store in the middle section and a grocery store (Berkeley Bowl) in the largest section.  

The tall house in the middle right is still standing today at 2820 Adeline Street.  

Built in the 1890s, it remains as distinctive a building in its neighborhood as it did in 1906.  


Susan Cerny writes Berkeley Observed in conjunction with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association