The Story of Change in Oakland Through the Old Capwell Building

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The new Uptown Station on 1955 Broadway in Downtown Oakland on Feb. 13, 2019. (Ericka Cruz Guevarra/KQED News)

Maybe you know it as the old Capwell building that was first built in the '20s. Or where Sears used to be. You may also remember it as the building that almost became Uber's HQ.

Now, the Oakland building officially called Uptown Station is going to open soon. It'll include food, retail and tech companies. And, well, it looks pretty fancy.

The building and what occupied it tells a story of change in Oakland. For some, it was where childhood memories were formed. When it was a Sears, it was where Oaklanders went to take family photos.

It was also the site of protest to the prospect of big tech moving into town.


“This building signifies the vanishing of memories for so many of us," said Azucena Rasilla, a freelance journalist who was born and raised in Oakland. "Things that we loved and grew up with are rapidly fading away.”

Guests: Annalee Allen, historian and walking tour guide with the city of Oakland, and Azucena Rasilla, freelance journalist

Read '101 things to love about Oakland,' which we  mention in this episode.