Landvale Road

landvale road

Civilization moves on, and history gets obliterated, especially in the Route 24 corridor. If you walk up Broadway from the park at Lake Temescal, first you pass the back entrance with its spikes, then you see a bit of wasteland and a broken viaduct. Just beyond is a precious Deco structure built in 1922 (that’s it in the trees) that still serves as a PG&E electrical substation. This driveway with its curious inscription leads onto the viaduct, which turns out to be the last remnant of Landvale Road. A 1955 photo at the Oakland Museum shows it intact. The structure looks just like the Golden Gate Avenue undercrossing on Broadway, which is dated 1934. No road is shown there in a 1912 street map, so until someone comes up with more information, those are the constraints we have on its lifespan. This reminds me of certain problems in geology: a feature was absent at date 1, present at date 2 and gone by date 3. It is like talking about some poorly attested ancient Greek thinker: “Landvale Road, fl. 1930s-1950s.”

7 Responses to “Landvale Road”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I just spent a lot of time on both sites. For North Oaklanders I recommend the page on the old 40th/Shafter trainyard:

  2. Bruce Tutcher Says:

    Oh my, this is a mystery, it seems that the trestle above was train-only at least through 1944 (the Sacramento SN pictured stopped I think in 1957).

    So, it seems there IS a Landvale Road mystery to this day. It must have been concurrent with the SN Sacramento Trestle at Broadway Terrace, but is not visible.


  3. Bruce Tutcher Says:

    After I noted my speculation about Moraga Rd, I returned to a project I’ve been pursuing: tracking down the parts of culverted Temescal Creek west of the Broadway/Highway 24 landfill. While doing so I came across a site called the “East Bay Hills Project”. Their ‘Landmarks’ section has a great exposé called “Completing the Landvale Link – Broadway Terrace Mystery 1936”

    You are certainly correct about the end of Landvale being obliterated by the new Highway 13 structures. But, it seems, a bit of history remains in the support structures to Highway 13 as it passes over Broadway Terrace.

    It’s ironic that, as the 1936 Oakland map shows, the tiny road called Landvale (between Broadway Terrace and Pinewood) received a great expansion to become Landvale Road, only to be erased completely as a name only 30 years later. (with only the viaduct and the Highway 13 overpass support remaining).

  4. Andrew Says:

    I wrote this entry before I learned about the collection at It would surprise me if that bit of Landvale was repurposed as the Moraga onramp; it’s easier just to bulldoze everything and build fresh.

  5. Bruce Tutcher Says:

    You mentioned the 1912 map, above. I’m not sure if you are aware of the wonderful “Old Oakland” map website?

    You can click on maps for 1877, 1912, 1936, 1950s and 1967 (plus modern) and zoom in with very good resolution. The nice thing is when you change years, the same spot appears as you were at, so it’s a great reference. The 1950s map showing Landvale is at this site.

    From what you said about the “lost southern end” of Landvale, it’s pretty clear that Highway 13 absorbs it all the way from the pointy tip of Lake Temescal (easily noted via Google Earth overhead view) to Landvale’s end on the 1950s map, where Moraga bends at Thornhill, then and now; and is Moraga down past Montclair. But who knows, maybe there’s something hidden away in that messy interchange where 13, Moraga and Thornhill intersect?

    Is it possible that Moraga, which has a “west lanes” facet on the north, here, and eastbound to the south, was only one set of lanes in the 1950s? I wonder if the curve you take from Moraga “westward” is actually a remaining bit of the end of Landvale, at least to the point where it’s directly under the freeway?

  6. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for that. That site has a few other photos of the area. The freeway and tunnel certainly did a number on what used to be a nice stream valley.

  7. Bruce Tutcher Says:

    Hello! I was interested in your Landvale Road search, and I have a couple of links for you. (You may have done this already, but you didn’t post about it).

    There’s a 14 page book ‘out there’ called:

    Studies of the Landvale Road Extension and East Oakland Connection to the Low Level Tunnel Project (by Walter Nettleton Frickstad!!!)

    it is noted via google, but no book to be found for sale

    And, aside from the 1955 picture you mentioned showing the viaduct (there’s also a 1950s Road map showing it), I found this beautiful 1935 pic. I belive youi can see the construction of the Landvale viaduct in progress:

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