DO YOU know some history about this park?

If you would like to write a short history about this park (from any point in the past), please email us: We would like to include your historical account here.

--- history : 2010-01-02 ---

The Origin of Oakland's Historic Squares

"The originators of [the 1853 map of Oakland] this plan had a vision. In a symmetrical arrangement about Broadway as an axis seven blocks were reserved as parks, each block having an area of about two acres. Between 4th and 5th Streets, on either side of this axis, and extending from Broadway both ways to Washington and Franklin Streets were two squares, later named Washington and Franklin. Two blocks to the north of these squares between 6th and 7th Streets, and three blocks east and west of the Broadway axis were Harrison Square, between Harrison and Alice Streets and Jefferson Square, between Jefferson and Grove [present-day Martin Luther King, Jr. Way]. Two blocks further north, between 8th and 9th Streets, and six blocks east of Broadway was Caroline Square [present-day Madison Square], between Julia (now Madison Street) and Oak Streets. The corresponding square to the west was not reserved, possibly because it was near the western edge of the survey and 'way out' in the country. Four blocks directly north of Jefferson and Harrison Squares, between 10th and 11th Streets, were Lafayette and Oakland [present-day Lincoln] Squares."

"Clear title to these parks was established in August 1869 through a quit-claim deed stating: 'The title to the above public squares is taken by the party of the second part (the City of Oakland) for the purpose of cutting off all outstanding claims, and of quieting the title to the above described public squares as the same have heretofore been dedicated and used in trust for the inhabitants of said City of Oakland as public squares or plazas and for no other purpose'…In 1887 then-Mayor Davis said, 'Within the city limits we have eight public plazas or little parks. The most of these breathing spaces—rest spots—are not in attractive condition.'"

Oakland Parks & Playgrounds, 1936 (WPA Project)

--- history : 2010-01-01 ---

Lincoln Elementary School, 1930s

Lincoln Square Park and the Lincoln Elementary school have had a close relationship for many decades. The park has served as the school's playground for generations.

--- history : 2009-10-19 ---

Chabot Observatory, Lafayette Square Park Circa 1880


--- history : 2008-04-18 ---

A B C D E F total steps