Building History


The Studio One building began it's life in 1894 as a home for children. It was constructed and operated by the Ladies Relief Society of Oakland. Founded in 1872 and one of California's earliest charities, the women-led Society was dedicated to providing housing and other services for the city's indigent women and children. In 1906, a fire destroyed the second story of the Children s Home. However, the facility was quickly rebuilt, and boys and girls continued to live there through the 1930s.

During World War II, the Army leased the facility, after which the Society put the building up for sale. In 1947, the non-profit Recreation Center Committee of the North Oakland Area Council launched an ambitious fundraising drive to purchase the building and the adjoining boys playground to donate it to the city for use as a recreation center and to provide a site for the newly funded Temescal Pool.

In 1949, the Oakland Recreation Department moved its year-old fledgling Studio One Program from Bushrod Park into the newly converted North Oakland Recreation Center. The Recreation Department's unique vision of offering inexpensive studio arts classes in a non-competitive learning environment, its vibrant partnership with the community and Studio One patrons, and its successful advocacy for precious city funding enabled Studio One to establish itself at this site and flourish into the enriched center it is today.

In November 2002, a city bond measure aided by the efforts of Studio One supporters, passed to allocate the $10 million needed to for the buildings renovation and seismic upgrade. While the Studio One building was undergoing renovations, it's programs temporarily relocated to the Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center near Lake Merritt.

In June 2008, Studio One reopened as a state-of-the-art facility, and is now self-sustaining! Help us keep our class costs low and our movie nights free and open to our treasured community.