“If these walls could talk” is the headline on a retrospective of the Oakland Tribune Tower that staff writer Angela Hill has written. The Tribune is moving on May 20 from its historic downtown location to an office building MediaNews has leased on Oakport Street across the freeway from the Oracle Arena. A couple of paragraphs from her piece:
- During the years, three hard-bitten newsmen died at their desks — one as recently as 2002 when we lost our dear Jim Jennings — and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. The ultimate deadline, you know. One baby was born in the fourth-floor ladies’ room in 1973. And the story goes that our very own street-wise police reporter, Harry Harris (think Dirty Harry with a notebook), was conceived in the Tribune tower when his dad worked here as a photographer sometime mid-last century, and the rest is Harristory.
And here’s another:
- If you listen hard, there’s the faint echo of ancient typewriters chattering on eternally, like crickets on a summer night. You can almost smell the cigarette smoke from the old days, taste the bourbon concealed with everyone’s knowledge and approval in various bottom desk drawers, hear the presses that once rolled, shook the earth and rattled City Hall.
Hill admits she doesn’t personally mind moving. She says the new place is “very nice. It smells of new carpet, and we won’t have to press buttons of competing elevators to see which comes first, much less hold a fire door open with one foot while doing it.” (Photo Credit: Oakland Tribune, file, undated)