Long Lost Oakland is a collaboration between East Bay Yesterday and Front Group Design. It consists of a podcast mini-series, free events, a walking tour, and a hand-illustrated, poster-size map available for purchase through this Kickstarter campaign. The map includes an array of geographic features ranging from buildings and infrastructure to plants and animals. The unifying theme of these objects is that they once existed in Oakland, but don’t anymore.
This project isn't about evoking nostalgia or romanticizing past eras. It's about trying to make sense of the constantly shifting nature of Oakland in the midst of this moment when we can look around and literally watch the landscape of our city change before our eyes.
Order Your Copy of the Long Lost Oakland Map
East Bay Yesterday host Liam O'Donoghue and Oakland-based illustrator T.L. Simons of Front Group Design have already spent hundreds of hours researching and developing Long Lost Oakland. The map is now finished and we need your support to bring this project to life. Your support will fund the printing of the map, costs associated with producing the podcast mini-series, and additional Long Lost Oakland presentations at libraries, schools, book stores and other venues throughout the Bay Area.
Back this campaign at the $30 level or higher to get your copy of the the 17 x 22" poster-size map.
Our hope is that this project will help explain how our past connects to the Oakland we live in today and the future we may be living in soon. Your support will help raise the profile of this vital conversation.
hear more about the stories behind the map:
- March 15, 7pm: E.M. Wolfman Bookstore
- March 28, 6pm: North Berkeley Library
- April 4, 6pm: Oakland Main Library
- April 11, 7pm: Octopus Literary Salon
- You can find more details about these free events here
Stories of Long Lost Oakland
East Bay Yesterday will be releasing podcast episodes as part of the Long Lost Oakland mini-series throughout this project. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps ensure the continued release of additional episodes.
Episode 1: This episode looks back at the local environment before colonization—and explores how such a massive wave of devastation was able to change the landscape so quickly.
Episode 2: This episode is about another era of rapid, massive changes: World War II. Some people even called it the East Bay’s "second gold rush."
Episode 3: Have you ever wondered what the East Bay was like before colonization? In this episode, Corrina Gould of Indian People Organizing for Change shares knowledge of how her ancestors, the Ohlone people, maintained a relatively peaceful culture here for thousands of years.
Episode 4: During boom years in the early 1900s, East Bay politicians and business leaders celebrated a hot air balloon called “The City of Oakland” as a representation of the region’s rising prospects. This episode explores the relationship between the balloon’s eventual fate and Oakland’s economic trajectory.
"Illustrating this map by hand over hundreds of hours has been a meditation on the place I have chosen to call home for much of my life. It has been a way to look beyond the immediate transformations that I see everyday and to understand them as contemporary manifestations of much longer processes that extend back to the earliest days of European colonization.
To understand this map, start with the key. The shellmounds of the Ohlone people who lived here for thousands of years have been obliterated by development. The mass transit Key System that once connected the East Bay has been replaced by a maze of highways, creating walls that cut between neighborhoods. The shoreline of marshes and tidal estuaries that sustained an abundance of life is now an industrial waterfront built to the specifications of the global economy.
In short, the story of this city’s transformations has always been the story of human and ecological devastation. Yet Oakland continues to shine with beauty, culture, and resistance. That energy is the inspiration for my work on this project. I have chosen to illustrate this map not as a horrific depiction of the catastrophes that define our common history, but as a reflection of the resilience and magic I see in the city around me. It is a reminder that no matter how bad things get, they are always changing. I want Long Lost Oakland to ground the viewer in the place where they stand and to spark the imagination of those who will struggle for a different kind of future."
- T.L. Simons, 2018
A limited set of maps hand-signed and numbered by T.L. Simons are available by backing this campaign at the $100 level or higher.
About the Creators
East Bay Yesterday was named “The Best Podcast about the East Bay” in 2017 by the East Bay Express. Over the course of more than 30 episodes, this series has explored stories of culture, politics and nature from Oakland, Berkeley and other towns throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Host and producer Liam O’Donoghue has also contributed pieces about local history to KQED, KALW and the syndicated NPR program Snap Judgement as well as participated in many history-oriented events throughout the East Bay.
eastbayyesterday.com • facebook • instagram • twitter
Front Group Design is an Oakland creative studio that works with innovative and conscious clients in the Bay Area and far beyond. Front Group was started in 2011 and provides a full spectrum of tailored branding, interactive, & print design services.
frontgroupdesign.com • 510-338-6487 • email@example.com
Carla Hernández Ramírez directed the Long Lost Oakland Kickstarter video. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Carla is an Oakland-based photographer and videographer. Follow her stunning work on Instagram.
Printing the Map
Community Printers is a worker cooperative and union print shop with years of experience producing the highest quality work using environmentally sustainable printing practices. The Long Lost Oakland map will be printed at Community Printers using a full color offset process along with metallic ink and spot gloss highlights on archival cover stock.
For short run and long run printing needs of all types, check out Community Printers. Email their Oakland sales desk at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Maps for Oakland Teachers
If you teach in an Oakland school and you want to integrate the map into your curriculum, please contact us [see details below] and you’ll receive a donated copy of the Long Lost Oakland map for free. In addition to the full-color poster-sized version of the map, a downloadable black and white 11” x 17” PDF version will also be made available to download for classroom use.
Send an email to eastbayyesterday [at] gmail.com with the subject line “LLO in the classroom.” In the email, simply write your name, your school and the class you teach.You will be added to the donations list and will be notified as soon as we get the maps back from the printer in order to announce date and location for map pickup. Please submit requests before the Kickstarter campaign concludes on April 17. (Also, supplies may be limited depending on the response to this offer.)
This project would not have been possible without the work of many other Oakland historians, upon whose work we built. Special thanks to: Dorothy Lazard, Kathleen DiGiovanni and the rest of the wonderful staff at the Oakland Library's History Room. Gene Anderson and everybody who contributes to the Oakland Wiki. Ranil and Ross at Community Printers, The Oakland Museum of California, the African American Museum and Library of Oakland, Oakland Heritage Alliance, Dennis Evanosky, Chris Treadway, Betty Marvin, Brian Peterson, Annalee Allen, Bennett Hall, and all the authors who have written books about Oakland history.
Risks and challenges
Risk is an inevitable element of any project. However, we have done everything in our power to ensure that this project will be executed and fulfilled successfully. The map has already been designed and Community Printers are a very reputable business with a long record. As long as we hit the funding goal, there shouldn't be any delay in printing and distributing the Long Lost Oakland map and/or delivering the other rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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