In the ever-evolving city of Oakland California, there’s one thing you can always count on—De Lauer’s Newsstand.
Since 1907, the newsstand has supplied the residents of the Northern California port city with the news of the world, 24 hours a day, rain or shine. The tiled, art deco facade may not be the original, but it looks just like it did back when the city was new, and Mr. Charles De Lauer turned the former 19th century ice cream parlor as he traded in his newspaper cart for a proper business. His son Charles took up his father’s post after his death in 1934, and for 74 years he sold papers from all over the world to the downtown dwellers of Oakland, 7 days a week.
Newspapers and magazines were the meat and potatoes of De Lauer’s stand, but there were other treasures to be had; travel maps, racing forms, lottery tickets and the latest detective novels also graced the shelves. Commuters and shopkeepers could always rely on De Lauer’s being there—even as the tumultuous political environment of the city turned violent in the later half of the 1900s and riots spilled into the streets—De Lauer’s never closed its doors except for a brief, smoky interlude during a 1984 wildfire.
That is until 1989. While just about nothing would stop the “super stand” from delivering news to its bay area clientele, the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake brought the city to a grinding halt. With 63 dead, thousands left homeless, even De Lauer’s was forced to shutter its windows and close its doors as Oakland and its surrounding affected cities grieved and recovered. It was a dark time in the city, but before long, the news stand once again opened up, a candle in the window symbolizing the resilience of a town that has seen its share of hardship, but continues to survive and thrive.
The historical newsstand closed one more time, back in 2008—but this time is was to receive some much-needed restoration love from a grateful city. As downtown Oakland continues its rapid evolution and constant upgrades, De Lauer’s has not only kept up with the neighbors with its fancy new renovation, but it has opened a second location in nearby Alameda, promising another 100 years of service to the city by the bay.
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