This stone wall you see before you is a partial replica of the north training wall, one of two historic jetties called "training walls" because they were designed to direct the forces of the ebb tide to scour Oakland's shipping channel and keep it open. Before training walls were built, vessels often had to wait until high tide before they could sail through the shallow waters off of Oakland. The training walls were designed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1874. Twenty years in the making, the walls helped make it possible for ocean-going ships to sail up the estuary - an important part of the development of Oakland as a Port.
Building the training walls took:
· More than 310, 000 tons of stone
· Over 500,000 square feet of dry stone facing
· Approximately $615,000
Length: 9,500 Feet - north wall; 12,000 Feet - south wall
Width: 8 feet (top) - 20 feet (base)
Height: 6 feet above low water
Stone for the training walls came from shoreline quarries at Yerba Buena Island, Angle Island, San Francisco, San Bruno, and San Rafael.
Annual cargo entering of leaving Oakland harbor: 1874 - 154,000 tons; 1900 - 3,250,000 tons (2000% increase!)
In 2001, when the Port of Oakland deepened and widened the estuary to accommodate larger containerships, the north training wall was demolished. Stones were set aside from the original wall and used to rebuild a 150-foot-long portion of the wall at this site. The south training wall can still be seen along the Alameda shore of the estuary.