College of California

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This article is about College of California. For New College of California, see New College of California.
College of California
College of California is located in Oakland, California
College of California
Location in Oakland
Location NE corner of 13th & Franklin Sts., Oakland, California
Coordinates 37°48′12″N 122°16′13″W / 37.80325°N 122.270217°W / 37.80325; -122.270217Coordinates: 37°48′12″N 122°16′13″W / 37.80325°N 122.270217°W / 37.80325; -122.270217
Reference no. 45[1]

The College of California was the predecessor of the University of California system of public universities.

In 1853, in the recently established town of Oakland, California, noted educators Rev. Henry Durant and Dr. Samuel H. Willey founded the Contra Costa Academy,[1] to provide boys with higher education. This private school grew quickly and by 1855, with the benefit of some government grants, the newly renamed, now public College of California opened in the (by now) city of Oakland, on the 4 blocks bounded by Twelfth, Fourteenth, Franklin and Harrison Streets.

Within a few years, the downtown Oakland site had become unsuitable, owing to a lack of room for expansion, and the crowdedness and general rowdiness of the area.

In 1866, the College trustees sought out a quieter, more rural site for their College. They planned to finance this expansion by selling land near the prospective college site. To this end, they formed the "College Homestead Association" and purchased 160 acres (65 hectares) of land north of Oakland on a site that is part of today's Berkeley.

Sales of lots were less than had been hoped for. Consequently, the trustees collaborated with the State of California's Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College to establish a public university.

The University of California was chartered on March 23, 1868, though it continued using the College of California’s Oakland facilities while the campus at Berkeley was being built. In September 1873, the University moved, with great ceremony, to Berkeley.[1]

The site of the College of California in Oakland is now California Historical Landmark #45.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Site of College of California". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 

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