First Unitarian Church of Oakland

Coordinates: 37°48′23″N 122°16′36″W / 37.80639°N 122.27667°W / 37.80639; -122.27667
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First Unitarian Church of Oakland
LocationOakland, California
CountryUnited States
DenominationUnitarian Universalist
Pastor(s)Rev. Theresa Soto
First Unitarian Church
1stUnitarianChurch OaklandCA.jpg
View of the church facade, facing southwest
Location685 14th Street, Oakland, California, U.S.
Coordinates37°48′23″N 122°16′36″W / 37.80639°N 122.27667°W / 37.80639; -122.27667
NRHP reference No.77000284
CHISL No.896
ODL No.13
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 16, 1977
Designated CHISLJune 16, 1976
Designated ODLAugust 5, 1975

The First Unitarian Church of Oakland is located in western Downtown Oakland, California. It is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association.


The building site was purchased in November 1888 from Jane K. Sather, a patron of the University of California. Construction began in 1890 and was completed in September 1891, although it began to be used for various activities while still unfinished.

The church building was designed in 1889 by Walter J. Mathews. This solid masonry Romanesque Revival style church departed radically from California's then predominant wood framed Carpenter Gothic style churches. It is noted for its famous stained glass windows produced by Goodhue of Boston, and for its arching redwood spans that were the widest at the time west of the Rocky Mountains.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake damaged the building, but did not destroy it.


The church is listed as California Historical Landmark #896, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-77000284). The church remains a significant cultural and architectural landmark in Oakland.


  • "First Unitarian Church of Oakland". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  • Corbett, Michael (1997). "First Unitarian Church" (PDF). Historic American Buildings Survey. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 12, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2014.

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