René C. Davidson Courthouse

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René C. Davidson Courthouse
Alameda County Superior Court.jpg
René C. Davidson Courthouse, overlooking Lake Merritt
General information
Type Government
Location 1225 Fallon Street
Coordinates 37°47′59.7″N 122°15′46.76″W / 37.799917°N 122.2629889°W / 37.799917; -122.2629889Coordinates: 37°47′59.7″N 122°15′46.76″W / 37.799917°N 122.2629889°W / 37.799917; -122.2629889
Completed 1934
Technical details
Floor count 12

The René C. Davidson Courthouse is a courthouse, part of the Alameda County Superior Court system. The courthouse is located in Oakland, California, USA.[1] It is adjacent to Lake Merritt.


The building was built in 1934 on the edge of Lake Merritt, originally housing the entirety of the Alameda County Superior Court system.[2] The old courthouse that it replaced was demolished in 1949.[3] The inscription on the building reads "Alamada County Court House".

In the early 1930s Alameda County District Attorney Earl Warren sought a modern structure to the replace the antiquated 1893 Alameda County Court House at 4th Street and Broadway. The building served as the office of the Clerk-County Recorder from 1934 to the 2000 when replaced by a new building at 1106 Madison Street in Oakland. The name of Rene C. Davidson was placed on the Alameda County Court House after the death of the longtime Recorder. Another name offered, longtime Clerk-Recorder Jack G. Blue, immediate predecessor of Davidson.

In 2016, it was revealed that the FBI hid microphones outside the courthouse, between March 2010 and January 2011, as part of an investigation into bid rigging and fraud by Alameda and San Mateo County real estate investors, this done without a warrant. [4]


The Chauncey Bailey murder trial was held at the courthouse. Thomas Reardon was the presiding judge in the trial, with Yusuf Bey IV the defendant. [5]


In an episode aired on 29 October 2008, the Mythbusters used the building to test a jailbreak scenario by having people lower themselves down the facade of the courthouse using ropes made of materials said to be available to inmates: bedsheets, human hair and toilet paper.


  1. ^ "Alameda County Courthouse". Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ Finacom, Steven (April 2, 2009). "Alameda County courthouse approved 75 years ago". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Alameda County Courthouse". California Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]

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