We Love the Dimond District Community
The Laurel District
The Laurel district is very close to our eye doctor practice and many of our clients come from this neighborhood. The Laurel District has become known as one of the most desirable with the best dollar for dollar value in Oakland.
The History of The Dimond District
The Laurel district’s origin begins with the 1906 Earthquake. After the earthquake, many people needed to move and found a warm, beautiful location in what is now the Laurel District. Prior to the 20th century, the area was filled with dairies, livestock, and some vegetable farms.
By 1910, the area had streetlights, roads, and sidewalks. The neighborhood was originally called Key Route Heights after the Key Route Rail made it easy to get to downtown Oakland and wended its way down Hopkins Street (renamed to the current MacArthur Blvd.)
It was then renamed The Laurel District after the name of the local school.
MacArthur Blvd., which runs down the middle of the Laurel district, used to be U.S. Highway 50. It was converted to a boulevard when Interstate 580 was finished in the 1960s.
The iconic Laurel Gateway Arches on MacArthur were built in 2006. The gateways boundary the Laurel commercial district claiming the Laurel as a vibrant Arts and Crafts style with a beautiful laurel leaf theme. The theme is spread throughout the district on signs, benches, and more. You can’t miss it!
BTW did you know the current Goodwill building used to be a movie theater? It has a beautiful new mural featuring civil rights leaders, John Lewis, Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez, and Fred Korematsu!
(Directions from the Laurel Arches to the Goodwill & mural)
- From the South arch go northwest on MacArthur Blvd about .5 miles
- Turn left at Magee Ave
Oakland’s Laurel neighborhood is a busy & culturally rich community with a diverse population. The Laurel community is proud of their neighborhood and relish their identity as industrious and friendly.
The Laurel today is thriving! It comprises the neighborhood stretching on MacArthur Blvd from 35th to High St. We have a high concentration of family owned businesses and well established national chains. Known for it’s exercise businesses like Planet Fitness and karate, and yoga studios as well as well known coffee shops and popular restaurants like Phenm Penh and Sequoia Diner. There is even a hip and trendy brewery (Ghost Dog).
These businesses serve an intensely proud neighborhood, that loves to congregate and get to know each other. A warm family atmosphere prevails with activities like outdoor movie nights, and the Night Market.
One of the more popular destinations for Millenials is the Planet Fitness. Directions from the Mural:
- Start on MacArthur Blvd
- In less than a 1/4 of a mile.
- Turn right into the parking lot
- Destination will be on the left
Local schools include the Laurel Elementary School and close are Bret Harte Middle School and Skyline High School.
Laurel District Events
The district is well known for its events. All Eyes On Me Optometry is proud to be so close to these cultural activities. These include
- Laurel Street Fair
- Love the Laurel Neighborhood Days
- Outdoor Movie Night
All Eyes On Me Optometry is in the next neighborhood over in the Dimond District at 3417 Fruitvale. We are easy access to the residential neighborhoods that may find it easiest to reach us on Fruitvale Ave.
From Planet Fitness:
Head northeast toward MacArthur Blvd
Turn left on MacArthur Blvd for 1.3 miles
Turn left on Fruitvale Ave
Destination will be on the right
Conclusion: The Laurel is is a very popular place to live in Oakland California. Our eye exam practice is within 5 minutes of the Laurel. The Laurel is directly to the south of our neighborhood the Dimond, and next to the Allendale on the west, the Redwood Heights on the east, and the Maxwell Park to the south.