Homeless Shelter in Pipe City
the winter of 1932-33 during the Great Depression, 200 jobless, homeless
men formed a community at the foot of 19th Ave. called Pipe City. They
lived in large, concrete pipes in the storage yard of the American Steel
and Concrete Pipe Co. The community had a mayor and rules against
drunkenness, uncleanliness and political soap-boxing. Donations from the
city and the neighborhood as well as pay from odd jobs were divided
among the whole community. Although the pipes provided some shelter and
the community was a refuge at a time when unemployment rates soared,
living conditions were primitive, and the community was also called
Miseryville. You can learn more about Pipe City by reading the original
newspaper reports or watching the video in the Resource Center.
Oakland Museum of California
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
Explore this Topic:
"Pipe City" photographs - Oakland Museum of California
back to history map