The BRT route leads through San Leandro’s historic retail district. Commerce is a major focus along this stretch of the route, with the Durant Marketplace and the East 14th Street Business District.
Among the interesting sites is the San Leandro Plaza History Walk. There plaques detail the development of the historic community that dates to more than century before California achieved statehood.
The BRT route concludes at the San Leandro BART station.
The City of San Leandro takes pride in its history, which is on display just a block south of the BRT line on West Estudillo Street.
There history buffs will find History Museum (320 West Estudillo), Casa Peralta (384 West Estudillo) and part of the City History Walk.
The History Museum tells the story of San Leandro. Wall murals and life-size portraits set the scene for exhibits. A timeline of San Leandro begins with the first people, the Ohlone/Costanoan Indians, and follows the changes through Spanish/Mexican California, the Gold Rush, the beginnings of a new American town, and the developments of the 20th Century through World War II. Concept exhibits include People from Many Lands, Oysters and the Bayshore, and Agriculture and Industry.
It is open Thursday and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m.
On weekends, Casa Peralta, the city’s historic house museum, is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to the city, three descendants of the original land grant of Rancho San Antonio (ranging from the San Leandro Creek to what is now the City of El Cerrito) lived in the Casa. The home was remodeled in 1926 as a grand Spanish-style villa, with hand-painted tiles imported from Spain, that tell the story of Don Quixote.
For those who feel like mixing a hike with their history, there’s the City History Walk. Start at the history wall at the Plaza on East 14th Street. The wall tells the story of the city’s growth and development. There are 12 markers at historic buildings or sites nearby and three concept pylons on West Estudillo Street.
Opera. Improv. Broadway musicals.
They all come alive at the former California Conservatory Theatre in San Leandro. And the new BRT line runs right by the door.
In 2013, Curtain Call Performing Arts signed a five-year lease to take over the theater space adjacent to San Leandro City Hall. After some renovation work, what has emerged is a 67-seat black box theater that offers the flexibility to house a variety of production formats.
Curtain Call Performing Arts was founded in June 2008 to bring the magic of Broadway style theatre to San Leandro. The company has produced critically acclaimed musicals such as Aida (2009), Into the Woods (2010), Suessical (2011), and Cinderella (2012). In addition, Curtain Call has entertained more than 10,000 local school children and exposed them to the magic of live theater.
Resident companies include Opera on Tap and Gray Matter Improv. Opera on Tap is a non-profit company that seeks to transform opera so that it can be enjoyed by all audiences. Gray Matter Improv is the comic brainchild of Kathleen Dyer and Gil Brenum, who worked together in various theater groups for about four years before starting their own improv operation.
A concert series also brings touring acts and local performers to the stage.
In approving the lease, Mayor Stephen Cassidy wrote: “The arts are vital to a city’s quality of life and economic progress. We hope that by providing a long term lease at almost no cost, CCPA will prosper and grow into one of the leading theater companies in the East Bay. CCPA already does so much for our city, including providing free performances to student groups and developing the talent and skills of our youth.”
From time to time, we all need to interact with the various levels of government.
East BRT makes that easier with service that runs right by government offices in San Leandro.
Need to take to officials at Social Security about your benefits? Need a replacement Social Security card or to file a disability claim? The BRT line runs right in front of the office at 320 Davis St. Call for an appointment and avoid the lines.
Just around the corner lies the San Leandro municipal center. At City Hall, city residents can watch their government in action. It’s the place for exploring zoning rules and file for permits. There also are opportunities for civic involvement with various advisory boards and the oversight committee.
San Leandro has made governance accessible its compact City Hall complex. And East Bay BRT makes getting there even easier.