In the Cypress district of West Oakland is a memorial park about the 1989 earthquake, which did the majority of its killing here. The sculpture at the corner of 14th Street and Mandela Parkway represents the ladders that local residents quickly raised against the wreckage of the collapsed freeway that once ran through here.
Looking at the sculpture toward the hills, you also notice ring-shaped berms invoking the seismic waves that rippled north through the site from the epicenter in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Here’s a view from the sidewalk looking the other way. The park takes up an L-shaped portion of the block, the rest of which is occupied by a fire station.
The floor of the sculpture pad briefly describes the scene here on 17 October 1989. The edge of the park is a wall with “15 seconds” in big steel letters on it. To the right is an interpretive sign.
This is a remarkable place that I had no inkling was here until I took a walk on Mandela Parkway yesterday. It occurs to me that there must be other memorials to the 1989 quake around the bay.