The Oakland Block was built by Ambrose Cornwall and named in honor of his
home town, Oakland, CA. This brick and Chuckanut sandstone building stands
just uphill of the famous "Iron Bolt", which once divided the towns of
Whatcom and Sehome.
1891, the towns of Whatcom and Sehome merged into New Whatcom. The newly
elected City Council moved out of the small County Courthouse, which is now
the National Register T.G. Richardson Building (the oldest brick building in
the State of Washington), into the brand-new Oakland Block.
A few years later, a new City Hall was built on the bluff over-looking
Whatcom Creek, which is now the home of the Museum. The top floors in the
vacant Oakland Block became one of the better hotels in town, the Oakland
Hotel; while the west end of the building housed several different
In 2003, the Oakland Block was remodeled and now contains 20 residences
above 5 commercial spaces.
For more information see the
Oakland Block National Register of Historic Places Nomination.