Twisted address


An interesting but obscure bit of Alameda trivia is connected with the Navy operations center on Clement Avenue in the old Pacific Bridge shipyard ("Buildings Once Part of Active Shipyard," April 16). That building, street address 2144 Clement Ave., is the only building in our town, and likely one of but a few buildings anywhere in the United States, that violates the bedrock American addressing convention of putting even numbers on one side of a street, and odd numbers on the other.

Clement, you see, customarily has odd address numbers on the north side of the street and even numbers on the south, in line with Alameda’s other east- west streets. But for some curious quirk of history, most likely related to redevelopment of the shipyard property after World War II, the Navy building was given an even number and has retained it ever since.

As a Navy man who spent many days in that building in the course of a 30-year career, I considered the bollixed street number a sign of pure Alameda uniqueness.

David Foote, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Editor’s note: 2144 was the address of the Pacific Bridge Co., which closed its doors on October 1, 1944. First the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve and then the Naval Operational Support Center took over Pacific Bridge’s property, put the building up across the street and were able to keep the original address.