Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Adventuring // The Best Building in Downtown San Leandro

On the corner of a busy San Leandro intersection, there's a pretty white three story building with one of those sharp angled fronts reminiscent of New York's Flatiron Building. Last week, Joy, Janelle, and I snuck in and wandered around its silent, empty hallways.

Technically, we didn't sneak. It's open to the public {there are law offices in there right now}, but it's one of those buildings where you feel like you're trespassing if you don't have an appointment. Not that anyone inside makes you feel that way-- it's the building itself that makes you feel in awe.

There are black wrought-iron curlique gates guarding the entrance and once you've walked up the short marble staircase and past those gates, your face just goes slack and your eyes wide because... all that warm, shiny, polished mahogany. The slightly worn, still thick, dark red and cream patterned carpet. The vaulted ceilings with a giant skylight. The intricately carved staircase railings lining the entire way up to the long, quiet hallways, where footsteps are muffled and all you hear is the slight hum of the air-conditioning.

We didn't encounter another soul the entire time we walked around. The law offices were labeled, but we never heard voices or the click-clacking of computer keys.

Rereading that, the place sounds really creepy, but it's so not. It's just old. And impressive. And so full of history, that you feel a bit out of place. It's peaceful. Everywhere you look, there are more details that make you nudge your companions and go, "Look at that!"

I would think golden hour must make the light inside that building just... wow. Everything is so warm-toned already that when the afternoon sun comes through the windows, the place has to glow golden.

We really have no reason to ever go back inside the Best Building {it's named after a guy named Daniel Best who was known for his work in tractor manufacturing}, but if you're ever in the neighborhood, it's a gorgeous place to peek into and so many people don't even know it's there.

Tip: There are two side entrances that will get you to the upper floors of the building where all the above pictures were taken {the main floor has been taken over by Citibank, so going in the front won't help you at all}. There's an entrance on both the East 14th side and the Estudillo side. Just look for those iron gates!


The Best Building
1300 East 14th Street
San Leandro, California 94577

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