Read All About It: Technological Innovations (for kids from 1-92)

Read All About It: Technological Innovations (for kids from 1-92) 

For this interpretative project we would like to propose an educational way to engage new generations that have never had the chance to see the Oakland Tribune Tower as a newspaper producer. Our goal is to reopen the Oakland Tribune Tower as a museum open to the public free of charge. The museum will have multiple printing presses ranging from the early 1900s to the present day as well as different custom made bikes, cars, and vans to be used for a tracked tour to depict newspaper distribution and the change in transportation. The target audience of this interpretive project will mainly be youth but also extends to include adult interaction. Students and youths will be given the option to participate in the “Read All about It” tour in which they will be given a sheet of paper and will have the chance to write their own news based on their experience within the museum or in the City of Oakland.

This “Read All about It” tour, will be a tracked tour similar to a roller coaster. The building itself will consist of twenty three floors total, enough space to make it a rollercoaster. The track will run through all floors with twenty of those floors consisting of people sitting on bicycles, cars, and vans depicting the change of methods used to distribute paper. On the three remaining floors, people will be asked to get off the track to experience the other interpretative projects, which will also be part of the museum. This “rollercoaster” will be secured for youths to ride alone or alongside parents, depending on their age. This track tour will also be ADA accessible so that people can enter the tour vehicles with their wheelchairs so that they don’t have to leave them behind. The ride itself will then transport everyone to the different levels of the Tower.

Digital to Reality.

The guests will then be able to take another elevator, also ADA approved, to return to the bottom. This form of exit will one, avoid repetitive information by replaying the tour on the way down; and two, eliminate congestion of more people trying to get on the ride. The vehicles on the track themselves will go down to the bottom in a similar way almost like how bowling balls are retrieved. At the end, the elevator will leave you on the first floor where there will be printers for children and guests who can print out their news with the help of museum volunteers.


Although our intial hope was to provide access in a less restricted manner, health and safety considerations make it difficult for us to allow visitors to roam the site unsupervised. By making this plan a track tour we would be able to enforce more controlled access, avoiding accidents and problematic scenarios (such as the suicide in 2004). The track tour will also allow us to direct the attention of our visitors and encourage them to be engaged with news articles decorating the walls, or the audio narrations that will be built into the museum. This track tour will create an interactional experience stimulating most of their senses such as touch, sight, and sound. (The taste factor will come in after the track tour in the restaurants which exists below the Tower.)

This “Read All about It” tour fits our educational theme since it will allow youth to be part of the Oakland Tribune Tower by making their own news, but also by learning how numerous papers were produced in this Tower. Seeing how the forms of transportation for the Oakland Tribune evolved over time alongside the different printing presses will show the technological innovations that have occured since the 1920’s – another of our considered themes. This interpretative plan will also consider tourism (one of our themes) in which multiple stakeholders, such as the owner of the building and restaurant owners, will benefit since it will attract more people to the Tower and to their business.

Read All About it

With this interpretive plan, the space containing the Oakland Tribune Tower as a whole will once again change in its use. Yet by looking at the prior uses within its history, it may become evident to many community members that the Tower is in fact a member of the contemporary community as much as any building in Oakland is. Sustainability of the Tower will be continued by historical documentation and oral history that has been stagnant since the Oakland Tribune left the Tower. Re-opening the Tower to the public will guarantee that the Tower is being looked after and taken care of. Things that are necessary like electricity, sewage, earthquake reinforcement, etc. will become a concern for the entire building as opposed to just the restaurants and businesses that occupy the building. Although this will maintain the physical sustainability, opening the museum will encourage the historical sustainability by passing down knowledge to a different generation here in Oakland and those who wish to visit. Having then created the actual physical track tour, “Read All about It” can then be made into a virtual tour exactly, replicating the track tour considering that the track layout would be a perfect walk through for the virtual tour. Making this site accessible online to people that cannot come to visit the museum but are interested in the history will also broaden the knowledge of this site and help it reach more people in an easier way. This however will not be as fully enriching as visiting the site and taking the actual physical tour will be.


Posted on December 10, 2015, in Anthro136kF2015, Oakland-Tribune. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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