By the early 20th century, harbor improvements, expanded port facilities, and transcontinental rail service had made Oakland one of the state's leading exporters of processed food of all kinds: canned, dried, bottled, and baked. Vegetables, fruits and grains were brought in by rail and truck; processed food was exported by rail and ship. Canneries accounted for much of this activity, providing employment for men and women alike. The foremost canner, California Packing Corporation (CPC), formed in 1916 from a merger of several firms, sold its products under the brand name "Del Monte." The brick structure you see here, angling back to Linden Street, was built by CPC in the early 1920s, incorporating older cannery buildings.
The first privately owned cargo facility on the Oakland Estuary, Howard Terminal was established near this spot in 1900, on a 17-acre site at the foot of Filbert Street.
The terminal specialized in bulk commodities like grain, lumber and coal, and it huge coal bunkers loomed over the waterfront for many years. After World War I, when it began handling canned food and other cargoes, the terminal included warehouses and a railway. The site now forms part of the Port of Oakland's Charles P. Howard Container Terminal.
During and after the two world wars, the estuary was one of the busiest shipbuilding ports in the nation. The largest of the local shipyards, Moore Dry Dock (originally Moore & Scott), began operating at the foot of Adeline Street, west of here, in 1909.
The yard produced nearly 60 steel freighters and tankers between 1916 and 1921, setting records for speed of construction and multiple launchings. During World War II, Moore specialized in ship repairs, employing nearly 40,000 workers in an expanded yard covering 128 acres. The shipyard, which also fabricated structural steel for many buildings in the Bay Area, closed in 1961. The site is now occupied by Schnitzer Steel and the Port of Oakland's American President Lines Container Terminal.