The 16th Street Southern Pacific Station, Oakland, CA

Tucked into the shadow of the Interstate 880/Bay Bridge approach maze in West Oakland, the long abandoned 16th Street Southern Pacific Station quietly molders. Built in 1912, the Beaux Arts giant that once fed electric street-cars all over the East Bay and across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, was named a city landmark in 1984. In 1989 the Loma Prieta earthquake, which pancaked nearby elevated freeways, heavily damaged the structure forcing its closure. It has stood empty and derelict ever since.

The Station’s possible renovation into a 1,500-unit luxury condo development is still alive, but on life-support. Each year, a little bit more of the building crumbles, peels and rots. It won’t be long before the entire structure will slip beyond any chance of salvation, forcing demolition.

On a rainy October night my buddy simply bribed the watchman with a 12-pack of beer and some pot to let us in to do a few hours of night photography. The spooky old station gave up many mysterious and evocative views that night. The exposure lengths of these images run from 10 seconds to 4 minutes. There’s no digital manipulation except for the occasional dodge and burn, cropping and spotting. All the lighting FX were done in-camera, at the scene.

Troy Paiva