This is one of the earliest known images of the town of “Haywards”. It shows the town when it was just beginning to grow around Don Castro’s adobe house and corral.
The vantage point of the image appears to be looking westward toward downtown from the foothills in the vicinity of present day 1st and E Streets.
The illustration was part of a larger poster showing the impact of the Great Earthquake of 1868, centered on the Hayward Fault.
1878 map of “Haywards” showing the layout of the town. The historic downtown plaza is clearly indicated at the intersection of Castro Street (now Mission Blvd.) and Webster Street (now C Street).
In this fascinating 1889 illustration, Hayward’s historic plaza is clearly visible in the lower right corner of the bird’s eye view. At the time, it was being used as a baseball field.
"Bird’s Eye View of Haywards, issued by Geo. A. Oakes, editor and proprietor of Haywards’ Journal, Haywards, Alameda Co., Cal. Subscription price $2.50 per year,” Printed in 1889.
Looks impressive. How have you guaranteed funding to ensure that the facility will be opened and adequately staffed long enough hours?
On election day June 4, 2014, Hayward voters approved Measure C by an overwhelming 2-to-1 margin, ensuring the funding for a mix of critical City infrastructure and services upgrades.
With the passage of Measure C by a supermajority of Hayward voters, the 21st Century Library project and the ongoing operations of the new facility are fully funded for the next 20 years.
Learn more about Measure C here.
Get a glimpse of the future with these design renderings of Hayward’s new 21st Century Library and Learning Center. See the presentation.
One of Hayward’s most impressive yet underutilized assets is its historic tree-filled central “plaza”. In the early days of Hayward in the mid-1800’s, the plaza was part of the homestead of the first ranch owner in the area, Don Guillermo Castro.
Castro’s homestead was located in the area of present day C Street and Mission Boulevard. His original adobe house stood there for many years. Next to Don Castro’s house was a large corral for his horses. By 1889, Don Castro’s former corral had become the central plaza in the bustling new town of “Haywards”.
Some of the trees standing there today date back to these early days of Hayward. This unique arboretum features over 40 varieties of rare and mature trees, including impressive specimens of native Giant Sequoia and Coast Redwoods, century old American Elms, and some of the largest and oldest specimens of exotic tree species in the Bay Area including a mature Chinese Gingko, a rare Dawn Redwood, and the extraordinary 100-foot-tall Australian Bunya Pine.
The 21st Century Library project presents the unparalleled opportunity to restore these grounds to their historic roots as Hayward’s central plaza and arboretum. Very few cities can boast of having such a beautiful and stately central plaza with century-old historic trees in the heart of downtown.
Creating a vibrant and welcoming community plaza in place of the 1950’s era library structure will transform Hayward’s civic center. The restored plaza will be an ideal location for community festivals, music performances, cultural events, farmer’s markets, and other civic events for the benefit and enjoyment of the entire Hayward community.
I would like to know how old the trees are on the current library site.
Thanks for mentioning the heritage trees, which are a central and important part of the 21st Century Library and Historic Plaza + Arboretum project. A comprehensive arborist’s survey of the trees is now underway, and will be presented during the next series of community meetings starting in September. Learn more about the restoration of Hayward’s historic plaza and arboretum.
Amazing. We are the residents of the area so lucky to have a library like this with all facilities.
Thank you! Hayward is lucky to have so many amazing residents who believe in and support their community, This project was made possible by Measure C, which Hayward voters overwhelmingly approved by a 2-to-1 margin in June, 2014. Learn more about Measure C here.
What will happen to the old library?
Great question, thanks for asking! The 21st Century Library project presents the unparalleled opportunity to restore Hayward’s historic plaza and arboretum. Very few cities can boast of having such a beautiful and stately central plaza with century-old heritage trees in the heart of downtown. A community plaza will be created in place of the 1950’s era library structure. This outdoor gathering space will be an ideal location for community festivals, music performances, cultural events, farmer’s markets, and other civic events for the benefit and enjoyment of the entire Hayward community. Learn more about the plans to restore Hayward’s historic plaza + arboretum.
And what do you propose to do about the Weekes Library? Getting from my house to the main library means finding a detour around the "marvelous" loop. I don't care about the downtown library.
We’re glad you mention the Weekes Branch, though we’re sorry to hear you don’t care about the downtown library. Without the downtown central library for support, the Weekes Branch couldn’t operate. This is similar to the way a tree branch can’t flourish without the roots and trunk to supply it with nutrients, water, etc.
We are proud of our Weekes neighborhood branch, which is well-used and well-loved by the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s an important part of our library system here in Hayward. That is why we are so committed to continuously improving the Weekes building and the services we provide there. In fact, the Weekes Branch has received multiple upgrades in recent years:
- The building was significantly expanded in 2001, doubling its size.
- The interior public spaces were completely renovated in 2006.
- The staff workroom was reconfigured to improve efficiency in 2013.
- A brand new public parking lot was installed in July, 2014.
Coming soon, look for brand new self-checkout machines, too. The new machines will replace the outdated and inefficient 15-year old models, streamlining the checkout process and making it even more convenient and efficient for library patrons as well as library staff.