Micaela suggested the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) building in North Oakland for our Tuesday night sketching and it was an interesting challenge. The 1923 building with 80,000 square feet of space was once a high school. Abandoned in the 1980s, it sat disintegrating for many years, with boarded up windows and peeling paint.
When Children’s Hospital took over the building they kept the original design and built within a high-tech facility for the study of biochemistry, hematology, molecular biology, genetics, and more. The laboratory is backed up by emergency power and critical systems such as freezers and incubators are monitored 24 hours a day.
We could hear the hum and buzz of those systems (along with the loud passing BART trains on the overhead rail across the street) while we sketched. It was so cold, foggy and drizzly damp that Sonia sat in her car to sketch and Micaela and I wore multiple layers of down and fleece. Will summer ever come to the Bay Area?