Oakland, CA – Ellis Partners LLC and the Jack London Market construction team took part in a time-honored tradition May 2nd, holding a “topping out” ceremony to commemorate the raising of the building’s highest beam. The Jack London Market, set to become the largest public market on the West Coast, will open its doors in early 2009. The ceremony honoring one of Oakland’s most significant redevelopment projects coincided with Mayor Ron Delllums’ second annual economic summit.
Officials from Ellis Partners LLC and the many trades people involved in the Jack London Market project gathered to sign their names to a white steel beam, the highest in the building’s construction. Before lifiting the beam in place, it was affixed with an American Flag and evergreen treet, talismans meant to bring the new building good luck. Ironworkers were on-hand to settle the beam into its place of honor where it will remain for the duration of the construction process.
The tradition of topping out finds its origins in ancient Scandinavian religious practices, adherents of which believed that their gods lived in trees. Early Scandinavians placed the top-most branches of trees, cut for lumber in the construction, atop their completed buildings to honor the gods and avoid incurring their wrath. The tradition later spread to England and has since been adopted throughout the world. The ceremony is meant to honor the craftspeople of the building trades and bring luck to the new construction.
Jack London Square wil soon be the East Bay’s newest center of gravity for culture, cuisine and commerce. The Square is undergoing a $400 million, one million square foot redevelopment that includes restaurants, entertainment, new parking facilties and Class A office space.
The Jack London Market building, will house 70 vendors selling fresh, sustainably produced fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and cheeses.