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Warren Hall: CSUEB’s iconic landmark

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Warren Hall: CSUEB’s iconic landmark

PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER WILLIAMS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER WILLIAMS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER WILLIAMS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

By TJ Porreca, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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Warren Hall, the former 13-story landmark at California State University, East Bay towered over the Hayward campus for 40 years until its demolition in 2013.
Warren Hall was demolished because it was the most seismically unsafe building in the entire CSU system due to its proximity to the Hayward Fault.
CSUEB alumni and Instructional Technician Kayvon Mangabay was around to witness Warren Hall prior to its implosion.
“While Warren Hall was still standing, at least for me, there was two era’s,” Mangabay said. “There was the era where it was still a usable building and the era where it was just abandoned.”
Mangabay, who was a freshman in 2008 has unique insight into Warren Hall’s final years. He saw it transition from a functioning part of campus to the shell that it became before it was taken down.
“Both times were pretty interesting. It was not a nice building by the time I was a freshman,” he said. “One thing I do remember, my sophomore year I went up to the President’s office to go drop something off. [The President] had the whole top floor of Warren Hall.”
CSUEB is known for its desirable views of the Bay Area, but the top floor of Warren Hall was in a class of its own.
“It was a panoramic view of the entire Bay,” he said. “It was like one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen.”
Warren Hall served as an additional library due to its proximity to the actual library after the building was vacated.
“Students would go in there to study because there was still cubicles up. So if the library was too crowded for you, you could go study in Warren Hall,” Mangabay said.
Warren Hall was not in great condition in the last few moments of its time on campus and Mangabay describes the vacated building as one that was known to have a foul smell and rats.
“It was pretty gross in there,” he said.
Warren Hall was demolished on Aug. 17, 2013 and Mangabay along with a crowd of students and staff were there to see the massive building topple.
“We watched the building go down, and it was weird,” he said. “Watching a building explode, where you know no one’s getting hurt, is intrinsically exciting. But then afterward, I did feel kind of sad a little bit.”
CSUEB was missing its classic landmark for the first time in 40 years.
“I drive around now, and there’s no landmark marking where East Bay [is],” Mangabay said.
Mangabay said it became a sentimental space for students during his undergraduate years.
“Everyone wanted to take grad photos near Warren Hall because they knew it was going away,” he said. “I think everyone had this weird [sentimental feeling] around the building for some reason.”
The campus has moved on as time has passed, but the five-year anniversary of Warren Hall’s demolition brings back memories of a landmark that stood over the Bay Area and represented CSUEB.

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Warren Hall: CSUEB’s iconic landmark