The history of Jingletown begins with its name, originating from a habit of nearby mill workers, largely males of Azorean Portuguese background, who would jingle the coins from a week’s work in their pockets as they walked to display their prosperity. In 1998, the neighborhood began a massive redevelopment, becoming home to an award-winning affordable housing project that has helped to revitalize the community.
Jingletown is thriving as one of the fastest growing arts districts in the San Francisco Bay area. An organization called the Jingletown Arts & Business Community (JABC) is the main representative of the art community. In 2003 a building boom began in Jingletown, with several local developers building approximately 150 condos, lofts and townhomes on and near the Estuary waterfront, creating a new character to the area with its mix of new and old homes, commuters and residential artists. The neighborhood is also home to the Institute of Mosaic Art, and walking through the neighborhood, you can see manymosaics displayed on buildings sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. Jingletown is also the location of Green Day‘s JingleTown Recording.
Jingletown is a pocket arts community adjacent to the Oakland Estuary, bounded by the Park Street and Fruitvale Bridges which connect Oakland to the City of Alameda. It is part of the area called Fruitvale (formerly, Brays and Fruit Vale) in East Oakland. There are a large number of working artists living in the converted lofts that predominate in the area. It is located about two miles southeast of Lake Merritt.