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The Rabbit Hole

I grew up in the Montclair District of Oakland, CA. I attended Thornhill Elementary School, Montera Junior High, Skyline High School, and spent some time at Merritt College.

494 Capricorn _00005
My childhood home in Montclair

I lived in Montclair until I was a young adult, and since then, I have lived by Lake Merritt, in the Fruitvale District, on Piedmont Ave, the King Estates Area, and now the Laurel District.

Since going on an Oakland Heritage Alliance Tour of the Fernwood Neighborhood in the Montclair District of Oakland in about 1984, I have been an Oakland history buff ever since. On that tour, I learned a train (Sacramento Northern) ran through Montclair in the early 1900s and that people lived the area as early as the 1860s — been hooked ever since. Since then, I have spent a lot of time looking into Montclair’s history, and I have learned a lot. I feel this will be the best way to get it out of my head and onto paper.

In 2018 I started this blog because I collected so much information on Oakland’s history and couldn’t wait to share. Posting in Facebook groups isn’t the best outlet for me. I love sharing what I know and reading what others share. But things get lost on Facebook.

With my dear friend Phil, I got started, and I was off and running. It should be easy, I say to myself, because, in my mind, I had already laid out actual pages and everything I wanted to say.

But it wasn’t.

I tend to get bogged down in the details. I worry about getting my facts correct. It is hard for me to find a happy medium between too much and too little. So, this is a work in progress, so bear with me.

I hope you will enjoy history as much as I do!

Down The Hole, I Go

But I have strayed from the topic of this post. Often when researching one thing, you find something else that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but it piques your interest. That happens to me a lot.

You might know this as the “Internet rabbit hole” you see when you try to research one thing, and then accidentally go to Wikipedia, and then you are trying to find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? That is it in a nutshell.

One rabbit hole I get sucked into often is I will see a picture like this one and want to know more about it.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_2__1911_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Apr. 02, 1911
  1. Location
  2. Is it still there?

Those two things can be very hard as sometimes the location is very vague and wrong.  Sometimes the location is correct.  When looking up the house, I am curious as to who the house was built for, were they famous or rich, maybe both?

I have compiled a lot of these pictures of newly built houses. I decided to create a map using Google Maps.  The map I have created is “What was there or still is… Oakland, California”.

I have already added lots of the homes that I have found while down in the rabbit hole.

What was there or still is… Oakland California

Description of the Map

Some from long ago and long gone, but some are still there.
Based on clippings, newspapers, and photos. May not be accurate as address numbers have changed, and locations were often vague

Maroon – Still there
Black – Gone
Yellow – Landmark
Green – Berkeley
Purple – Piedmont
Red – Questions – researching

Here is a link to the map.  Click on it to see.  Please feel free to share it.

I still have lots of pages in the works; just have to get myself out of this hole.

This might help explain Rabbit Hole.

Featured
Posted in Uncategorized

The History Bug Strikes

Our house in Montclair on Thornhill

In 1983, my ex-husband and I were hired by the Montclair Presbyterian Church (where I went as a young child) as custodians. We moved into the house the church-owned next to the Sanctuary. It was at church I started to get the history bug. I found out that the church had celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1980. I was amazed the church had been there so long.

In about 1985, I went on the Fernwood Walking Tour by the Oakland Heritage Alliance, and from that point on, I was on a mission to find out more about the history of Montclair and Oakland.

The rest is history.

First blog post

Posted in Buildings, Real Estate, West Oakland

The Acorn Projects

The Acorn or Acorn Projects are a series of housing projects in the Acorn Redevelopment Project Area of West Oakland.

They were original three housing units, Acorn 1, Acorn 2, and Acorn 3. 

Acorn Housing Project model, April 7, 1966. – The Acorn Housing Project promised sleek, modern architecture — concrete-block units with sharp angles and crisp white exteriors

The project started in 1962. The first housing unit contained 479 units and cost $9 million; it was completed in 1969. A second 98-unit called Acorn II was completed in 1971 at the cost of $3.7 million.

Oakland Tribune 1959

Slum Clearance Project

Oakland’s first slum clearance undertaking will be called The Acorn Project.”

Oakland Tribune March 9, 1959

The Oakland Redevelopment Agency selected the name Acorn for the project area (about 45 Blocks) flanking the Nimitz Freeway between Union and Brush Streets.

Agency member Carl O. Olsen said the “Acorn is symbolical for the future and growth.”

Oakland Tribune February 24, 1965

Acorn’s Amazing Progress

It was reported that Project Acorn was shaping up as one of the most successful blight clearance projects in the nations’ history in 1964.

In 20 months, they had accomplished the following:

  • Purchased 90% of parcels
  • Relocated 83% of families
  • Demolished 75% of structures
  • Sold four lots for new plants
Oakland Tribune

Property Owners Sue

Thirteen West Oakland property owners sued to block the Acorn Project. They sued the Federal Redevelopment Agency and the City of Oakland, claiming that the Acorn Project “would deprive Negroes of their properties.”

They said the slum elimination project would, in effect, deprive them of homeownership because they have limited access to other residential areas. They told the court they have no objection to urban improvement, but object to being evicted from their homes without a place to go,

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against them in May of 1963.

Acorn: Acres of Vacancy

In the land cleared for the project, there were rats, ants, and sparrows lived. But no people.

Oakland Tribune 1967

The Oakland Redevelopment Agency had spent $ 13 million by 1967. But still no housing.

It was described as a slum clearance project, and it was a success. Some 4,300 people lost their homes as wrecking crews smashed aging buildings.  

Acorn SIte 1966  By the time this picture was taken, 90 percent of the Acorn project-area had been “cleared,” and 86 percent of residents had relocated — many to the neighborhood of East Oakland and the northern East Bay city of Richmond.*

It took from April 1962 to May 1965 to reduce all but 610 old structures to splinters. In their place was acre upon acre of empty fields in the area between 10th and First and Brush and Union Streets.

Thirty-two were set aside for industrial redevelopment, thirty-four acres for new, moderate-priced housing.

Since 1962 when the Acorns were approved, 12,000 rental units were built in other parts of Oakland.

Acorn Project Aims to Attract Whites

The Acorns, a middle-income development featuring sophisticated townhouses and apartments, was one of the nations’ first attempts at “reverse integration.”

To attract whites to the project, the Building Trades Council tried to put the finest housing it can afford into the project and charge the lowest rents possible.

Rents ranged from studios at $67 up to four-bedroom two-story townhouses at $145. (The upper limit on income was $11,225)

Remember Acorn? It’s Dedicated

After sitting empty for ten years, the Acorn Project was finally dedicated in 1967.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Acorn construction, November 10, 1967John B. Williams (kneeling) holds a sign for the Acorn Urban Renewal Project as it is hammered into the ground by Robert C. Weaver, Secretary of the newly founded Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Construction did not begin in Acorn until five years after demolition was completed, leaving a giant barren area in the middle of West Oakland, about 50 blocks, including parts of the historic heart of black Oakland, 7th Street. By the mid 60s, the demolition policies of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency (ORA) would create deep scars in the black neighborhoods close to downtown.

Ready for the Public

The first units of Oakland’s $8 million modern apartment complex opened for inspection in September 1968.

Source: San Francisco Examiner 9/16/68 “Oakland’s Redevelopment Project Ready for Public” (available at Oakland History Room)
  • Studio – $67.00 a month
  • 4-bedrooms – $145.00 a month

By December of 1968, 106 families lived in the Acorns.

SF Examiner Sept 1968

Award for Acorn

 Architects Edmund Burger and Patricia Coplans won the 1970 Holiday Award for the design of the Acorn Projects.

The Acorns Today

SF Examiner May 1998

The property underwent extensive redevelopment in the 1990s due to four years of collaboration among HUD, The City of Oakland, BRIDGE, the Acorn Residents Council, and the West Oakland community.

SF Examiner May 1998

Like many other projects, Acorn was known as a dangerous place for residents and nearby neighbors. The new Acorn will have several safety features. Density was reduced by half from the 700 units that made up the old project, and a series of courtyards with locked gates to limit access.

  • Acorn 1 was demolished, and a small community of two-story single-family houses between Filbert and Market Streets was built in its place.
  • Acorn 2 and Acorn 3 were renamed “Town Center Apartments at Acorn” and “Courtyard Apartments. 

Acorn Town Center and Courtyards consist of 293 affordable studio, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments.

  • high-tech security system
  • gated property
  • recreational center
  • community building
  • tot lots
  • three basketball courts
  • swimming pool

Acorn Town Center and Courtyards – Bridge Housing

More Info:

The Acorn NeighborhoodOakland Local Wiki

Imagining a Past Future – Photographs from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency – Places Journal

Affordable Housing Today – Architecture California 2001

Acorn Oakland RenaissanceFacebook Page

Portraits of Progress and PainEastbay Yesterday

The Planning History of Oaklandwebsite

Tot Lot

The End

Posted in Black History, West Oakland

The Black Y’s of Oakland

The Linden Branch Y.W.C.A. and the Filbert Street Y.M.C.A. developed programs during the 1930s that helped the Black community survive the Depression years. They emerged at a time when the national Y’s both encouraged separate branches for Black members.

Oakland’s Black Y.W.C.A

In 1920 a small group of local black women, Mrs. Willie HenryMelba Stafford, and Hettie B. Tilghman, organized the Linden Center Y.W.C.A. with the central organization’s support and approval.

Linden branch of the YWCA in Oakland, California. circa 1940 Clubhouses–California-Oakland. Young Women’s Christian Associations–California–Oakland. Neighborhoods–California–Oakland–West Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Linden Center got its name from its location at 828 Linden Street in West Oakland. It achieved the “branch” status in 1924 due to increase membership. It was then known as the Linden Branch Y.W.C.A or the Linden Y.

Young Women’s Christian Association Collection – African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)

The Linden Y functioned as a job placement center and welfare agency during the Depression years.

Linden Street Y.W.C.A. interest groups, clubs, classes
 Young Women’s Christian Association of Oakland.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)

The branch operated as a community center, offering members religious training, recreational activities, counseling, vocational training, and music and art programs.

 Linden Street Y.W.C.A. interest groups, clubs, classes
 Young Women’s Christian Association of Oakland.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
MS110_B01_F03_019

 Y.W.C.A. yearbook
Young Women’s Christian Association of the U.S.A.–History.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)

By 1938 the Linden St. Y had a membership of over 750.

For almost 25 years, the Linden Branch existed as a segregated facility. Following a national policy change, the board of the Oakland Y.W.C.A. integrated the Linden Street Y.

“to make its program available to all women and girls irrespective of race, creed or color”

The name was changed to West Oakland Center YWCA.


Group of men and women sitting on wall in front of Linden Branch Y.W.C.A – circa 1930s African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Joseph, E. F. (Emmanuel Francis), 1900-1979
Group Photo 1940
African American Museum and Library at Oakland, MS189_0809

Linden Street was described as ” a two-story framed building with four club rooms, a reception hall, office for the business and industrial sections, and two rooms rented to accommodate working girls.”

The facility and the entire surrounding neighborhood were razed in the early 1960s to make room for the Acorn Projects.

Linden Street Y.W.C.A. 828 Linden Street circa 1940
 Young Women’s Christian Association of Oakland.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)

Oakland’s Black Y.M.C.A. 

Organized by Rev. L.A. Brown of the  First A.M.E. Church, opened on June 6, 1926. It was initially located at 3431 Market Street in West Oakland, and William E. Watkins, an attorney, was the first director. In 1927 the organization had a membership of 160, 134 seniors, and 26 boys.

3431 Market St -Today Google Maps

In 1929 they moved to 804 Filbert Street and became known as the Filbert Street Branch, Y.M.C.A. In 1935 they moved to 805 Linden Street and became the Eight and Linden Branch, Y.M.C.A.

The Filbert Street Y promoted a competitive sports program. Its annual track meet annual athletic contest attracted competitors from all over the Bay Area.

Oakland Tribune Mar 19, 1934

They sponsored a variety of classes and activities. Members could attend classes in Bible and woodworking. A boys’ orchestra, organized by C. E. Brown, preformed for the public. Some of the boys were invited to summer camp.

In 1936 Mr. Watkins resigned as the director and was replaced by R.T. Smith. The directory lists the BLACK YMCA at 836-36th Street. After the move to 36th Street it became known as the North Oakland Branch. It probably integrated about the same time as the Linden Branch.

Exterior of Y.M.C.A. building African Americans–California–Oakland–History–Pictorial works. source: Joseph (E. F.) Photograph Collection circa 1930s : MS126_2499
836 -36th Street today – Google Maps

804 Linden Street burned in 1960 and then was razed for the Acorn Projects.

More Info:

Oakland Heritage Alliance Newsletter – The Black Y’s of Oakland – Winter 1987-88

Oakland Heritage Alliance News Winter 2013 – Remembering the Linden Street Y

Linden Street Y.W.C.A. – Oakland Local WIki 

The End

Posted in Buildings, Lake Merritt, Parks, People

Edson Plaza and Conservatory

From 1911

The glass palace was once a part of the estate of A.K.P. Harmon in Oakland.

A.K.P. Harmon

Albion Keith Paris Harmon settled in Oakland in 1872 after making a fortune in the Comstock mines. He settled on 6.2 acres of land on the shores of Lake Merritt next to Sacred Heart College.

From the Map of the City of Oakland and Surroundings. Compiled from Official and Private Surveys. by J.C. Henkenius. 1888. Britton & Rey Lith., S.F. Cal. Entered…1887.

He soon after he built his house, conservatory, and magisterial carriage house.

In an 1882 biographical sketch on Mr. Harmon, the writer alluded that

“…greenhouse, which contains one of the most extensive collections of rare plants on the Pacific Coast.”

Harmon House and Conservatory from Webster Street, Oakland. ca. 1870
Gift of Miss Marietta Edwards
H68.10.6B
Harmons Greenhouse
Sf Examiner May 1, 1896

Mr. Harmon died in 1896, and his estate was subdivided and sold.

Sf Examine May 03, 1896

Edson Plaza

Mr. Edson F. Adams, son of one of the city founders, purchased the conservatory and had it moved to a two-acre park he had created at the head of Lake Merritt, known as Edson Plaza. The new park was called Edson Plaza and Conservatory or Adams Park.

The Adams heirs spent a large sum of money creating the park. The site was once a foul and unsightly marsh. It took about 18 months to complete the project.

The conservatory had to be moved intact, as it was constructed in a way it could not be disassembled. It was reported to have cost several thousand dollars to build in the 1880s. Walter J. Mathews, an architect, supervised the move.

The entire plaza was perfectly kept lawn with maple, poplar, birch, willow, and eucalyptus trees along the border. In the center was the conservatory in the shape of a cross 72 by 60 feet in size containing several thousand potted plants. John McLaren (Golden Gate Park) prepared plans for the conservatory and park’s upkeep and care.

New or greatly enlarged industrial establishments of Oakland and East Bay cities / by Oakland (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce. Cheney Photo Advertising Co. ; Wickham Havens, Inc.
circa 1917 Courtesy of Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt7199q9d0/?order=87

The Oakland Hearld proudly announced, “Conservatory and Park Are Gift to Oakland’s People.”

In 1903 the Edson Heirs Donated the park to the city of Oakland.  

…gift is that the city shall forever maintain the plaza as a public park and keep up the handsome conservatory which stands in it.”

Oakland Tribune July 11, 1903
Oakland Tribune Aug 4, 1903

Relic of the Past

 “So, another landmark is destroyed.”

In September 1918, an official notice came from the park commissioners to sell the conservatory and its contents. It has was too costly for the city to keep up.

“Now its life is ended. There no further use for it.”

Auction Sale – September 10, 1918

Oakland Tribune Sept 8, 1918

The “Forever Park” is Gone

In 1926, Oakland’s city council opted to lease land that Edson Plaza (then called Adams Park) to the country for a new Veterans’ Memorial Building. Which meant the conservatory would have to be razed.

Gee, did the city forget they agreed to keep it a park with the conservatory FOREVER?

Deed Doesn’t Restrict

“The deed to the property, which became known as Adams Park in 1902 after Edson Adams had erected a conservatory on the site, places no restrictions on the use and its only dedication as a park is through the city’s naming it.”

Oakland Tribune Jan 27, 1927
Oakland Tribune July 19, 1927

Veterans’ Memorial Building

Veterans’ Memorial Building 200 Grand Ave – Oakland Local Wiki

More Info:

The End

Posted in East Oakland

Lion Statues at the Oakland Zoo

Oakland Tribune May 11. 1963

In 1962 a pair of lions statues were removed from their perch guarding the Alameda County Hall of Records since about 1875. The county board of supervisors agreed the statutes should be entrusted to Knowland State Park, where they were placed at the zoo entrance.

Oakland Tribune May 08, 1963

Thought to be Stone

“Most everyone believed they were stone or concrete underneath the paint,” Razeto said. “But tap them, and they ring…like a bell.”

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1963

Old photographs indicate the lions were an integral part of the original Victorian design, including two front lion wall plaques (removed before 1930)and a dozen bearded gargoyles at the eaves.

Oakland Tribune March 11, 1964

Old Hall of Records

The Hall of Records was erected in 1875. The hall sit had been the parade ground of the Oakland Guard from 1865. Architect Henry H. Meyers designed the ornate hall complete with entrance columns, leaded glass windows, and a grand rotunda.

Hall of Records updated Oakland History Room

A south wing was added in 1900 and a north wing in 1916. It was remodeled in 1945 when the welfare and school departments moved there.

In 1957 it was determined that nothing more could be added to the building without it collapsing.

In 1964 the Old Hall of Records was demolished to make room for the new $2.5 million Probation Center.

Today

For years the lions were greeting people as they entered the Zoo. I bet thousands of kids and adults had had a picture taken of them sitting on one the lions. I know I did. Sadly, the lions no longer greet people as they have been moved from their prominent perch to the exit area.

Lion Statues at the Oakland Zoo – Lion Statues on Waymarking.com
Lion Statues at the Oakland Zoo – Lion Statues on Waymarking.com
Lion Statues at the Oakland Zoo – Lion Statues on Waymarking.com

From the plaque:

original iron lions, which guarded the entrance to the County Hall of Records since 1880 placed here in 1963 by the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County.

More Info:

Lion Statues at the Oakland Zoo – Lion Statues on Waymarking.com

The End

Posted in Homes, Then and Now, Tract or Subdivisions, Uncategorized

Oak Knoll Homes

Rolling Hills, Pleasing Climate

Situated in eastern Oakland’s rolling hills, it enjoys a warm, balmy climate and provides ideal home sites with an unobstructed view, a perfect place for children

New Developer at Oak Knoll

David D Bohannon well-known subdivider and developer of San Francisco property, formed a new company called Oak Knoll Land Development Company.  The company was to sell and develop the Oak Knoll area.

300 Home Building Plan

In June of 1937, David D. Bohannon Organization announced a vast building program of 300 new homes for Oak Knoll.

“beautiful detached homes of distinctive and individual architectural design, all situated on lots of generous dimensions.”

said: Bohannon

The Plan

  • Distinctive Architecture
  • FHA Inspection
  • FHA Financing
  • Restrictions Guard Oak Knoll*

*In developing Oak Knoll, reasonable restrictions have been set up to maintain what Nature has already done so well. Oakland Tribune June 06, 1937

Photo taken 1929-1930 by Milton W. Molitor.

The building in the distance is either Holy Redeemer or Oak Knoll Country Club. If the photo is of Oak Knoll Ave (was Cabrillo Ave) then it would be Holy Redeemer.

3649 Oak Knoll in the late 20s Built by Milton W. Molitor.
Photo taken 1929-1930 by Milton W. Molitor.

The Plan in Action

This photo below shows progress of their building plan. This is from the Oakland Tribune 1937. You can see Molitor home in the bottom right hand corner

List of homes in the above photo.

  1. 3500 Calandria Ave
  2. 3514 Calandria Ave
  3. 3775 Margarita Ave
  4. 3478 Margarita Ave
  5. 3439 & 3442 Margarita
  6. 3448 Margarita Ave
  7. 3443 Mirasol Ave
  8. 3501 Mirasol Ave
  9. 3517 Mirasol Ave
  10. 3583 Mirasol Ave
  11. 3539 Granada Ave
  1. 9408 Granada Ave
  2. 3649 Oak Knoll Blvd
  3. 3641 Oak Knoll Blvd
  4. 3541 Mirasol Ave
  5. 3500 Mirasol Ave
  6. 3616 Mirasol Ave
  7. 3509 Oak Knoll Blvd
  8. 3517 Oak Knoll Blvd
  9. 9527 Granada Ave
  10. 3606 Oak Knoll Ave

New Oak Knoll Home – 3500 and 3501 Mirasol Ave

Oakland Tribune 1937 – Showing 3456 and 3500 Mirasol Ave

A two-story Early California Style home opened July 4, 1937.  

3500 Mirasol and 3456 Mirasol Google Maps
Oakland Tribune 1937
3500 Mirasol Avenue – google maps

Attractive Home in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1938
3443 Mirasol Avenue – google maps

Open in Oak Knoll

This home is located at 3533 Mirasol Avenue

Oakland Tribune
3533 Mirasol Avenue – Google Maps
Oakland Tribune

Activity in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1937
3501 Mirasol Avenue – Realtor.com
Oakland Tribune 1937
3517 Mirasol Ave – REDFIN

Oak Knoll Display Home

“The Home You’ve Read ad Dreamed of…Priced Lower Than You Dared to Hope.”

The first of the Oak Knoll Display Homes opened in June of 1937. The home was furnished by Breuner’s. ( I don’t know the location of this home)

Oakland Tribune June 1937

A spacious central living room with two bedrooms and a bath on one side, and inviting library-guest room with a bathroom and convenient, sunny kitchen on the other.

Oakland Tribune July 11, 1937
  • Beautifully designed electric fixtures in all rooms
  • Extra tile-top kitchen work table
  • Indirect lighting over the sink
  • Generous cupboard and drawer space…carefully planned.

Oakland Tribune July `18, 1937

One of Many New Oak Knoll Homes

OaKland Tribune July 11, 1937 I don’t know the location of this home.

Oak Knoll’s Exposition Home

The ‘Exposition’ home is located 9333 Murillo Ave opposite of Mirasol. The 1700 square foot house has beautiful view of the bay and bridges

  • Built-in bookcases
  • Peerless Kitchen
  • Breakfast Nook
Oakland Tribune 1939

The Golden Gate International Exposition was going happening on Treasure Island in 1939 and 1940. Hence the name Exposition Home and I can imagine they could see Treasure Island from the house.

Oakland Tribune 1939

One unique feature of the home was the 14 x 40 foot children’s playroom. In the backyard there was a fenced playground with recreation equipment. (I wish I had a picture of that!)

9333 Murillio Ave –
9333 Murillo AveGoogle maps

Unique Opportunity!

Oakland Tribune 1931
Oakland Tribune 1931
3465 Oak Knoll Avenue – REDFIN
3465 Oak Knoll Avenue – google maps

Bus Service in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1938
Oakland Tribune 1938
Oakland Tribune 1938

Open to View in Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1940
3465 Calafia Avenue – google maps

More Info:

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Real Estate

In Oak Knoll…

Oakland Tribune Oct 2, 1927

In 1926 it was announced that development of the Oak Knoll Country Club and the land surrounding it would handled by Carroll L. Post, the former president of Post Food Products Company. They began building the first group of model homes in April of 1926. Ezell-Phebus were the sales-agents.

Oakland Tribune 1926

Oak Knoll residential development was built around the new Oak Knoll golf course and Country Club .

Oakland Tribune 1927

E.B. Field Co. took developing the project in 1927.

5, 000 people standing on a hillside AGREED! That: Oak Knoll is Oakland’s finest Homeland!

Oakland Tribune Oct 02, 1927

Spanish Style Home

Oakland Tribune Fen 27, 1927

This six room Spanish style bungalow was built in 1927 and was designed by R.E. Neikirk of Oakland. You enter the home from a terraced entry to a large living room with chapel style ceiling. There are three sunny bedrooms, a kitchen and a dining room.

3558 Calafia Avenue – Google Maps

..Beautiful Oak Knoll – The Heart of Oakland’s Country Club Districts”

E.B. Field Co.

Casa De La Vista

I haven’t been able to find the location of this home.

Oakland Tribune March 1928

The attractive Spanish type residence opened in March of 1928. The architect was Harris Allen and the home was furnished by Whithone & Swan.

Oakland Tribune March 1928
Oakland Tribune March 1928

The Windsor House

Located on a spacious corner lot at Oak Knoll and Granada Avenues. The English style home was attractively adapted to the hillside setting. The house has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

It was put on display to show how artistic a moderately priced can be with s comparetly small amount spent in furnishing it. Furnishing by Breuner’s of Oakland.

The Beautiful,Completely Furnished Windsor House”

Oakland Tribune

The home has beautiful hardwood floors and high coved ceilings. An expansive deck off the kitchen leads to a private back patio. A main-floor master suite makes for convenient living, with two more bedrooms and a playroom upstairs with the second full bathroom.

9527 Granada Avenue – Redefin.com

Calafia Avenue Home

Oakland Tribune 1930
 3610 Calafia Avenue Google Maps
3610 Calafia Avenue Google Maps

A Beautiful Home

Oakland Tribune Feb 09, 1930
9332 Granada Ave – REDFIN

Live in Oak Knoll and Play Golf at Home

Oakland Tribune Jan 20, 1927

Overlooking the Oak Knoll Clubhouse

In 1937 a new home overlooking the Oak Knoll golf course and clubhouse was completed. The home was built for Domino Merlino at an approx. cost of $20,000.

4001 Sequoyah Road – Google Maps
4001 Sequoyah Road – Google Maps

Calandria Avenue Home

Oakland Tribune April 1930

Construction of the new $13,000 home for Thomas King began in April of 1930. The outstanding feature of the home was the large living room window with a spectacular view of Oakland, San Francisco and the Bay.

3539 Calandria Ave

Panorama of Oak Knoll Home – Dorisa Avenue

Oakland Tribune Feb 01, 19313687 Dorisa

3687 Dorisa Ave – Today

3687 Dorisa Ave – Google Maps

New Developer at Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1937

David D Bohannon well-known subdivider and developer of San Francisco property, formed a new company called Oak Knoll Land Development Company.  This was the third company sell and develop the Oak Knoll area. (Please see Oak Knoll Homes)

An Oak Knoll Home

Oakland Tribune December 1937

Freeway

In June of 1938, the Alameda-Contra Costa County joint highway district filed a lawsuit to condemn four parcels of land in the Oak Knoll Tract.

The suit was in preparation for when work would begin on the $3,000,000 traffic artery via Mountain Blvd.

The Defendants:

  • A.A. Thiel
  • James R. Pennycook
  • Raymond Cann
  • Irving M. Bossie

More Info:

The End

Posted in Homes, Model/Display Homes, Oakland Tracts, Uncategorized

Fairway Estates in Oak Knoll

When this are was first built up in mid 1920s it was part of Oak Knoll. Now it is Considered to part of Sequoyah

Fairway Estates is in the heart of the country club district and consists of a group of estates with building sites of generous size.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929

Fairway Estates and Country Club Fairway Estates and Oak Knoll Unit C are all in the area known as  Oak Knoll. Sequoyah Hills on three sides surround Oak Knoll. 

The Oak Knoll Land Corporation handled the development.

In Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune November 10, 1929

There are two large bedrooms with a sewing room and bathroom and a large dressing room with many different built-in fixtures and cabinets. On the lower are the maids’ quarters, with separate shower and billiard room. The bathrooms and kitchen are beautifully finished in colored tile.

3968 Turnley Avenue Google Maps

In Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune August 18, 1929
4050 Sequoyah Rd – Google Maps
4050 Sequoyah Rd – Google Maps

The Jefferson Home

Oakland Tribune 1930

The Jefferson home is a seven-room, two-story residence of Spanish design. With a large living room and a massive oak stairway leading to a balcony overlooking the Oak Knoll golf course and country club.

3643 Califia Avenue – Google maps

“Another reason is the beautiful setting of Fairway Estates – overlooking the Oak Knoll Country club and golf course and views of wooded hills, the harbor, the bay cities, and the Golden Gate.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929

Oak Knoll Country Club District

The Nine room Spanish Style home.

Oakland Tribune Oct 12, 1930
3845 Twin Oaks Way
3845 Twin Oaks Way

In Fairway Estates

Model Homes in Fairway Estates

Oakland Tribune June 30m 1930

Spanish Type Model Home

Spanish in architecture.

Oakland Tribune March 1930

The Fairway Estates model home opened in March of 1930. The home was designed by Watson Vernon to fit the lot-on which it stands, to utilize the view possibilities of the property to the best advantage.

Fairway Avenue – Google maps

Model Country Club Residence

Oakland Tribune June 08, 1930

The Spanish home takes greatest advantage of the two way view the wooded hillside on one side and the bay on the other. This six room home has a spacious master bedroom with a sunroom on the upper floor. The dining room window overlooks the golf course.

Oakland Tribune March 1930
Oakland Tribune June 08, 1930
3900 Fairway Avenue

Beautiful Spanish Model Home

Oakland Tribune Mar 1930

The Spni

Fairway Estates Home

3549 Calafia Avenue –

La Casa Bella

Oakland Tribune November 30, 1930

Artistic in the extreme…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 1930

La Casa Bella opened in November of 1930. The home is of Spanish architecture showing the Moorish influence.

A master bedroom that will lull you to sleep after a gallon of coffee…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
Oakland Tribune March 30, 1930

A living room almost large enough for a country dance…”

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
3978 Turnley Avenue – Google Maps

Spanish Home at Oak Knoll

“…with the liquid silver of the moon lying in the pools of mystery the patio will coax you out of doors all hours of the day or night” – Oakland Tribune May 04, 1930

Oakland Tribune

More Info:

The End

Posted in Homes, Model/Display Homes, Oakland, Real Estate

Claremont Pines Model Home

Claremont Pines was formally the P.E. Bowels estate “The Pines.”  It is bounded by Broadway Terrace, Country Club Drive, Acacia Drive, and Romany Road.

Oakland Tribune

Palatial Home to be Built

In July of 1928, a palatial residence was to be built in the new subdivision Claremont Pines developed by York Company Inc. The home was known as the Tribune-Schlesinger Home.

Oakland Tribune 1928

The Spanish-Mediterranean style home was sponsored by the Oakland Tribune and was furnished by B.F. Schlesinger and Sons 

The house was designed by Frederick H. Reimers, an Oakland architect, and was constructed by C. Dudley de Velbiss, a well-known builder.

Drive Out Today

Each phase of the construction was fully described in columns in the Oakland Tribune. During construction, the site was open to the public.

Great care was taken in the selection for the residence, which occupies a prominent corner overlooking the Claremont golf course and facing the Golden Gate.

“The Mediterranean type of architecture was selected to conform to the contour of the site and to the general rolling nature of the terrain.”

Frederick Reimers July 29, 1928

The house has sixteen rooms, each with an individual style. It has a ballroom, library and a smoking room.  

The halls and library have floors of colored, hand-made tile, and doorways are arched.  

Ground Floor – Oakland Tribune 1928

It is further enhanced by a series of walled-in courts and terraces. 

The landscaping was done under the supervision of Johannes Reimers a local landscaper and artist. He was also the Father of Frederick.

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Breaks Ground

On August 09, 1928, the official groundbreaking was held in the presence of a large group of Eastbay notables.

Oakland Tribune August 1928

Home is Near Completion

“Plastering is now ready to start.”

Oakland Tribune 1928

$55,000 was invested in the project exclusive of the furniture and furnishings.

Unique Feature of Home

“a haven of rest and peace from the busy world.”

Frederick H. Reimers Architect

The exterior brick fireplace and terrace brick walls leading to the entrance are the same color as the stucco.

A Firm Foundation

Another feature was the concrete foundation installed by J.H Fitzmaurice, Inc., a local concrete contractor. The quality of the material used in the foundation is the very best at that time. 

All bearing walls are twelve inches in thickness.

Shows Rapid Progress

Significant progress was reported on November 04, 1928. It was expected to open on December 02, 1928.

Oakland Tribune November 1928

A rare harmony of late Renaissance furnishings promised to make the home of exceptional interest, under the guidance of A.L. Abrott of the B.F. Schlesinger & Sons.

The upper floors followed the lighter moods of the seventeenth century when Venice was still at the height of her glory.

The ballroom or social hall on the ground floor was decorated in the spirit of modern jazz and twentieth-century amusement.

Magnificent Vestibule

Upon entering the vestibule, one is impressed by the tremendous Castillian effect of the entrance, and the monumental stairway—the curving staircase with artistic hand-wrought iron railing.

Oakland Tribune October 28 1928

The main stairway leads to a secondary vestibule, which in turn gives access to four bedrooms.

New Type of Telephones

Convenience was the new type of telephone installation by Pacific Bell. Each telephone placed to obtain the highest possible comfort and privacy for the users and blend in with the decor.

Two main lines were installed: one for the use of the family and the second primarily for the servants’ use.

A hand telephone with a key box was installed in the master bedroom. The keys could cut off the servant’s phone for privacy.

Oakland Tribune 1928

A wall telephone connected to the servants’ line was placed in the garage.

Formally Opened

The formal opening was held on Sunday, December 30, 1928.  Lucile Webster Gleason of the Dufwin Theater, star in “The Shannons of Broadway,” formally opened the doors.

Large Crowds

Ten thousand visitors viewed the home in the first week it was opened. Of this number, seven thousand attended the opening day.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1929

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Claremont Pines

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Claremont Pines Cheney Photo Advertising 1928

Claremont Pines Homes

Oakland Tribune 1929

More Info:

Claremont Pines – Oakland Local Wiki

Today

Google
  •  2 Westminster Drive
  • Frederick H. Reimers architect
  • C. Dudley de Velbiss – builder
  • York Company Inc. – Developers
  • Built in 1928
  • Sold for $2,3 million in 2008

The End

Posted in Black History, North Oakland, Oakland Tracts, West Oakland

The Watts Tract

William Watts was known in Oakland for having a tract of land named for him.

Watts Tract from 1911 Map – black dot shows the location of the Watts’ Home.

The land was 158 acres running from Chestnut to the Bay, and from 28th to 38th Streets. Looks like it now considered Clawson.

Family History

William Watts was born in Chelsea, Mass, in 1808. In 1831 he married Maria Francis Rollins. They had a son William Augustus Watts born in 1833.

Oakland Tribune 1949

In 1850 Watts traveled to California, via the “Horn.” After mining in Tuolumne County, he returned to San Francisco.

On May 04, 1858, William Watts took the title of 158 acres from Francisco Sanjurjo, who had acquired the property from the daughter of Domingo Peralta. Mr. Watts paid $5000 for the land and built a large ranch home at what is now the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets. He farmed the property until 1876.

Oakland Tribune November 12, 1949
Oakland City Directory 1874

William Watts passed away on January 16, 1878, and the ranch was passed on to his son William.

The family also owned a Tannery that was a close to their ranch.

Subdivided

Oakland Daily Evening Tribune 1874

In 1874, 60 acres were subdivided, and a map of the Watts Tract was drawn up.

Oakland Tribune December 09, 1874

Watts’ Tract Auction Sale

In December of 1876, an auction sale was held at the Watts’ station, on the Berkeley Branch Railroad. Two hundred twenty-eight lots were sold in two and one-half hours.

Oakland Tribune November 12, 1949

Streets Named For

Four streets in the “Watts Tract” are named for the daughters of George Washington Dam. A friend of the family.

  • Eleanor Street
  • Louise Street
  • Hannah Street 
  • Ettie (Henrietta) Street 
Residence of G. W. Dam, Webster Street, Oakland, Alameda County. The Lawrence & Houseworth Albums, 1860-1870 California Views
Society of California Pioneers Photography Collection

Some homes in the Watts Tract

1400 Block of 32nd Street – Google maps
Corner of 34th and Hannah St.
On Helen Street – Google Maps
Corner of 32nd and Ettie Street
3214 Ettie Street – Google maps
Magnolia Street
3200 Block of Hannah Street – Google Maps
3320 and 3322 Magnolia Street – Google Maps
Engine Company No. 22 – 3320 Magnolia
3401 Adeline Street – Google Maps

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Oakland, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then and Now – Downtown Oakland

My 150th Post!

I thought I would show you a little “Then and Now” images for downtown Oakland.

Enjoy!

Washington St – West Side from 7th and 8th

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Washington Street between 7th and 8th Streets. Hersh’s Apparel, Grutman’s Army and Navy Store in view. DATE: 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps
South side of 8th Street between Washington and Clay Streets. Drug store and pharmacy in view. DATE: 1958, Mar. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room. FILENAME/TITLE:ohrphoto.dpoa1.050
Google Maps

Washington Street West Side from 8th to 9th

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Washington Street between 8th and 9th Streets. TV Tradin’ Post, Brick’s in view. DATE:1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google maps
West side of Washington Street between 8th and 9th Streets. Oakland Household Co. in view. DATE: 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps

Ninth Street – North Side from Washington to Broadway

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
Northeast corner of 9th and Washington Streets. Arlington Hotel in view. DATE :circa 1937 SIZE M.L. Cohen Co., photographers, for Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google maps

Washington St – East Side from Ninth to Tenth

East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets. Savemore Dry Goods, Kaplan’s Army Surplus, Acme Market in view. DATE 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets circa 1913 Cheney Photo Advertising
East side of Washington Street between 9th and 10th Streets circa 1937
Google Maps

Broadway West Side from Ninth St to Tenth St

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California
West side of Broadway between 9th and 10th Streets. White Onion, Eagle Loan Co., Moler Barber College in view. DATE 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
West side of Broadway between 9th and 10th Streets. Lucky Club, A. Binneweg, Hill’s Loan Office in view. DATE 1955 Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Broadway West Side from Ninth St to Tenth St – Google maps

The 1896 Illustrated Directory of Oakland, Californiahttps://localwiki.org/oakland/The_Illustrated_Directory_of_Oakland%2C_California

West side of Broadway between 8th and 9th Streets. Stag Clothing Co. in view. DATE: 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
West side of Broadway between 8th and 9th Streets. Stag Clothing Co. in view. DATE: 1955. Downtown Property Owners Association, Inc., photographers. RIGHTS:Permission to use this image must be obtained from the Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info: