Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Coronation House – Le Mon Park Piedmont Pines

Coronation House opens in LeMon Park – May 1937

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Oakland Tribune May 1937

The “Coronation House” a display home for the Mitchell & Austin opened on May 2, 1937, in the Le Mon Park section of Piedmont Pines.  It is located on Castle Drive.  The display home was furnished by Breuner’s in keeping the Coronation theme (King George’s Coronation May 1937).



“English architectural riches have been transplanted to Piedmont Pines in Coronation House”  the ad goes on the say ” Coronation House “fit for a king” in the beautiful Le Mon tract… the crowning achievement of the season”  – Oakland Tribune May 2, 1937

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Oakland Tribune May 2, 1937

“this six-room home with three bedrooms and bath, with gorgeous living room and un-impaired view, delightful recreation room and kitchen”

“the coronation motif is carried out throughout, the crown drapes furnishing a fitting background for pieces following the English provincial motif” – Oakland Tribune May 1937



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Oakland Tribune May 1937


  • Coronation House
  • Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
  • 1937
  • Mitchell & Austin Real Estate
  • Still there
  • 6301 Castle Drive


Posted in Model/Display Homes, Uncategorized

Le Mon Park Section of Piedmont Pines

What a view!


Taken from Le Mon Park for the Oakland Tribune Year Book 1938


The name Le Mon Park comes from R.F.D. Le Mon, a New York capitalist, who made his home there a few years ago after purchasing a large amount of land to develop and build fine residences.  Le Mon purchased 60 acres of panoramic view property, in the heart of Piedmont Pines on Castle Drive and Cornwall Court.

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Oakland Tribune June 20, 1937

From the Oakland Tribune ” With an elevation ranging from 1300 to 1400 feet, Le Mon Park in Piedmont Pines commands a view of which its residents can never be deprived”

The Model Homes

  • Coronation House – 1937
  • Villadora – The House of Gold – 1937
  • Fremont House – 1937
  • 5927 Chelton Drive – 1937
  • PentHouse – 1938
  • Weybridge Gables – 1938
  • Chateau Longue-Vue – 1939
  • Maison Normandie – 1940

I will write more on the Model Homes of Le Mon Park at a later date.

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts

Smith Reserve

Smith Reserve Ad
Smith Reserve Oakland Tribune Yearbook 1926


The Smith Reserve is a subdivision in Montclair and is now known as Piedmont Pines.   It open for sale in May of 1926.  The history of Smith Reserve dates back much longer.

The area is located at the top of  Park Blvd with borders on Shepherd Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park and up to Skyline Blvd.

“Selected years ago By F.M. “Borax” Smith as a private estate”.  Oakland Tribune May 22, 1926.   Smith set this land and another piece of further down on Park Blvd aside for his own private estate.  The land at the top of Dimond Canyon and included two creeks where Smith could hunt and have picnics.  He chose to build his home “Arbor Villa” on land located at Park Blvd between E 22nd and E 28th. Arbor Villa – Oakland Local WIki

In 1919, 25 acres of Smith Reserve was sold to the Oakland-Piedmont Council of the Boy Scouts of America, to be used as a camp for the scouts.  It was called Camp Dimond (more on that later) was in use from 1919-1948.  In 1948 the Oakland Public School district took over the land and built Joaquin Miller Elementary and Montera Junior High Schools.

In May 0f 1926 the Realty Syndicate put the rest of the Smith Reserve on sale.  In that same edition of the Oakland Tribune, it stated by company officials that the  “Smith reserve is the most beautiful tract of land opened by the Syndicate Company”  and is located “east of Sheapard (Shepherd) Canyon, and extends from Smith Lake (Ascot Ct?) near the Boy Scout  Camp to Skyline Blvd”.

Smith Reserve Goes on Sale May 1926

In July of 1926, two months after the subdivision was open the Realty Syndicate reported nearly $250,000 dollars in sales.  It was also reported that a bus transportation system will be put into operation, connecting with both local and San Francisco electric lines. -Oakland Tribune July 18, 1928.

Bus Service to Smith Reserve

Admiring Smith Reserve

In an October 1928 edition of the Oakland Tribune noted actress, Miss Grace Valentine acclaims “Smith Reserve the most beautiful home-park that she had ever seen in the Eastbay”. Miss Valentine was staring at the Fulton Theatre.  In leaving Miss Valentine said  If I were a permanent resident of the Eastbay I would certainly wish to make my home in this beautiful park”  Oakland Tribune October 21, 1928.

 More clippings about Smith Reserve



Please see: Casa Altadena 

Please see:Casa Maria Luisa

Posted in Montclair Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Casa Altadena


Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928


Casa Altadena the exhibition home of the Realty Syndicate company had a successful opening on January 29, 1928, when over 500 people motored out to Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines) to view the beautiful dwelling.  Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928.

Casa Altadena 1928 by Cheney Photo Advertising


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Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928

Casa Altadena is of Spanish architecture and was completely furnished and decorated by the John Bruener company.  The Spanish motif was tastefully brought by drapes and furniture.  Occupying a knoll overlooking the panorama of the bay on one side and beautiful wooded vistas and canyons on the other side.



Casa Altadena 6401 Chelton
Casa Altadena today 6401 Chelton Drive Oakland CA



  • Casa Altadena
  • Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines)
  • Open Jan 29, 1928
  • Spanish design
  • Realty Syndicate
  • Still there
  • 6401 Chelton Drive


Location on Google maps