A bit of history of some of the mansions that once graced the streets of Oakland. More to come at a later date.
Burnham Mansion was at the corner of Lakeside Drive and 17th Street. The three-story mansion was built in 1902 by John Russell Burnham.
The Burnham family selected the site on Lake Merritt’s edge because of its similarity to Lake Geneva.
The distinctive features of the house were the first stall shower in the city and an automobile garage. The Burnham’s were the owners of one of the first two automobiles in Oakland.
At the beginning of WWII, the mansion was turned over to the American Red Cross for a hospitality center. Alcoholics Anonymous occupied the home until 1955.
In 1956 construction was to begin on ne 60-unit apartment building. The new structure was expected to cost $2.5 million. Each of the 60 apartment ran completely through the building with views of Lake Merritt. Other features included parking on two levels, the elimination of corridors, extensive elevator system, individual patios, and a roof top garden.
The old home of Anthony Chabot, founder of Oakland’s modern water system, was torn down in 1952. The city declared the house a fire and health hazard.
The Chabot family hadn’t lived there for some time. Ellen Chabot Bothin still owned it.
The building had been used as a rooming house for years, taking in enough money to pay the taxes.
The home was a modest one considering the owner was a millionaire. The house was two-stories with an attic, its rooms with high ceilings, marble mantels, and velvet embossed walls.
The Chabot’s name is a part of our history, with the following named after them.
- Chabot Road
- Chabot Observatory
- Chabot School
- Lake Chabot
Edwin Goodall built an elaborate mansion in 1880. The house was located at 1537 Jackson Street.
The home had paneled walls, and a bed carved out of mahogany, a small theater with dressing rooms.
In 1918, Dr. M.M. Enos purchased the home, operated it as the St. Anthony Hospital until 1923, when it became the Jackson Lake Hospital.
In 1960 the hospital was razed to make room for an apartment building called the Jackson Lake Apartments.
Charles H. King built his mansion in about 1884.
King City a rural community in the Salinas Valley was named in 1886 for Oakland’s Charles H. King.
In 1971 the old and neglected King family Mansion still stood at 1029 Sixth Avenue and East 11th Street. The home at one time had 38 rooms. Not sure exactly when the home was razed.
The mansion of Capt. Thomas Mein was located at the corner of Jackson and 15th Street.
The three-story 16-room Victorian was built in 1899, included a winding staircase and marble fireplaces.
In 1964 home was razed to make room for a new 34-unit apartment called the Delphian.
Palm Knoll was razed in 1947 to make room for apartments.
Ely Welding Playter, a successful hardware merchant in San Francisco, built a mansion in 1879 at 14th and Castro Streets. The area was the center of Oakland’s elite.
Playter was the 24th Mayor of Oakland. He served two terms, 1885 and 1886, and was a Republican.
In 1906, the house became a refuge for “working girls” after being purchased by the YWCA.
It was a three-story structure with long narrow windows.
The house was torn down in 1948 to make room for a service station.
The hospital was Once a Mansion.
Please read for more info:
Solomon E. Alden – Oakland Local Wiki
- Expect to Raise $40,000 in Sixty Days to Buy Old Playter Home – SF Call February 27, 1907
- Doom of Home Closes An Era – Oakland Tribune January 12, 1947
- Colorful Old Mansion, Former YWCA, to be Torn Down –Oakland Tribune September 7, 1948
- Chabot Home, Noted City Landmark to be Razed – Oakland Tribune April 26, 1951
- Anthony Chabot Shares History Pt 1- Oakland Tribune May 25, 1952
- Anthony Chabot Shares History Pt 2- Oakland Tribune May 25, 1952
- Landmark By Lake Yields to Modern Era – Oakland Tribune November 21, 1955
- Historic Mansion Is Dismantled – Oakland Tribune September 12, 1956
- Huge Oakland Apartments Ok’s – Oakland Tribune January 14, 1960
- Lake Apartment Planned – Oakland Tribune April 17, 1964
- An Auction at the Old Mein Home – Oakland Tribune July 19, 1964
- Last Days of Historic Mansion Pt 1 – Oakland Tribune July 26, 1964
- Last Days of Historic Mansion Pt 2 – Oakland Tribune July 26, 1964
- Delphian to Replace old Mansion Oakland Tribune May 30, 1965
- Memories Haunt Fading Mansion Pt 1 – Oakland Tribune August 15, 1971
- Memories Haunt Fading Mansion Pt 2 – Oakland Tribune August 15, 1971