Posted in Districts/Neighborhoods, Elmhurst, Homes

Sweat-Equity Down Payment

Owner-Built Housing 

SF Examiner April 1980

In 1980 the Mckinley family of Oakland was one of seven Oakland families that were approved for a construction loan of $45,000 to participate in the Owner-Built Housing Program of Oakland Neighborhood Housing Services (ONHS).

The homes are located on 73rd Avenue between International Blvd and Holly Street.

Building Training

SF Examiner

The families were trained in construction techniques and were supervised by professional construction personnel. They took classes at the Owner Builder Center in Berkeley. The highly technical and most finish work was subcontracted out.

SF Examiner

Each family was obligated to provide 40 hours of labor week on the construction of their home.  

SF Examiner

 The couples had to have incomes of between $21,000 and $31,000. They had to be Oakland residents for a year and be first-time homeowners.

Sf Examiner

Project Design

Architects at the University of California, Berkeley, contributed to the beginning design stages of the project and made the model used in the presentation to the City of Oakland.

“Elmhurst Community Design Center,” Environmental Design Archives Exhibitions, accessed June 19, 2020, http://exhibits.ced.berkeley.edu/items/show/3213.

The three-bedroom, two-bath homes were designed by Architect Richard McCarty of Morro Bay.

The project took about a year to develop, arrange for the money, and purchase the lots. 

The City of Oakland purchased the lots for $3000 each.

The first seven homes took about ten months to build. In all I believe there were 14 homes built.

The Families:

  • Charles and Yolanda Bird – 1808 73rd Ave
  • James Davis
  • Jake and Pauline Evans
  • Bariwynn and Mary Jane Howard – 1616 73rd Ave
  • Stanley and Mary Mckinley – 1468 73rd Ave
  • Tony Stevens
  • Willie and Denise Sumtter
Yolanda Bird
1808 73rd Avenue
1606 73rd Avenue

More Info:

Building a Dream – PBS 

Posted in Homes, People

Fountain of Serenity

Updated March 19, 2020

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Fountain of Serenity in Knowland State Arboretum and Park. “Serena,” the statue which tops the fountain, inspires calm and courage in the face of worldly troubles.   Oakland Tribune 

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Previous Location

Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1962

The fountain once graced the gardens of the home of James H. Latham. Latham purchased the land in 1878 from Samuel B. Merritt.

Latham sold the home to Horace H. Seaton in 1885, who sold it, S. Murray, in 1892, who then sold it to  Edward G. Lukens in 1897. Lukens, son, was state Senator George R. Lukens.

Oakland Tribune 1898

In its heyday, the old mansion was a showplace. The home was a three-story structure with 25 rooms, a billiard room, a glass conservatory, and a bowling alley in the rear. There was also an ornate two-story barn with a hayloft and with horse stalls.

Undated – the fountain closer to the right side of the photo.

The Lukens family lived there until the death of Mrs. Emma Lukens in 1925.

Sometime after the death of Mrs. Lukens, the mansion was purchased by Edger L. Buttnera civic leader, and electrical contractor.

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928
Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928

Barn/Livery Stable

In about 1938, Raoul Pause, a leading Oakland ballet teacher, converted part of the old two-story barn into a ballet studio. Many of the Oakland Ballet’s first dancers were students of Raoul Pause., he was the brother of Paul Pause of Montclair Reality.

In October of 1948, the building was damaged in a fire.

In 1952 the same building was destroyed by another fire.  At the time of the fire, the building was being used by the Hotel Senator (a boarding house) as a garage.

In 1957 the mansion was demolished to make room for an apartment complex.

Oakland Tribune May 17, 1957
Oakland Tribune June 02, 1957

The Fountain Today

The Latham-Ducel Fountain is the centerpiece of Preservation Park. It’s more popularly known as the Diana Fountain. The fountain is cast iron and was forged in Paris in the 1870s.

Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

My question is that Serena or Diana on the top of the fountain?

More Info:

Western Fuse Company Explosion

E.G. Lukens was the owner of  Western Fuse and Explosives Company.  See Oakland Local Wiki – 

Oakland Tribune Jul 19, 1898

Latham Square Fountain

The Latham Square Fountain is located at the intersection of Telegraph and Broadway in downtown Oakland. It was erected in 1913 as a memorial for James H. Latham and Henrietta Latham by their children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

SF Call 1913

The End.

Posted in Fruitvale, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Then and Now

Attractive Lynn Homes

Lynn Homes on Nicol Avenue

Eight charming five-room homes of Spanish and Mission architecture were built by Willis F. Lynn on Nicol Avenue. Five of the houses were sold before they were completed. The last three went on sale on June 14, 1925.

Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925

Each house has:

  • Breakfast room or nook
  • Dining room with built-in buffet
  • laundry room
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Automatic water heaters
  • Separate garage

Priced at $5950.00 in 1925.

Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925
Lynn Homes Nicol Ave today – Google
MapsNicole Avenue today – Google maps
2639 Nicol Avenue – today Google Maps

Lynn Homes on Best Avenue

Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1925

Another group of homes went on sale on November 15, 1925. Located on Best Avenue between Brookdale and Trask. The houses have an attractive and varied style of architecture.

Each of the homes has six-rooms, a garage, and a laundry room.

  • Large living room windows
  • Large convertible breakfast rooms
  • Wards heating system and Trojan water heaters
  • Bathrooms with tile floors
  • Base plugs throughout the house
  • Lawns and shrubs and fences

Priced at $6950.00 each in 1925

Best Avenue today – Google Maps
2506 Best Avenue today – Google maps
2495 Best Avenue today – Google Maps
2462 Best Avenue – google maps
Oakland Tribune Dec 1926

Two Beautiful Lakeshore Highlands Homes

Lynn also built two homes in the Lakeshore Highlands (Trestle Glen) neighborhood. One at 983 Longridge Road and the other at 957 Sunnyhills Road.

983 Longridge Road

  • Immense living room
  • Social Hall with cheerful fireplace
  • Large dining room
  • Master bedroom with sleeping porches and dressing room
  • Maid’s room
  • Radio wiring to the living room

Priced at $30,000 in 1928

983 Longridge Road today – Google maps

957 Sunnyhills Road

  • Large living room
  • Breakfast room with built-in cabinets
  • 3 bedrooms with porches
  • 3 bathrooms
  • Maid’s room
  • Full basement

Priced at $18,500 in 1928

957 Sunnyhills Road Google Maps

Another home

Oakland Tribune 1926

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Homes, Model/Display Homes

Melrose Highlands- Part 2

Oakland Tribune

In 1935 Phil Heraty, a local real estate agent and developer, took over the sales of Melrose Highlands.

Colonial Village – 1935

A type of English brick was used on the exterior of a few houses that were built in 1935.

Oakland Tribune June 19357773 Greenly Drive

Oakland Tribune July 1935

Oakland Tribune July 19357765 Greenly Drive

Oakland Tribune July 7, 1935

Both the houses are on Greenly Drive, they are side by side at 7765 and 7775.

Google Maps – 7775 Greenly Drive

Heraty to Build 100 Homes – Jan 1940

Oakland Tribune Jan 14, 1940
Oakland Tribune 1940

Cape Cod Colonial – 7776 Sterling Drive

Six generous sized rooms with light-filled upstairs bedrooms. Downstairs has the living room, dinette, and kitchen. Detached Garage. Price $4150.00.

Oakland Tribune 1940

The present-day photo below. I see they made a room out of the garage.

7776 Sterling Drive – Google Maps

Oakland Tribune 1940

7225 Sterling Drive – 1940

Oakland Tribune Mar 1940

Oakland Tribune Mar 1940
7725 Sterling – Google MAPS

Heraty Homes – Greenly Drive

Forty new -home owners have moved into Melrose Highlands since his organization became the selling agents

said Heraty – Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1940

said Heraty – Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1940
Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1940

New Economy Home at 8108 Greenly Drive – 1940

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1940

8108 Greenly Drive – REDFIN.Com

Building Progress in Melrose Highlands

Below is about 8032 Fontaine Street, which was lost due to the construction of the freeway.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1940

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1941

Beautiful Melrose Highlands – 1941

In May of 1941, a furnished “Model Home’ opened in Melrose Highlands at 8033 Fontaine Street.

8033 Fontaine Street – Google Maps

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1941

Built to Order in Melrose Highlands – 1941

A Garden Showplace on Greenly Drive

The home of R.E. Derby on 7757 Greenly Drive was featured in the garden section on the Oakland Tribune in July of 1939.

their principal concern was, what to do with the “mud hole” in the backyard.

R.E Derby – July 16, 1939

R.E Derby – July 16, 1939

Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939

The End

Posted in Homes, Montclair

10 Overlake Court –

10 Overlake Court –

Oriental Theme in Small Home

Oriental (now we would say Asian) theme in a small home. The five-room home is located at 10 Overlake Court above the Montclair Pool (Swim and Racquet Club).

It was designed with both far Eastern ideas and California architecture. Oil finished wood in a natural color, accented with Chinese red in finish and outside trim, grasscloth wallpaper, and bamboo moldings were some of the Eastern ideas.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

The living room opens onto a private garden with beautiful oak trees. The house is somewhat like a modern ‘farmhouse’ with an exterior of oiled, heart redwood, and an off-white limestone finished roof with wide overhanging eaves.

With many red brick window boxes and large glass areas of windows that are divided into horizontal panes, creating a streamlined effect that is unusual in residential construction. A large circular grille in the garage door was also new and different.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

Montclair’s Most Talked-of Home

I don’t know who designed the home, but it was built by Robert Darmsted of Pinehaven Road. The Darmsted’s moved to Montclair in about 1920.

From 1924

Another local Montclarion F.A. Christopherson, who lived on Abbott Drive in the Merriewood area, did the brickwork.

From 1944
Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

Modern with “oriental touch.” Delightful patio. Price at $6450.00 in 1940.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1940
10 Overlake Court – Google maps

It is priced in the low 30’s! – 1964

Oakland Tribune 1964A

A true hideaway on a secluded cul-de-sac with a gorgeous living room in Japanese style. Price $289,000 in 1992.

SF Examiner Nov 15, 1992

The End

Posted in Homes, Oakland Tracts

Melrose Highlands

Melrose Highland is the area off of Keller Avenue to the King Estates Open Space and over to Field Street and up to Crest Avenue – The area is now called Eastmont Hills.

Melrose Highlands to Open

In June of 1925, preliminary construction work on a new track, called Melrose Highlands, was nearly finished and ready to open.

Oakland Tribune 1925

Melrose Highlands is a part of the ‘old Houston ranch” (have to find out more about Houston), and a portion of the property was used by the National Guard as a rifle range ( see my blog here).  It lies between Leona Heights and Sequoia Country Club and the Upper San Leandro filter plant (7700 Greenly Drive) on the west side.

The tract opened on July 19, 1925

C.P. Murdock was the developer of the tract and the sales agents for Melrose Highlands.

The Tract Office –

Looking up Earl Street towards Keller Avenue

Oakland Tribune 1925

A group of 12 homes was almost complete. Oakland Tribune – July 26, 1925

Display Home Opens

On opening day, a display home was ready to be toured.

FOR THE WORKINGMAN

In Melrose Highlands we are going to give the working man a chance to get the sort of house to which he has long looked for

 states C.P. Murdock, Inc.
Oakland Tribune – July 12, 1925

 states C.P. Murdock, Inc.
Oakland Tribune – July 12, 1925

3 Offers to pick from

  1. House and homesite complete – $100 down and $1 a day.
  2. Homesite and material for a house – $50 down and 75c. a day
  3. Homesite – $25 down and 50c.a day

Transportation

Oakland Tribune 1926

Due to the interest in Melrose Highlands, CP Murdock set up a bus system to bring potential buyers to the site and for the residents.

Oakland Tribune Jan 15, 1926

New School for Melrose Highlands

In 1923  the “Columbia Park School” was built on Sunkist Drive.  It was next to the home of Susie Thompson and her husband Roy, who lived at 6886 Sunkist Drive.

Mrs. Thompson was the custodian of the one-room school building for three years when only 14 families lived in the area.

The school was later destroyed in a high wind, was replaced by a new school (down the street), and then that school was renamed the Charles Burckhalter School. Oakland Tribune, May 10, 1969.

Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925

Obituary for the custodian of Columbia Park School – May 10, 1969

The First Resident – Earl Street

In September of 1925, Anton J. Krajnc moved into his new home with his wife and daughter. This was his first time buying a home.

It’s Paying Me To Live In Melrose Highlands

A.J. Krajnc

A.J. Krajnc

Oakland Tribune Sept 1925
From the 1928 Directory – 234 is now 7957

Oakland Tribune Oct 01, 1925

We have a baby girl just learning to walk and this is going to be a fine place for her to run around and grow up.

A.J. Krajnc – Oct 01, 1925

A.J. Krajnc – Oct 01, 1925

The W.E. Adams home on Earl Street

The new of William E. Adams on Earl Street. Their home was located at lot No. 232, which is now 7941 Earl Street, but the houses don’t look the same.

From the 1928 Directory

The Willard Booth Home – Earl Street

Croup Cured – by the Warm Climate of Melrose Highlands

Mrs. W. Booth – Jan 1926

Mrs. W. Booth – Jan 1926

Oakland Tribune Jan 17, 1926

1927 Oakland DirectoryAnderson Street is now Keller Avenue

Willard Booth Home – 7908 Earl Street

Moved from San Francisco

Oakland Tribune Jan 31, 1926

House similar to the A.De Backer home

Homes and Life in Melrose Highlands

Oakland Tribune Apr 1926
Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1926

Many New Homes

Oakland Tribune Jan 1927

New Store

In January 1927 new store was opened by John G. Koch. The store was located in the 7979 Macarthur (give or take a few numbers). The building was later in the way of the construction of the MacArthur Freeway (580).

We have a fast-growing community here, and as fine a place to live as any could want

J. Koch, the first grocer in Melrose Highlands

J. Koch, the first grocer in Melrose Highlands
Oakland Tribune 1927 – Shows the new store

You can see the store both the upper and lower articles

Oakland Tribune 1927

Oakland Tribune Jan 1917

More Melrose Highlands Homes

Oakland Tribune 1927

The article below shows the progress of Melrose Highlands as of June 1926. The streets with the most homes are Earl Street, Winthrope Street, Keller Avenue, and Greenly Drive.

Oakland Tribune June 1926

More on Melrose Highlands

To be continued with the next phase of homes built in the 1930s to 1940s

The End

Posted in Homes, Model/Display Homes, Montclair

Million Dollar View Home – 1936

Oakland Tribune Aug 1936
  • Million Dollar View –
  • 5614 Balboa Avenue
  • Montclair Highlands
  • Conrad T Kett – designer
  • Paul A. Wolter – builder
  • Harry R. Stockman
  • Emge & Stockman
  • 1936
Oakland Tribune 1936

English Tudor with a panoramic view of the Bay. Every room in the homes takes full advantage of the panorama of Oakland, San Francisco, and the Bay, which includes both bridges and everything from San Pablo Bay to miles down the Peninsula.

With an extra-large living room, dining room, and breakfast room and kitchen. The kitchen is usually large and is a masterpiece of careful planning and scientific, step saving arrangement. Oakland Tribune Aug 09, 1936

Oakland Tribune Aug 1936

Three big bedrooms and two bathrooms and a sundeck on the second floor.

Women will marvel at its extra cupboard space and the way we have provided for thoses hard to store odds and ends

Martha Lee – Oakland Tribune Aug 09, 1936

Oakland Tribune Aug 1938
Oakland Tribune 1941 – $12,000
5614 Balboa Drive – Google Maps
5614 Balboa Drive – Google Maps

The End

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

Open for Inspection Today – Aug 13, 1939

Oakland Tribune 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 13, 1939

Six modern furnished homes were opened for inspection on Sunday, August 13, 1939. The houses were located in Berkeley, Moraga, and Oakland. I will just highlight the two houses from Oakland.

Lincoln Highlands

  • Harmony Home
  • 2700 Alida Street
  • 1939
  • $6750 up
  • Lincoln Highlands
  • Irwin M. Johnson – architect
  • W.H. Wisheropp – owner and builder
  • H.G. Markham – realtor
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939

Harmony Home was one of several homes that were built in 1939. It is located in the scenic tract called Lincoln Highlands on Alida Street at the top of Coolidge Avenue.

The compact plan included a large living room, a dining room, a kitchen with breakfast nook, a tile bath with three bedrooms, as well as an informal den with access to a double garage.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 20, 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 27, 1939

In less than a month, over 12,000 had toured Harmony Home.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1939
Harmony House Today – 2700 Alida Street – Google Maps

Sheffield Village

  • Hampstead House
  • 1939
  • Sheffield Village
  • Theodore Thompson – architect
  • E.B. Fields – developer

Sheffield Village is located above Hwy 580 at Dutton Avenue.

I couldn’t locate the actual “Hampstead House.” I have included other houses in the area that were for sale during the same period.

Hampstead House 1939 – Unknown location
3039 Roxbury Ave – 1939
3039 Roxbury Avenue – Google map
3046 Revere Ave – Google Maps

Before the opening of Hempstead House in Sheffield Village, the H.C Capwell’s Company created a full-scale floor plan model wholly furnished in the furniture department on the fourth floor of their downtown store.

Oakland Tribune June 18, 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939

More on Sheffield Village –

If anyone knows the street address for the Hampstead House, please leave a comment.

The End

Posted in Homes, Montclair, People

On Moraga Avenue

An Enterprising Family and Their New Home in the Montclair District.Oakland Tribune

Mr. and Mrs. John W Martinsen’s like many others in the area took on the task of building their own home.

Mrs. Martinsen would serve a hot lunch for them from a cabin they had built in the back of the lot.

The home is located on the corner of Moraga Avenue and Estates Drive.

1923
1930
From the 1943 Directory

They lived there until sometime in the mid-1940s.

 

She dresses in a regulation feminine hiking costume, and is able and effective assistant to her husband.

Oakland Tribune

Photos

Intersection with Estates Drive c 1950
Public Works Photo,
Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey, Oakland City Planning Department
intersection with Estates Drive, this east image from 1951
Public Works Photo,
Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey, Oakland City Planning Department
From Google Maps

Location

The Martinsen Home – Google Maps
  • 5901 Moraga Avenue at the corner of Estates Drive
  • John W. Martinsen – builder and owner
  • $10,000
  • 1922

More…

Oakland Tribune Nov 03, 1930

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Homes, People

Residents of Hays Canyon – Now Montclair

Hays Canyon or sometimes called Jack Hayes Canyon, was the area in hills beyond Piedmont.  It was named for Col. John “Jack” Coffee Hays (1817-1883), who lived in the area from 1856-1883.   His estate Fernwood was located approx. where Moraga Avenue, (Hays Canyon Rd.)  Hwy 13 and Thornhill Drive (Thorn Road) meet.

Hays (Hayes) Canyon was in the Piedmont District and both the Brooklyn and Oakland Townships.

The main road to the or through the canyon was called the “Hays (Hayes) Canyon Road,” which traveled the route of present-day Moraga Avenue.  According to one article, the beginning of Hays Canyon was at Bonita Avenue in Piedmont.

From Google Maps

Hays Canyon Road is now known as Moraga Avenue

Hays Canyon is now Montclair.

In 1891, the S.F. The call described Hays Canyon as “the romantic valley just beyond the ridge that receives its name from the famous Colonel Jack Hays” and “the beautiful home of W. J. Dingee” and the “fine places of Mrs. Kohler, Judge E.M Gibson, and Mrs. Fields and others.

S F Call – Mar 22, 1891

Colonel John C. Hays – Fernwood

Residence of Col. John C. Hays, Oakland, Alameda County, California.”
(Published by Thompson & West, Oakland, Cal., 1878)
from Oakland History Room

Hays died at home on April 22, 1883, at the age of 66.   After his death, Fernwood was sold to William J. Dingee.

Wm J. Dingee – Fernwood

Dingee built an opulent 19-room Queen-Anne style mansion and had additional landscaping done with gardens, terraces, and waterfalls. He also added such features as a deer park and an elk paddock.

Athens of the Pacific” 1896

Sadly, the home and countless artworks were destroyed in a fire in 1899. Oakland Tribune Oct 19, 1899

After the Fernwood burned, Mrs. Adeline Percy built a modern log cabin on the property. In the 1920s, the property was sold and subdivided.

Oakland Tribune March 12, 1916
Yellow arrow Percy Log Cabin, green arrow pool, blue arrow tennis courts.
Oakland Tribune Aug 19, 1923

Judge E. M. Gibson – Cote Brilliant

Judge E.M. Gibson owned the property just beyond Thornhill School. It was latterly owned by E.M Boggs. The house burned down in 1910. Dr. Mark Emerson bought the land in the mid-1920s and built a lovely home and lived there until the late 1950s. St John’s Episcopal Church is now there.

Map showing the locations of the Gibson and Fields land
Oakland Tribune April 23, 1887
Oakland Tribune Jun 1888
Oakland Directory 1889
Oakland Tribune 1888
1891

J. B. Fields

Joseph B. Fields was born in England. Before moving to Hays Canyon, he was an Oakland Police officer for 12 years.

He owned 25 acres of farming land next to the property of Judge Gibson. His estate was in the general location of Aspinwall Road is today.

Oakland Tribune April 16, 1890
SF Chronicle Jan 25, 1891

Mrs. C.A. Kohler – Glen Kohler

Glen Kohler, the home of Mrs. Kohler, was located about where Thornhill Drive, Pinehaven Road, and Woodhaven Way meet.

Cordelia A. (“CA”) Kohler was the widow of Andrew Kohler (1819-1885) of Kohler & Chase Pianos,  who had a beautiful home Hays Canyon on Thorn Road (Thornhill Drive) she named it  Glen Kohler.

She died at her home in Hays Canyon on November 27, 1894.  Her funeral was attended mainly by the old settlers of the county and was held at her home on November 30, 1894.  She is buried at Mountain View Cemetery alongside her husband Andrew and her daughter Louisa (1849-1854), who died at the young age of 5.

Oakland Tribune Oct 17, 1885

Glen Kohler was designed by architects the Samuel and Joseph C. Newsom (Newsom Brothers) in 1885. The residence was 18 rooms in what was know as the “freestyle.” At the cost of about $10,000.

Oakland Tribune Nov 14, 1885
Oakland Tribune Feb 12, 1886
S F Call Nov 29, 1894

I don’t know what happened to Glen Kohler after Mrs. Kohler died.

More on Hays Canyon

The End