Open to the public (again) in June of 1940 “Maison Normandie” represented France’s famous Normandy style of architecture, both exterior and interior. The house is located a large corner lot high up in the hills of Oakland.
The large living room with a large window affording a view of the Golden Gate, the bridges and Treasure Island. Double french doors open onto a large tiled terrace in the rear with a built in barbecue.
It cost more than $20,000 to build and was advertised at $16,500.
With three bedrooms with two tiled baths, and a maids room with a bathroom. The large basement with laundry room and large storage closets. Two doors gave access to both the front and rear of the house, a short passageway leads into the two-car garage with a large area suitable as a workshop.
Fannie Wall Children’s Home and Day Nursery, an orphanage and daycare center, established in 1918 by African-American clubwomen in West Oakland. Sometimes it is called the Fanny Wall Home.
Charity is the Golden Chain that reaches from heaven to earth.”
from the letterhead
Care for the Orphans
Shelters the Half Orphans
Keeps the Children of Day Workers.”
Oakland Tribune April 1920
In 1914 the Northern Federation of California Colored Women’s Clubs President Fanny Wall and Financial Secretary Hettie Tilghman began working on a children’s home and day nursery to support black working mothers and care for orphaned black children. After years of planning and fundraising, the home opened in 1918 on Peralta Street in West Oakland.
Initially, the home was called the“Northern Federation Home and Day Nursery.” It was subsequently renamed to honor Fannie Wall who was the first woman to run the charity on a daily basis.
The Fannie Wall Children’s Homeand Day Nursery was open to children of all races, ethnicities, and religions, it was the first facility in Northern California to provide various services including housing, boarding and daycare for black orphans.
It was located at 1215 Peralta Street in West Oakland from 1918-1928.
Who was Fannie Wall?
Fannie Wall ( 1860-1944) came to Oakland with her family in the early 1900s. She was born in Gallatin Tennessee in 1860. She was married to Archey(Archy) H. Wall (18??-1931), a staff sergeant in the US Army. They had two daughters, Lillian (Williams) and Florence (Murray) and one son Clifton. Archey was transferred to the Presidio in San Francisco and they ultimately ended up in Oakland.
Wall was an early community activist who participated several organizations that promoted African American economic empowerment.
She served several terms as the president of the California Federation of Colored Women’s Club’s.
She co-founded the Art and Industrial Club of Oakland in 1906. Under her presidency the club joined the Child Welfare League. Wall also help establish the “Colored Y” of Oakland.
In 1936 Archie Williams her grandson (Lillian)won a gold medal in the 400-meter run in Berlin.
Fannie Wall died on April 14, 1944 in her home on Telegraph Avenue. She is buried in the same plot as her husband in the San Francisco National Cemetery.
Linden Street Site
In 1928, having outgrown its original location they moved to a new one on Linden Street.
The handsome house at 815 Linden Street was purchased $5000. The upper middle-class house was designed by Charle Man in the 1880s. It was one of five buildings built by Frances Reichling a surveyor, who subdivided his property at the corner of Linden Street and Eighth Street. The largest of the buildings became the family home and the others were rentals.
The home could accommodate up to 20 resident children and 8-15 children for day care services and was operated by a professional staff of over ten employees that included social workers and a volunteer psychiatrist.
The house was considered step up from the one on Peralta Street and was across the street from the “Colored Y.”
The Linden Street site was given a face-lift in 1953. The “new look,” a two room addition to be used as the administrative offices, releasing the old offices and reception room for nursery classes and a future library. The provided room for 47 children.
In 1962 the Oakland Redevelopment Agency purchased the property at 815 Linden St. in order to demolish the building for the Acorn Project.
Fannie Wall is Calling”
From the annual report
The Northern Federation of Colored Women Clubs operated the Fannie Wall Home until 1941. The home was then incorporated as an independent organization. At that time it was the only home in California that primarily cared for African-American children.
The home was admitted as an agency of the Community Chest-United crusade in 1923
Fannie Wall was elected as the first president and served more than 20 years as the head of the 21 board of directors. She was succeeded by Mrs. Lydia Smith Ward who in turn was followed by Mrs. Chlora Hayes Sledge in the 1940s.
The home was managed by a Board of Directors, which largely consisted of members of the Northern Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, a community advisory committee, and an executive director who oversaw the home’s day-to-day operations.
The home received funding from a variety of sources including rent from an apartment in Berkeley donated by Josephine Sutton, Community Chest, the Dreiser Trust, and through fundraising events coordinated by the home.
The third charity ball was held on January 19, 1948 at the Oakland Auditorium.
In 1959 a fashion show was held at Slim Jenkins to raise money for the building fund. Models showed the latest styles.
A Haven For Children
In 1949 the Fannie Wall home had 30 children who received day care while parents worked. Ranging in age from 3 to 14 years.During the summer months the children took swimming lessons at the de Fremery Park pool: the enjoyed story hours at the West Oakland Branch Library, and they had special excursions to other city parks and playgrounds.
Monthly parties were held to honor the children whose birthday occurred during the month. They would dress up for special dinner or an afternoon party.
The Final Location
In 1964 they purchased a house at 647 55th Street for $19,000. They initially struggled to obtain a license from the Social Welfare Department, and the home was not re-opened until 1967 as part of a placement program for the Alameda County Welfare Department.
The home was forced to close again in 1970 for remodeling and reopened in 1978 as a child daycare facility and Head Start Center. It is now called Fannie Wall Head Start.
Under Siege: Construction and Care at the Fannie Wall Children’s Home and Day Nursery – Marta Gutman – Researchgate.net
In early 1926 J.B. Peepin announced that his company would be building approximately thirty-one in the High Street Park Tract on Culver Street. Prices averaged $5950 for five rooms, with a down payment of only 10% and 1% of the balance.
Peepin was already well known in Oakland and San Leandro as a builder of Bungalows.
Living rooms have studio ceilings, and the newest wall treatments. Hooded fireplaces, in latest designs. Each house has a breakfast room, with a hand decorated breakfast set, included in the purchased price.”
Oakland Tribune July 26, 1926
Charming hand stenciled kitchens, with linoleums, and every built-in convenience including kitchen cabinets and refrigerators.”
Oakland Tribune July 26, 1926
Gardens are laid out to suit each home, with lawns, shrubs, patio entrances and fish ponds.”
Oakland Tribune July 26, 1926
4100 Culver Street
Casa Linda opened on July 18, 1926. The home was entirely furnished by Montgomery Wards & Company.
“The Home Beautiful”
Casa Linda,as the name implies is an unusually beautiful Spanish home, and embodies in its design and ornamentation new and pleasing innovations by our architectural service. Oakland Tribune July 18, 1926
Orange was the kitchen tile color, the hand-decorated furniture, and wall-paper in the breakfast room. Spanish galleons are the motif of parchment shades.
The exterior of “Casa Linda” was enhanced by the patio entrance with stepping stones and a fish pond.
Casa Palomar or Palomares
4150 Culver Street
Opened in September of 1926 and was furnished by Montgomery Wards and Company.
4157 Culver Street
Casa Novia opened to the public on December 5, 1926 it was furnished by Lachman Brothers of San Francisco.
Display Home Is Especially Designed for Newly-Weds, Builder Says”
Oakland Tribune Dec 5, 1926
An arched doorway opens into the front hall affording a glimpse of a large living room with arched windows. The dining room and breakfast room are separated by columns and the kitchen is decorated with orange tiles.
Sold in 2020
In August of 2020 “Casa Novia” was put on the market for $789,000 and sold for $820,000 in October of 2020.
4132 Culver Street
The furnished home went on display on April 24, 1927.
Large rooms, with plenty of sunshine make this home appeal to the housewife.”
Oakland Tribune Apr 24, 1927
Sold in 2020
The was listed for $889,000 in November of 2020 and sold for $955,000 in December.
4145 Culver Street
Villa Romancia opened to the public in January of 1927.
“Castles in Sunny Spain”
ROMANCE! MYSTERY! That is what you think of when you see Villa Romanica.”
Oakland Tribune Feb 13, 1927
Open House 2021
In January of 1921 Villa Romancia is for sale. The listed price is $699,000. An open house was held on January 3, 2021.
More on the mansions that once graced the streets of Oakland
Koa Hall – Bailey Mansion
W. H. Bailey, who owned plantations in Hawaii, hired W.J. Mathews to designed his home and cost $70,000 to build circa 1889.
The woodwork of the main hall was the beautiful koa from the Hawaiian Islands. By the main staircase, there were carvings of koa. The woodwork in the reception-room on one side of the hall was bird’s- eye maple. Antique oak was used in the library and the dining room.
It was converted into a rooming or boarding house’
Sometime in the late 1920s the old mansion was razed and the Hotel Lakehurst was built.
It is now called Lakehurst Hall.
Location: 1369 Jackson St now 1569 Jackson Street at the corner of 17th Street.
“Aloha, nui,” or “Love be unto you.” Is carved above one of the entrances
Samuel T. Alexander came to Oakland from Hawaii in the early 1880s. He was one of the founders of Alexander & Baldwin, an American company that cultivated sugar cane.
In 1882 Alexander purchased a lot on the northwest corner of Sixteenth and Filbert for $6,000.
The three-story Queen Anne style home was designed by Clinton Day was completed in 1883 at the cost of $20.000
Move to Piedmont
The family lived there until 1912 when Mrs. Alexander moved to Piedmont to be closer to her son, Wallace Alexander.
Sometime after 1912, the mansion was converted to a rooming house renting out rooms until the mid -1960s.
New Life for Old Mansion
In 1967 the once venerable mansion stood deserted and in despair, its windows boarded or broken was scheduled to be demolished.
Members of the Oak Center Neighborhood Association decided the old mansion could receive a face lift and become a community “Neighborhood House.” The demolition was halted.
The visualized the rehabilted building comprising of office space for the Oak Center Association, a children’s library and study hall, an adult library and reading room, a large all-purpose room for meetings and socials and room for individual and group counseling.
The group succeeded in saving the old mansion from the wreckers only to have it nearly demolished anyway –by vandals. The house was broken into and ruined beyond repair and was finally demolished in 1968.
To make room for Highway 980 the William H. Quinn Home at 1425 Castro Street was moved to 1004-06 16th Street.
It was built in 1865, the 14-room house of rococo architecture. The barn had room for ten horses and room for 20 tons of hay.
The house had 14 rooms made of redwood. The barn had room for 10 horses
The mansion had a wood and coal furnace, and the radiators are believed to have been the earliest models of that kind in the country. The rooms were paneled with massives doors 9 feet high. Beautiful mirrors adorned the wall.
It was reported that Susan B. Anthony once slept there.
The house and barn property was purchase by Marston Campbell, Jr, as an investment. It was torn down in 1948.
Edward P. Flint, a land developer, and San Francisco businessman, moved to Oakland in 1860. He lived at 13th and Clay before moving to this house.
The site where he built the house at 447 Orange Street was a part of a larger parcel he subdivided in Adams Point.
After Flint died, Admiral Thomas S. Phelps purchased the property. Phelps was a veteran of the Spanish American War. In 1939 the property was purchased by M.A. Marquard, and lived in the house until 1964.
The house was demolished in 1964 and replaced with a “modern 28-unit apartment building.
The new structure has 15 two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom apartments, plus a penthouse. The building was designed by Al Colossi. and is located at 447 Orange Street.
Mr. and Mrs. Marquard lived in the penthouse of the new apartment.
On March 18, 1919, Mrs.George D. Greenwood was killed instantly when a bomb exploded in the family home garden overlooking Lake Merritt. Her husband was the Vice-President of the Savings Union Bank of San Francisco.
It is believed that Mrs. Greenwood found the bomb and picked it up, causing it to explode.
Mrs. Greenwood’s body was torn apart and hurled ten-feet across the garden by the force of the explosion. Her clothing was stripped from her body and hung from the trees or was scattered on the lawn.
All windows on two sides of the Greenwood home were shattered.
Threats Sent to Other Families
The Greenwood family wasn’t the only Eastbay family to have received letters threatening death unless specific amounts of money were handed over.
Other families included:
Kenneth E. Lowden – 274 19th Street
Mrs. E.A. Julian – Piedmont
According to the police, a letter demanding $5,000 and threatening to destroy his home with dynamite was sent to Greenwood in January of 1918. The “C.C. of C” signed the letter, which stands for the Cat’s Claw of California.
The Greenwood explosion was the third in a series attributed to a gang supposed to have dynamited Governor William D. Stephens home and one other.
An unexploded bomb was found in the yard of N. Campagna of Berkeley the week before.
Mrs. George D. Greenwood was considered “society royal” in Oakland and San Francisco, where her parents and husbands were pioneers.
She was one of the Tubbs girls, the daughters of the late Hiram Tubbs, early capitalist, and owner of the famous old Tubbs Hotel.
The daughters were Mrs. Greenwood, formerly Miss May Tubbs, Mrs. William G. Henshaw, Mrs. Grace Tubbs Henshaw, and Mrs. Edward M. Hall.
Police investigations, which continued for more than a year after the tragedy, resulted in the clearing of the mystery surrounding the bomb.
The police arrested many suspects, none were charged.
Mr. Greenwood married Gertrude Vincent in late 1922.
The Greenwood home was located at the corner of 19th Street and Jackson at 1399 Jackson Street (later changed to 1899 Jackson). The Greenwoods lived there from about 1896 to 1920.
In 1936 the house was remodeled and became the new home of the Oakland University Club.
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.
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
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.
..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.
The attractive Spanish type residence opened in March of 1928. The architect was Harris Allen and the home was furnished by Whithone & Swan.
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”
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.
Calafia Avenue Home
A Beautiful Home
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.
Calandria Avenue Home
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.
Panorama of Oak Knoll Home – Dorisa Avenue
3687 Dorisa Ave – Today
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. This was the third company sell and develop the Oak Knoll area. (Please see Oak Knoll Homes)
An Oak Knoll Home
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.
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
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.
In Fairway Estates
The Jefferson Home
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.
“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.
In Fairway Estates
Model Homes in Fairway Estates
Spanish Type Model Home
Spanish in architecture.
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.
Model Country Club Residence
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.
Beautiful Spanish Model Home
Fairway Estates Home
La Casa Bella
Artistic in the extreme…”
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
A living room almost large enough for a country dance…”
Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
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