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.
The “Coronation House,” a display home for the Mitchell & Austin, opened on May 2, 1937, in the Le Mon Parksection of Piedmont Pines. It is located on Castle Drive. The display home was furnished by Breuner’s with 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
“this six-room home with three bedrooms and a bath, with gorgeous living room and un-impaired view, delightful recreation room and kitchen.”
Oakland Tribune May 1937
“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
6301 Castle Drive
Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
Mitchell & Austin Real Estate
When General John C. Fremont hiked to a vantage point in the vicinity of Piedmont Pines in time to the setting sun.
“That we shall call the Golden Gate.”
General Fremont – Oakland Tribune Aug 8, 1938
From the windows of Fremont House you can see the Golden Gate.
Style – Early California
Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
Mitchell & Austin
Villidor – House of Gold
Commanding a sweeping panorama of the bay and the hills, it offers magnificent views of sunrises and sunsets.”
Oakland Tribune Jun 20, 1937
Villador, the house of gold opened to the public in June of 1937.
In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools. Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books.
Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.
Updated Dec 17, 2019
Montclair Grammar School
The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies in their first school on March 14, 1926. The service under the direction of A.R. Romer, the principal and Mrs. J.D. Bishop, the teacher in charge of the 71 students already registered to attend the school.
The four-room schoolhouse was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issue voted by the people of Oakland in 1924.
In attendance were Mrs. Stanton Lore representing the Montclair Women’s Club and Mrs. E.T. Jepsen of the Piedmont Avenue PTA
The original building of brick with a tile roof was later considered an earthquake risk and razed in 1936. They used portables for many years.
The new school building was dedicated in 1942, with nine classrooms, an administrative suite, an arts and crafts room, a PTA room, and a Library, was created. In 1947, a Cafeteria and Assembly Hall were added.
Montclair is located at 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.
2013, a new building was added to the campus, which houses a modern Multipurpose Room, new classrooms, a faculty lounge, and a living roof. A new learning garden and play structure were also added to the campus.
In 1924 brothers Paul and Herman Pause formed Montclair Realty Co. Before that, Paul worked for the Realty Syndicate.
The business district of Montclair looked like this when Montclair Realty was formed. Cos. Williams, a builder, was the only other business at that time.
In 1932 they moved into their new offices at6466 Moraga Avenue. The building was occupied by B. Brooks, another real estate agent. The building was still standing in 2019.
6466 Moraga Avenue – 2019
Montclair Highlands “All the World No View Like his”
In 1928 Montclair Realty was the developer and selling agents for a new tract behind the business district of Montclair. One of the first homes was the “Model View Home,” built-in 1928. Please see my page on this – The Highest Home in Oakland
In 1934 Montclair Realty celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this time, they specialized in the development of the Montclair area. Oakland Tribune 1934
In 1937 Paul Pause announced that Montclair Realty Company had a new home. The new two-story building was designed by Harvey Slocombe in an authentic Spanish style, complete with patio and tile roof. Howard Gilkey developed the garden.
Dramatically different the Pent House Model home brings to you “Ideas of 1938” in colorful interior finishes and modern furnishings. – Oakland Tribune 1937
The building was demolished in 1961 to make room for the expansion of the Standard Station next door.
Silver Anniversary – 1949
Paul Pause was a founding member of the Montclair Improvement Club. He was a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce residential committee and its highway and transportation committee. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Club.
Death and New Owners
Paul Pause died in 1950. He was an essential figure in the development of Montclair since the beginning.
Lucille Chasnoff purchased the company sometime after Pause died in 1950. John Mallett purchased the company from her.
New Office in 1954-56
In 1954 a new office building was built at 2084 Mountain Blvd. Montclair Realty offices were on the ground floor. It was the only office building that had its own off-street parking. The offices featured gold walls with charcoal woodwork with built-in desks and partitions. In 2019 a brand new building replaced the old and outdated Montclair Realty Office Building.
The 1928 Model View Home is situated at the “Top of the World” in reality the topmost peak in Montclair Highlands, overlooking several counties as well as affording a magnificent sweep of the entire bay and part of the Pacific Ocean beyond.
Montclair Highlands Commands Ones of The World’s Finest Views, and Only 15 Minutes From Downtown
Montclair Realty – 1928
Combining modern features in fixtures with a marine view, the Spanish themed home with certain additions, designed by Hamilton Murdock, an Oakland architect.
The “1928 Model” View Home “The Home Electric.” All the latest features of proven merit – the things you have wondered about are used in the “1928 Model” home, including Oakland Tribune Mar 25, 1928
Quartz-Lite – window glass
Colored plumbing ware
Screen Test for Children
In November of 1928, they held a movie screen test for children in the “1928 Model View “ home. The screen test was under the direction of the Sherman Clay Company.
The “1929 Model View” Home
For a few weeks in 1929 is was renamed.
The “1928 Model View” home is located at 1949 Asilomar Drivein Montclair. It was one of the first homes built in the hills directly behind the business district of Montclair. The area was called Montclair Highlands. The 1928 Model View Home was built just up the hill, the lone home to the left of the arrow.
The house has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and last sold in 1974. I don’t have a present-day picture.
1928 Model View Home
Hamilton Murdock – architect
Elmo Adams – builder
Howard Gilkey – a landscaper
Paul Pause – owner
1949 Asilomar Drive
The Callahan House is the bottom in the photo below.
After Hays’ death in 1883, the estate was sold to William J. Dingee. 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.
Subdivision of Montclair – approx. the area above Thornhill at Woodhaven and Oakwood Drive and up to Snake and Colton Blvd. The Forest Park Pool (now Montclair Swim Club) was included with the tract. – Updated May 06, 2019
“Wickham Havens, Inc., to Sell Fine Scenic Property on the Highlands Northeast of Beautiful Piedmont” – Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
A residential park that has been “twenty years in the making” is how they described Forest Park when it first opened in May 1924. The hills of Forest Park were barren of trees when the late Frank C. Havens undertook the task in the early 1900s of planting them with trees. His son Wickham is in charge of selling Forest Park.
Big wooded lots some with a view of the bay were selling at a few hundred dollars each. “Investment in Forest Park today means rich profits in the future” – Come out and see the $10,000 pool being built for the residents – Oakland Tribune June 1924.
I wish I had more to share on Thornhill Park. I only found out about it by accident when looking into Judge EM Gibson’s home, who lived on a ranch in the area where Thornhill School is now and over to Aspinwall Drive. He lived there in the late 1880s.
Thornhill Park went on sale in May of 1917. The Reality Syndicate handled the sales at first.
Thornhill Park was an area of small farms of 1/4 acre to 1 acre where you could grow your own food or say raise chickens, as noted in the ad below.
By 1922 they were having a “Liquidation Sale” and trying to “close out” the rest of the tract by selling 1/2 acre lots for 66 cents on the $1.00.
It seems Thornhill Park wasn’t a big seller. I noticed it wasn’t advertised as much as any of the other tracts in Montclair like Forest Park, Merriewood, or Fernwood were.
Later on, Phil Hearty, a developer and agent who had an office at 5815 Thornhill for years, took over the sale of the remaining Thornhill Park lot. Now Thornhill Park is part of Forest Park and Montclair Highlands.
Some of the homes in Thornhill Park –
A September 1919 advertisement for 6-Room Bungalow on One Acre in Beautiful Thornhill Park located at 650 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive). It is my best guess that this is not 6110 or 6116 Thornhill Drive. 650 Thorn Road is one address that I can’t link to a new address number. But I am reasonably sure that it is one of those two.
6138 Thornhill Drive is another on the original homes in Thornhill Park. Back in the 1920s, the address was 670 Thorn Road. The Bullard family lived there until the 1990s.
In 1922 few people outside the hikers of the Contra Costa Hills Club knew much about Pinehaven and its beautiful canyon. Pinehaven has all the characteristics of the most picturesque parts of Marin County. Roads have now been opened up. The property was initially laid out to be known as Upper Piedmont, but the owners changed the plans and decided to put it on the market for those who want summer home cabins close to downtown and transportation.
Lawrence Block of the Villa Site Sales Company was in changed with the sale of the property and Block said:
“Pinehaven is a summer home colony with its pretty cottages and cabin homes nestling in the side-hills, overlooking canyons and within twenty minutes from City Hall. You awaken in the morning to the song of the birds refreshed and full of vigor and imagine you have traveled a hundred miles to the wilds of some distant state.“
This was Villa Site Sales Company’s first big sale, and they were offering it at mortgage prices. The sale price was as low as $175.00. More than 50 cabins and cottages were being planned.
Lots of building going on…
Simple Plans for a Log Cabin –
Building Bungalows in Foothill Canyons
Pinehaven Is Building Up
Pitch Your Teepee or build a log cabin in the woods of Pinehaven.