Posted in Homes, Montclair Tracts

Maison Normandie – Piedmont Pines

Unique Home Opens

Oakland Tribune June 09 1940

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.

Oakland Tribune 1940

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.

  • Maison Normandie
  • Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
  • 1938
  • Mitchell & Austin
  • Still there
  • 6235 Castle Drive

Today

6235 Castle Drive – Google Maps

For Sale

1952

Oakland Tribune Apr 06, 1952

$7000 in wall to wall carpet.

Oakland Tribune Apri 11, 1954

Priced at $1,595,000

SF Examiner July 30, 2000

More Info:

The End

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts

In Le Mon Park

a thing of beauty and joy forever.”


Robert B. Mitchell of Mitchell and Austin
Oakland Tribune Sep 5, 1937

Coronation House Opens

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 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
Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_2__1937_ (6)
Oakland Tribune May 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

Today

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

Fremont House

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
Oakland Tribune May 9, 1937

From the windows of Fremont House you can see the Golden Gate.

  • Fremont House
  • Castle Drive
  • Style – Early California
  • Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
  • 1937
  • 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
Oakland Tribune July 27, 1937

Villador, the house of gold opened to the public in June of 1937.

Oakland Tribune July 1937
  • Villador
  • 6324 Castle Drive
  • Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
  • 1937
  • Mitchell & Austin
6324 Castle Drive – RDFin.com

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair Tracts, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 9

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

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

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.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

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

Oakland Tribune 1926
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927

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.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1936

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.

Auditorium
Montclair in the 1950s

Montclair is located at 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

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.

  • Montclair Website – OUSD

Thornhill Elementary School

Plans for a new school in the Montclair District were drawn up by local Montclair residents Robert “Bob” Goetz and Jens Hansen in association with Confer and Willis.

Drawing of Thornhill 1956

The site on Thornhill Drive at Alhambra was acquired through condemnation proceedings. The court awarded $48,000 to the landowner, Alice Taylor

Oakland Tribune July 4, 1956
Oakland Tribune July 4 1956
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1957
Montclarion 1957

The school was to be ready in September 1958 and will have an administration office s, a multipurpose room, library, 11 classrooms, and a kindergarten room.

Montclarion Oct 23, 1957
Oakland Tribune June 22, 1958
Thornhill 1959-60

Dedication – November 12, 1958

The Montclarion Nov. 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
The Montclarion Nov 1958

Bus Service

The school bus was approved by the district earlier in the year, stopping at both Thornhill and Montclair schools. The kids were picked up throughout the hills on the roads that were designated ‘safe.’ The bus service continued until 1959 when the service was going to be pulled but continued a little longer after the parents rallied to raise money to maintain the service.
Menu 1959
Jan 1959
Jan 1959
The Montclarion
Thornhill 1963-64

The school is located at  5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland

Thornhill Today

Thornhill Elementary – website
  • Thornhill Website – OUSD
  • Thornhill 50th Anniversary –blog

Joaquin Miller Elementary School

The bid was taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

First Graduate

In January of 1950, Judith Lowe, 12 daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lowe had the honor of being the first graduate of the school – she was the only one. She was the lone pupil in high sixth grade.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951
Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951

The school is located at 5525 Ascot Drive.

Joaquin Miller Today

Joaquin Miller today
  • Joaquin Miller website – OUSD

The End

Updated Nov 28, 2019

Posted in Business, Early Montclair, Montclair, Montclair Tracts, Real Estate

Montclair Realty – Pioneers of the Hills

In 1924 brothers Paul and Herman Pause formed Montclair Realty Co. Before that, Paul worked for the Realty Syndicate.

Paul and Herman Pause

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.

Sales offices of real estate broker and home builder Cos Williams
in the undeveloped Montclair circa 1925
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Oakland Tribune 1929

In 1932 they moved into their new offices at 6466 Moraga Avenue. The building was occupied by B. Brooks, another real estate agent. The building was still standing in 2019.

Oakland Tribune 1932
Montclair Realty Office in 1940

6466 Moraga Avenue – 2019

Montclair Highlands

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 Montclair Highlands 1928

10th Anniversary

In 1934 Montclair Realty celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this time, they specialized in the development of the Montclair area. Oakland Tribune 1934

They worked on the following tracts:

They opened Piedmont Uplands, a new tract along Moraga Avenue at Maxwelton Road. The land was owned by the Henry Maxwell family, who ran a dairy called Maxwelton Farm. Before that is was the picnic grounds of Blair Park.

Montclair in 1937

Below is an aerial of Montclair’s business district in 1937. – Oakland Tribune Jul 18, 1937

Oakland Tribune 1937

In 1936 Paul Pause was the President of the Montclair Improvement Club for 1937. – Oakland Tribune Dec 12,1936

13th Anniversary

Oakland Tribune July 1937

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

Montclair Realty Staff and Pent House Living Room 1936
New Montclair Realty Office – Oakland Tribune 1937

The building was demolished in 1961 to make room for the expansion of the Standard Station next door.

Montclarion April 16,1961

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.

Oakland Tribune 1949

Death and New Owners

Paul Pause died in 1950. He was an essential figure in the development of Montclair since the beginning.

Oakland Tribune 1950

Lucille Chasnoff purchased the company sometime after Pause died in 1950. John Mallett purchased the company from her.

Oakland Tribune 1960

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.

Oakland Tribune April 1956
Montclarion 1956
Montclarion 1956
2084 Mountain Blvd – Google Maps 2011

Different Logos –

Free Map

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts

The Highest Home in Oakland – 1928

“1928 Model View Home

The 1928 Model View Home – Oakland Tribune 1928

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.

Oakland Tribune 1928
Oakland Tribune March 1928

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

  • Complete Electrification
  • Quartz-Lite – window glass
  • Colored plumbing ware
  • Venetian Cabinets
  • Linoleum Floors
  • Balanced Illumination
Oakland Tribune 1928

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.

Oakland Tribune Nov 11, 1928
The Oakland Tribune November 1928

The “1929 Model View” Home

For a few weeks in 1929 is was renamed.

Oakland Tribune Dec 1928
Oakland Tribune 1936
Asking price $8750.00
1954 – Asking price $17,500
1969

Location

The “1928 Model View” home is located at 1949 Asilomar Drive in 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.

1928 photos showing the of the Observation Tower
The solitary home to the left of the yellow area is the Callahan House
at 1989 Asilomar Drive
Photo from East Bay Hills Project

The house has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and last sold in 1974. I don’t have a present-day picture.

1949 Asilomar Drive – Google Maps
  • 1928 Model View Home
  • Montclair Highlands
  • Spanish Style
  • Hamilton Murdock – architect
  • Elmo Adams – builder
  • Howard Gilkey – a landscaper
  • Paul Pause – owner
  • Montclair Realty
  • 1949 Asilomar Drive

The Callahan House is the bottom in the photo below.

Oakland Tribune 1928
1989 Asilomar Drive – Google Maps

Last sold in 2017 for $1, 682, 619 – 1989 Asilomar Drive

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, Montclair Tracts, People

$20,000 Log Cabin – Fernwood

Fernwood was the beautiful country estate of Col. Jack C. Hays and his wife Susan in 1852.

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

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.

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

In 1915 Dr. and Mrs. Nelson M. Percy of Chicago, Illinois, purchased the former W.J. DIngee home “Fernwood” for an undisclosed amount.

Oakland Tribune Oct 10, 1915
Oakland Tribune 1915
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune Aug 04, 1923
The yellow arrow shows the log cabin, green arrow the pool and blue arrow the tennis courts

More of Fernwood –

Posted in Homes, Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts

Forest Park – Homes

Just a few of the homes of Forest Park – I will update if I find more.

Oakland Tribune May 1927 – 6415 Oakwood Drive
Oakland Tribune May 1927 – 6415 Oakwood Drive
Oakland Tribune Feb 28, 1928
6415 Oakwood Drive
6415 Oakwood Drive – Present Day – Google maps
6415 Oakwood Drive – Google maps
The Forest Park Home of Benjamin Locket
Built-in 1927
The original address was Box 411 Idlewild Drive
Now 7087 Thornhill Drive
7087 Thornhill Drive Present Day – Google Maps

Forest Park Mansion is known as the Castle

The castle was the home of Col. Leonard Dunkel. Dunkel lived at 6708 Thornhill from about 1932 until his death in 1974.

Oakland Tribune Aug 12, 1928
Located at 6708 Thornhill Drive
Oakland Tribune Jun 26, 1955
6708 Thornhill Drive – Present Day – Google maps
Casa Bonita – Oakland Tribune May 1929
6760 Thornhill Drive – Google Maps

 

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts

Forest Park – a scenic residential park

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.

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Free Bus service to Forest Park
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Oakland Tribune 1924

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.

Oakland Tribune Jun 15, 1924
Elmer F. Morrill lived down the road where
Harbord Drive and Moraga Avenue meet since the late 1880s
Oakland Tribune Mar 1924

Forest Pool was located at Thornhill Drive and Woodhaven Way is now the Montclair Swim Club.

Forest Pool – 1925
Photo By Cheney Advertising
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Forest Pool 1927
Photo By Cheney Advertising
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
The corner of Woodhaven Way and Indian Way
Cheney Photo Advertising 1925
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Present Day Google Maps
Woodhaven Way looking towards the corner of Indian Way
Photo by Cheney Advertising 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Woodhaven Way looking towards the corner of Indian Way
Present Day – Google Maps
From 7000 Thornhill Drive looking east
Cheney Photo Advertising 1925
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
From 7000 Thornhill Drive looking east
Cheney Photo Advertising 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Present Day 7017 and 7025 Thornhill Drive – Google Maps
San Francisco Bay – Forest Park with Oakwood Drive and Thornhill
Cheney Photo Advertising c 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
San Francisco Bay – from Skyline
Cheney Photo Advertising c 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4

To be continued …Forest Park – the Shepard Canyon Section

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts

Thornhill Park

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.

The boundaries of Thornhill Park from REDFIN.com

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.

 

Oakland Tribune May 1917

 

Oakland Tribune 1922

 

Oakland Tribune
April 1922

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 ParkMerriewood, or Fernwood were. 

 

Oakland Tribune 1922
The home of F.M. Boggs was the home Judge EM Gibson (more about him later) and later the home Dr. Mark Emerson Alameda County Coroner, and now St. Johns Church is in that location. Approximate location 1707 Gouldin Road

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 –

 

Oakland Tribune April 1922
650 Thorn Road is now 6116 Thornhill Drive

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.

 

Oakland Tribune September 1919

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.

6022 Thornhill Drive also, Col. George and Edith Mullin moved there in about 1917 when the address was 570 Thorn Road. The Mullin’s played a significant role in the Montclair Women’s Club and Montclair Presbyterian Church.

 

Oakland Tribune March 1943

 

6067 Aspinwall Road –
Recently sold for $910,000 in 2017 – Zillow

For now, this is all I have.

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, Homes, Montclair Tracts

How to Build a Log Cabin

Oakland Tribune April 1922

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.

Pinehaven is located in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1922
Oakland Tribune April 1922

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.

Oakland Tribune April 1922

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.

Oakland Tribune April 1922 – Road Work in Pinehaven

Lots of building going on…

Oakland Tribune May 1922

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_9__1922_

Simple Plans for a Log Cabin –

Oakland Tribune May 1922
Oakland Tribune May 1922

Building Bungalows in Foothill Canyons

Oakland Tribune Jun 1922

Pinehaven Is Building Up

Oakland Tribune June 1922

Pitch Your Teepee or build a log cabin in the woods of Pinehaven.

Oakland Tribune May 1922
Oakland Tribune July 1922
Oakland Tribune 1922
Oakland Tribune Sep 1922
Oakland Tribune Sep 1922
Oakland Tribune May 1922

The End