Posted in Buildings, Real Estate, West Oakland

The Acorn Projects

The Acorn or Acorn Projects are a series of housing projects in the Acorn Redevelopment Project Area of West Oakland.

They were original three housing units, Acorn 1, Acorn 2, and Acorn 3. 

Acorn Housing Project model, April 7, 1966. – The Acorn Housing Project promised sleek, modern architecture — concrete-block units with sharp angles and crisp white exteriors

The project started in 1962. The first housing unit contained 479 units and cost $9 million; it was completed in 1969. A second 98-unit called Acorn II was completed in 1971 at the cost of $3.7 million.

Oakland Tribune 1959

Slum Clearance Project

Oakland’s first slum clearance undertaking will be called The Acorn Project.”

Oakland Tribune March 9, 1959

The Oakland Redevelopment Agency selected the name Acorn for the project area (about 45 Blocks) flanking the Nimitz Freeway between Union and Brush Streets.

Agency member Carl O. Olsen said the “Acorn is symbolical for the future and growth.”

Oakland Tribune February 24, 1965

Acorn’s Amazing Progress

It was reported that Project Acorn was shaping up as one of the most successful blight clearance projects in the nations’ history in 1964.

In 20 months, they had accomplished the following:

  • Purchased 90% of parcels
  • Relocated 83% of families
  • Demolished 75% of structures
  • Sold four lots for new plants
Oakland Tribune

Property Owners Sue

Thirteen West Oakland property owners sued to block the Acorn Project. They sued the Federal Redevelopment Agency and the City of Oakland, claiming that the Acorn Project “would deprive Negroes of their properties.”

They said the slum elimination project would, in effect, deprive them of homeownership because they have limited access to other residential areas. They told the court they have no objection to urban improvement, but object to being evicted from their homes without a place to go,

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against them in May of 1963.

Acorn: Acres of Vacancy

In the land cleared for the project, there were rats, ants, and sparrows lived. But no people.

Oakland Tribune 1967

The Oakland Redevelopment Agency had spent $ 13 million by 1967. But still no housing.

It was described as a slum clearance project, and it was a success. Some 4,300 people lost their homes as wrecking crews smashed aging buildings.  

Acorn SIte 1966  By the time this picture was taken, 90 percent of the Acorn project-area had been “cleared,” and 86 percent of residents had relocated — many to the neighborhood of East Oakland and the northern East Bay city of Richmond.*

It took from April 1962 to May 1965 to reduce all but 610 old structures to splinters. In their place was acre upon acre of empty fields in the area between 10th and First and Brush and Union Streets.

Thirty-two were set aside for industrial redevelopment, thirty-four acres for new, moderate-priced housing.

Since 1962 when the Acorns were approved, 12,000 rental units were built in other parts of Oakland.

Acorn Project Aims to Attract Whites

The Acorns, a middle-income development featuring sophisticated townhouses and apartments, was one of the nations’ first attempts at “reverse integration.”

To attract whites to the project, the Building Trades Council tried to put the finest housing it can afford into the project and charge the lowest rents possible.

Rents ranged from studios at $67 up to four-bedroom two-story townhouses at $145. (The upper limit on income was $11,225)

Remember Acorn? It’s Dedicated

After sitting empty for ten years, the Acorn Project was finally dedicated in 1967.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Acorn construction, November 10, 1967John B. Williams (kneeling) holds a sign for the Acorn Urban Renewal Project as it is hammered into the ground by Robert C. Weaver, Secretary of the newly founded Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Construction did not begin in Acorn until five years after demolition was completed, leaving a giant barren area in the middle of West Oakland, about 50 blocks, including parts of the historic heart of black Oakland, 7th Street. By the mid 60s, the demolition policies of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency (ORA) would create deep scars in the black neighborhoods close to downtown.

Ready for the Public

The first units of Oakland’s $8 million modern apartment complex opened for inspection in September 1968.

Source: San Francisco Examiner 9/16/68 “Oakland’s Redevelopment Project Ready for Public” (available at Oakland History Room)
  • Studio – $67.00 a month
  • 4-bedrooms – $145.00 a month

By December of 1968, 106 families lived in the Acorns.

SF Examiner Sept 1968

Award for Acorn

 Architects Edmund Burger and Patricia Coplans won the 1970 Holiday Award for the design of the Acorn Projects.

The Acorns Today

SF Examiner May 1998

The property underwent extensive redevelopment in the 1990s due to four years of collaboration among HUD, The City of Oakland, BRIDGE, the Acorn Residents Council, and the West Oakland community.

SF Examiner May 1998

Like many other projects, Acorn was known as a dangerous place for residents and nearby neighbors. The new Acorn will have several safety features. Density was reduced by half from the 700 units that made up the old project, and a series of courtyards with locked gates to limit access.

  • Acorn 1 was demolished, and a small community of two-story single-family houses between Filbert and Market Streets was built in its place.
  • Acorn 2 and Acorn 3 were renamed “Town Center Apartments at Acorn” and “Courtyard Apartments. 

Acorn Town Center and Courtyards consist of 293 affordable studio, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments.

  • high-tech security system
  • gated property
  • recreational center
  • community building
  • tot lots
  • three basketball courts
  • swimming pool

Acorn Town Center and Courtyards – Bridge Housing

More Info:

The Acorn NeighborhoodOakland Local Wiki

Imagining a Past Future – Photographs from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency – Places Journal

Affordable Housing Today – Architecture California 2001

Acorn Oakland RenaissanceFacebook Page

Portraits of Progress and PainEastbay Yesterday

The Planning History of Oaklandwebsite

Tot Lot

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Real Estate

In Oak Knoll…

Oakland Tribune Oct 2, 1927

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.

Oakland Tribune 1926

Oak Knoll residential development was built around the new Oak Knoll golf course and Country Club .

Oakland Tribune 1927

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

Oakland Tribune Fen 27, 1927

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.

3558 Calafia Avenue – Google Maps

..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.

Oakland Tribune March 1928

The attractive Spanish type residence opened in March of 1928. The architect was Harris Allen and the home was furnished by Whithone & Swan.

Oakland Tribune March 1928
Oakland Tribune March 1928

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”

Oakland Tribune

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.

9527 Granada Avenue – Redefin.com

Calafia Avenue Home

Oakland Tribune 1930
 3610 Calafia Avenue Google Maps
3610 Calafia Avenue Google Maps

A Beautiful Home

Oakland Tribune Feb 09, 1930
9332 Granada Ave – REDFIN

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.

4001 Sequoyah Road – Google Maps
4001 Sequoyah Road – Google Maps

Calandria Avenue Home

Oakland Tribune April 1930

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.

3539 Calandria Ave

Panorama of Oak Knoll Home – Dorisa Avenue

Oakland Tribune Feb 01, 19313687 Dorisa

3687 Dorisa Ave – Today

3687 Dorisa Ave – Google Maps

New Developer at Oak Knoll

Oakland Tribune 1937

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

Oakland Tribune December 1937

Freeway

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.

The Defendants:

  • A.A. Thiel
  • James R. Pennycook
  • Raymond Cann
  • Irving M. Bossie

More Info:

The End

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

Claremont Pines Model Home

Claremont Pines was formally the P.E. Bowels estate “The Pines.”  It is bounded by Broadway Terrace, Country Club Drive, Acacia Drive, and Romany Road.

Oakland Tribune

Palatial Home to be Built

In July of 1928, a palatial residence was to be built in the new subdivision Claremont Pines developed by York Company Inc. The home was known as the Tribune-Schlesinger Home.

Oakland Tribune 1928

The Spanish-Mediterranean style home was sponsored by the Oakland Tribune and was furnished by B.F. Schlesinger and Sons 

The house was designed by Frederick H. Reimers, an Oakland architect, and was constructed by C. Dudley de Velbiss, a well-known builder.

Drive Out Today

Each phase of the construction was fully described in columns in the Oakland Tribune. During construction, the site was open to the public.

Great care was taken in the selection for the residence, which occupies a prominent corner overlooking the Claremont golf course and facing the Golden Gate.

“The Mediterranean type of architecture was selected to conform to the contour of the site and to the general rolling nature of the terrain.”

Frederick Reimers July 29, 1928

The house has sixteen rooms, each with an individual style. It has a ballroom, library and a smoking room.  

The halls and library have floors of colored, hand-made tile, and doorways are arched.  

Ground Floor – Oakland Tribune 1928

It is further enhanced by a series of walled-in courts and terraces. 

The landscaping was done under the supervision of Johannes Reimers a local landscaper and artist. He was also the Father of Frederick.

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Breaks Ground

On August 09, 1928, the official groundbreaking was held in the presence of a large group of Eastbay notables.

Oakland Tribune August 1928

Home is Near Completion

“Plastering is now ready to start.”

Oakland Tribune 1928

$55,000 was invested in the project exclusive of the furniture and furnishings.

Unique Feature of Home

“a haven of rest and peace from the busy world.”

Frederick H. Reimers Architect

The exterior brick fireplace and terrace brick walls leading to the entrance are the same color as the stucco.

A Firm Foundation

Another feature was the concrete foundation installed by J.H Fitzmaurice, Inc., a local concrete contractor. The quality of the material used in the foundation is the very best at that time. 

All bearing walls are twelve inches in thickness.

Shows Rapid Progress

Significant progress was reported on November 04, 1928. It was expected to open on December 02, 1928.

Oakland Tribune November 1928

A rare harmony of late Renaissance furnishings promised to make the home of exceptional interest, under the guidance of A.L. Abrott of the B.F. Schlesinger & Sons.

The upper floors followed the lighter moods of the seventeenth century when Venice was still at the height of her glory.

The ballroom or social hall on the ground floor was decorated in the spirit of modern jazz and twentieth-century amusement.

Magnificent Vestibule

Upon entering the vestibule, one is impressed by the tremendous Castillian effect of the entrance, and the monumental stairway—the curving staircase with artistic hand-wrought iron railing.

Oakland Tribune October 28 1928

The main stairway leads to a secondary vestibule, which in turn gives access to four bedrooms.

New Type of Telephones

Convenience was the new type of telephone installation by Pacific Bell. Each telephone placed to obtain the highest possible comfort and privacy for the users and blend in with the decor.

Two main lines were installed: one for the use of the family and the second primarily for the servants’ use.

A hand telephone with a key box was installed in the master bedroom. The keys could cut off the servant’s phone for privacy.

Oakland Tribune 1928

A wall telephone connected to the servants’ line was placed in the garage.

Formally Opened

The formal opening was held on Sunday, December 30, 1928.  Lucile Webster Gleason of the Dufwin Theater, star in “The Shannons of Broadway,” formally opened the doors.

Large Crowds

Ten thousand visitors viewed the home in the first week it was opened. Of this number, seven thousand attended the opening day.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1929

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Claremont Pines

Tribune-Schlesinger Home Claremont Pines Cheney Photo Advertising 1928

Claremont Pines Homes

Oakland Tribune 1929

More Info:

Claremont Pines – Oakland Local Wiki

Today

Google
  •  2 Westminster Drive
  • Frederick H. Reimers architect
  • C. Dudley de Velbiss – builder
  • York Company Inc. – Developers
  • Built in 1928
  • Sold for $2,3 million in 2008

The End

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 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 Business, Model/Display Homes, Montclair, Real Estate

Home Tour of Montclair – 1937

Oakland Tribune Oct 22, 1937
  1. 5335 Estates Drive
  2. 5664 Thornhill Drive
  3. 1731 Mountain Blvd
  4. 6025 Bruns Drive
  5. Liggett Drive
  6. 2645 Camino Lenada
  7. Montclair Realty Offices- 6540 Moraga Ave
  8. Emge and Stockman Offices – Mountain and LaSalle
  9. Winder & Gahan Office – 6500 Moraga Ave

C.W. Leekins – 6054 La Salle Ave

Home Tour of the Hills District

Prominent real estate companies and builders in Montclair held an “open-house” week during the Oakland National Home Show held October 22- 30, 1937. Oakland Tribune Oct 22, 1937

The following is a list of the sponsors:

  • C.W. Leekins – builder
  • Montclair Realty Company
  • Herbert A. Richardson – builder
  • Emge and Stockman Realtor
  • Winder & Gahan – developers

C.W. Leekins Sponsored

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937
  • 2645 Camino Lenada
  • C.W. Leekins – builder
  • 1937
  • $7250
Oakland Tribune 1964 – $32,750
2645 Camino Lenada St – Google Maps
  • 5335 Estates Drive
  • C.W. Leekins – builder
  • 1937
  • 1731 Mountain Blvd
  • C.W. Leekins – builder
  • 1937
  • $6750
1731 Mountain Blvd – Google maps

H. A Richardson Sponsored

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937
  • 6025 Bruns Drive
  • H.A. Richardson – builder
  • 1937
  • $13,000
Oakland Tribune Oct 17, 1937
SF Examiner 1985 $279,500
6025 Bruns Court Google Maps

Montclair Realty Company Sponsored

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937
  • 5664 Thornhill Drive
  • F.H. Slocombe – Architect
  • L.A. Larson – builder
  • 1937
  • $6850
Oakland Tribune Aug 1937
Oakland Tribune 1938

Emge & Stockman Sponsored

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937

Winder & Gahan Sponsored

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937
Posted in Buildings, Early Montclair, History, Montclair, Real Estate

One of the Oldest Buildings in Montclair…or is it?

A while back, I was doing a simple search on buildings in Montclair. I came across this article (posted below) from 1962, with the attached photo. It was about the destruction of the building that was to be replaced with a new $125,000 building. The new building was called the Eberhart Building.

The Eberhart Building today – Google Maps

The Eberhart Building is still standing and is located at 2070 Mountain Blvd.

Oakland Tribune Jan 30, 1962

Of course, I needed to find out more about the building that was now just a pile of rubbish, as seen in the photo above.

The photo above shows the structure as it looks today. In researching the address, I find that the real estate firm Winder and Gahan first occupied the site in 1938.

According to the article from 1962 – In 1921, a group of real estate men stood with “high hopes” in front of a small Spanish style stucco building that looked entirely out of place in the open fields of the Montclair DIstrict.

There was just a building with a sign “tract office” on it, the open fields and a dusty, narrow road in in front of it.

Oakland Tribune Jan 30, 1962

Montclair in 1921

This is probably how Montclair looked when that group of men stood in from of the building “with high hopes.” I just don’t think they were standing in front of the same building that was demolished in 1962, as noted in the article. Unless it is the one on the right and they moved it and changed the style of it?

Sales offices of real estate broker and home builder
Cos Williams 6501 Moraga
Photo c1921 by Cheney Photo Advertising F-2830
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

The small building on the left of the above picture is the office of home builder Cos Williams. The street going uphill is La Salle Avenue. The address was 6501 Moraga Avenue.

Oakland Tribune 1925

New Real Estate Firm in Montclair

New Winder Offices in Montclair
6500 Moraga Avenue
Oakland Tribune Sep 24,1933

In 1933 A.H. WInder opened an office at the corner of Moraga Avenue and La Salle Avenue. The address was 6500 Moraga Avenue.

Winder was the exclusive sales agent for the Forest Park extension and Shepherd Canyon Park.

I bet you are wondering what this has to do with the building at 2070 Mountain Blvd. Trust me, it will all make sense soon.

Oakland Tribune

In 1936 A.H. WInder and J. J. Gahan formed a new firm called “Winder & Gahan Corporation.”

Winder & Gahan Offices
6500 Moraga Ave
Oakland Tribune 1936

New Location Announced

With the expiration of their present lease at 6500 Moraga Avenue,” states A.H.Winder, “we will build a new office on the on the recently -acquired site, using a frontage of 72 feet on Mountain Boulevard”

Oakland Tribune Oct 1937

Oakland Tribune Oct 24, 1937

In 1937 the real estate firm of Winder and Gahan announced the recent purchase by the firm a piece of land (Block “H”) in the heart of the business district, near the intersection of Moraga Avenue and Mountain Boulevard.

Block H” 2070 Mountain Blvd
Alameda County Parcel Map

The Heart of Montclair Business Center

Winder & Gahan moved into their new office at 2070 Mountain Boulevard in November of 1938.

The new building at 2070 Mountain Blvd.

It would eventually be the home of Eberhart Realty. I am not sure exactly when they moved to 2070 Mountain Boulevard.

My Research

Montclair from 1935
L84-20-HJW Geospatial Inc,
Pacific Aerial Surveys, Oakland CA,
Courtesy East Bay Regional Park District.

The above picture shows “Block H” is an empty piece of land. In 1938 Winder & Gahan would build their new offices there. That small building would be there until 1962. It was destroyed by a bulldozer, as noted in the first article I posted above. That would make the building only 24 years old.

Maybe they moved the other building that is in the photo from 1921 and updated and enlarged and added stucco. What do you think?

Google Maps – 6466 Moraga Ave

I think the building on the right is the oldest in Montclair. It is in the photos from the 1920s. It was the first home of the Montclair Realty Company. More on that later

The End

Posted in Buildings, History, Montclair Tracts, Real Estate

Montclair Observation Tower

The Montclair Observation Tower was a two-story tower built by the Realty Syndicate in 1925 to help sell homes in the newly opened area of  Montclair Highlands.

Montclair Observation Tower 1925 - Oakland History Room
Montclair Observation Tower – Montclair Highlands 1923 –  Oakland History Room

Every night the Observation Tower was illuminated by Idora Park searchlight – “the most powerful searchlight in the world

On a clear day, it is said you could see points as far away as the Farallon Islands. 

Oakland Tribune June 25, 1925

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_21__1925_
Oakland Tribune  June 25, 1925
Oakland Tribune August 16, 1925
Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_21__1925_ (1)
Oakland Tribune June 21, 1925

The tower was still standing in July of 1929. I don’t when the tower was removed. I have heard that the was heavily damaged in a late night fire in 1929 or 1930. But I have no proof.

Location of the tower

The tower (yellow arrow) is seen in this 1929 aerial By Fairchild

Montclair in 1928 Fairchild Aerial with arrow jpg

Near the intersection of Asilomar Drive and Aztec Way.

observation tower

The End