It has been awhile since I have published a new post. I have been dealing with an major medical issue in my family. It is still ongoing. This is something I put together a while back.
A bungalow court is a group of small bungalows or workers cottages built around a court or central yard. An apartment court is a group of buildings built around or have a central courtyard.
Bungalow Court, a New Apartment Site
In 1921 a new kind of building known as a Bungalow Court opened, the first in Oakland. The building is located at Hill Lane and Euclid Avenue.
Euclid Court consists of ten three-room bungalow apartments, grouped around a central courtyard. Each unit has separate front and back entrances.
Euclid Court was built for Dr. J.L. Hobbs at the cost of $75,000 and was designed by W.E. Schirmer.
432-450 Euclid Avenue
W.E. Schirmer – Architect
Virginia Court Apartments – Filbert Street
Virginia Court is a colorful Spanish type apartment building, with twelve apartments of two rooms each.
Each unit came with the following:
Spark gas ranges
Marshall and Stearns wall-bed
1430 Filbert Avenue
Court Pueblo Apartments – On Foothill Blvd.
The Court Pueblo Apartments opened in February 1930 and is located at 6114 and 6120 Foothill Blvd.
There are twelve units of two or three rooms. Each apartment had the following:
Spark Gas Range
Marshall & Stearns Beds
Completely furnished for $45 to $52.50 in 1930
Court Pueblo is Spanish in Style.
6114-6120 Foothill Blvd
Apartment Court on Seminary
“The five-room apartments are practically complete homes.”
Oakland Tribune 1928
Apartment Court opened in January 1928 and is located at 1725 and 1729 Seminary Avenue.
It is four buildings of eight apartments, each attractively arranged in a park-like* setting with a central thoroughfare.
No longer a park-like setting
Four five-room Apartments.
Twenty-Two two-room Apartments
Brookdale Court is located at 3760 Brookdale Ave near 38th Ave.
Located at 3745 Brookdale Avenue near 38th Avenue. There are 2 and 3 room units available. They rented for $40 and $45 a month in 1928.
“Seville” Spanish-Type Apartments
Reminiscent of the early history of California the Seville was built by Barr and Sons.
“The exterior of lime white stucco in monk finish with wrought iron balconies and, rails, the Spanish court effect with landscaped slopes, broken stepping stones and green shrubbery, the tiles roof of handmade Spanish tiles laid as the early day padres would lay them”
20 apartments of 2,3, and 4 rooms furnished from $57.50 up in 1927.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Studio – $67.00 a month
4-bedrooms – $145.00 a month
By December of 1968, 106 families lived in the Acorns.
Award for Acorn
Architects Edmund Burger and Patricia Coplans won the 1970 Holiday Award for the design of the Acorn Projects.
The Acorns Today
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.
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.
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.
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.
I couldn’t locate the actual “Hampstead House.” I have included other houses in the area that were for sale during the same period.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
New Real Estate Firm in Montclair
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.
In 1936 A.H. WInder and J. J. Gahan formed a new firm called “Winder & Gahan Corporation.”
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
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.
The Heart of Montclair Business Center
Winder & Gahan moved into their new office at 2070 Mountain Boulevard in November of 1938.
It would eventually be the home of Eberhart Realty. I am not sure exactly when they moved to 2070 Mountain Boulevard.
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?
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