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 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 building 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 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 completely 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 up hill 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 a 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 building in Montclair. It is in the photos from the 1920s. It was the first home of the Montclair Realty Company. More on that later
Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the nation’s foremost parkmaker. Olmsted moved his home to suburban Boston in 1883 and established the world’s first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design. During the next century, his sons and successors perpetuated Olmsted’s design ideals, philosophy, and influence.
I believe the photos were taken by Cheney Photo Advertising Company.
“Silver Windows” was a display home in the Piedmont Pinessection of Montclair. The home opened for public to see in 1936. The home was designed by F. Harvey Slocombe. It is on Darnby Drive.
Windows, from which one glimpses the bay through lofty pines are not the only feature of this new show home.
Oakland Tribune Dec 06, 1936
Sunlight through “Silver Windows”
Oakland Tribune Dec 13, 1936
From the curved window in the living room you could see all of Oakland , plus two bridges,
The kitchen with its floors curving into the wall, eliminating dust gathering corners was of special interest to the women visitors. The kitchen was “all-metal” with a gleaming sink, drain board, work board and cabinets. Oakland Tribune Mar 19, 1937
Most anyone who grew up in Montclair played at the park. The park was always full of kids.
If you played in the park during the 1960-1980s you will remember the two story playhouse. It was built in 1960 and was located by the swing-sets.
It was demolished after a couple of fires in the mid to late 1980s. It is rumored that the fires were caused by teens or someone smoking in the house.
I really enjoyed playing in small playhouse. I would pretend I lived there and that best friend lived next door.
Built in 1960
In 1960 the Montclair Junior Women’s Club of Montclair held fundraisers and worked with the Oakland Recreation Department to finance a playhouse for the park in Montclair.
Opening Day – September 1960
The 120 square foot playhouse incorporated such features as kitchenettes with running water and toy stoves and refrigerators It had a living room with built-in play television sets and a circular metal stairway leading up to the sleeping balcony and sundeck in each unit.
The exterior of the structure was covered with heavy wire to create the illusion of a closed building. Bright colored squares of orange, yellow, turquoise and white decorate the front of the playhouse.
The playhouse was designed and constructed by members of the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department
They name is “Merrivilla”
Not to be confused with a Dollhouse for Diane
The was also a playhouse located in Pinto Park/Carl B. Munck School play yard. It was built in honor who Diane “Dede” Dobson who lost her life during the Columbus Day Storms of 1962
In 1874 Charles Low owned the property. A barn was located where Tobin Halls and the university’s gymnasium are today. He built a house for his family on the site where Brennan Hall stands today. You can see a map of the campus here.
In 1877 Peter A. Finigan (Finnegan) purchased the property from Low and built a second house near where Cushing Library is today.
In 1884 Thomas Magee of Thomas Magee & Sons Real Estate Firm purchase the farm. I bet Magee Avenue was named after him.
Magee added a second story to the house that Finigan built.
During the early years the Magee’s would spend winter at their home in San Francisco and summer on Alden Farm. After the 1906 earthquake and fire they made their home permanently at Alden Farm.
Alden Farm was considered one of the premiere showplaces in Oakland. Many social event and weddings were held there over the years.