Posted in Fruitvale, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Then and Now

Attractive Lynn Homes

Lynn Homes on Nicol Avenue

Eight charming five-room homes of Spanish and Mission architecture were built by Willis F. Lynn on Nicol Avenue. Five of the houses were sold before they were completed. The last three went on sale on June 14, 1925.

Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925

Each house has:

  • Breakfast room or nook
  • Dining room with built-in buffet
  • laundry room
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Automatic water heaters
  • Separate garage

Priced at $5950.00 in 1925.

Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925
Lynn Homes Nicol Ave today – Google
MapsNicole Avenue today – Google maps
2639 Nicol Avenue – today Google Maps

Lynn Homes on Best Avenue

Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1925

Another group of homes went on sale on November 15, 1925. Located on Best Avenue between Brookdale and Trask. The houses have an attractive and varied style of architecture.

Each of the homes has six-rooms, a garage, and a laundry room.

  • Large living room windows
  • Large convertible breakfast rooms
  • Wards heating system and Trojan water heaters
  • Bathrooms with tile floors
  • Base plugs throughout the house
  • Lawns and shrubs and fences

Priced at $6950.00 each in 1925

Best Avenue today – Google Maps
2506 Best Avenue today – Google maps
2495 Best Avenue today – Google Maps
2462 Best Avenue – google maps
Oakland Tribune Dec 1926

Two Beautiful Lakeshore Highlands Homes

Lynn also built two homes in the Lakeshore Highlands (Trestle Glen) neighborhood. One at 983 Longridge Road and the other at 957 Sunnyhills Road.

983 Longridge Road

  • Immense living room
  • Social Hall with cheerful fireplace
  • Large dining room
  • Master bedroom with sleeping porches and dressing room
  • Maid’s room
  • Radio wiring to the living room

Priced at $30,000 in 1928

983 Longridge Road today – Google maps

957 Sunnyhills Road

  • Large living room
  • Breakfast room with built-in cabinets
  • 3 bedrooms with porches
  • 3 bathrooms
  • Maid’s room
  • Full basement

Priced at $18,500 in 1928

957 Sunnyhills Road Google Maps

Another home

Oakland Tribune 1926

The End

Posted in Claremont, Estates, People, Rockridge, Tract or Subdivisions

The Pines

The Pines” was the beautiful home and the surrounding gardens of Mr. & Mrs. Philip E. Bowles. The house was built in 1910, and it stood at what is now No. 2 Bowling Drive.  

Oakland Tribune Apr 04, 1910

Mr. and Mrs. P.E. Bowles on a garden path at The Pines

Views of “The Pines “Estate by Gabriel Moulin, ca. 1927 https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0k4006n4/
Location of The Pines

Land Purchased

In 1909, Philip E. Bowles purchased 51 (58 acres in some publications) acres of land in “Claremont Hills,” adjoining the Horatio P Livermore Homestead. Bowles was the president of the First National Bank of Oakland and a Regent of the University of California from 1911-22.

The house and grounds had an entrancing view of the bay and all of the surrounding country.

The view from “The Pines.”

The Golden Gate in The Distance c 1927
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising
Where the Setting Sun Meets the Golden Gate c 1927
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising

The Bowles Home

 He signed a contract for the erection of a residence to cost  $31,000.  The Architect was L.B. Dutton. He engaged an expert landscaper. Who designed the grounds of the estate by following Bowles’s own plans.

Oakland Tribune March 1909
Photo c 1928 Cheney Photo Advertising
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising

The home was built in the Italian Villa style with twenty-two rooms and a full basement.  It had six master bedrooms, dressing rooms, five bathrooms, three sleeping porches, a library, a drawing-room, and a conservatory.

Inside the home

Views of “The Pines “Estate by Gabriel Moulin, ca. 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0k4006n4/

A Bedroom

Views of “The Pines “Estate by Gabriel Moulin, ca. 1927 https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0k4006n4/

Gardens

The home was surrounded by a veritable forest filed with quail and dotted with miniature lakes stocked with large rainbow trout and a well-stocked bass pond. There was a Japanese Tea garden with pools containing rare goldfish, golden carp, and unusual aquatic plants. There was also a tennis court, a swimming pool, a large garage, and a horse stable with a trotting park.

Mr. Bowles purchased from all of the worlds, he bought the best. The Rhododendrons were especially lovely.

SF Chronicle Jul 28, 1913
Views of “The Pines “Estate by Gabriel Moulin, ca. 1927 https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0k4006n4/

The swimming pool and bathhouse.

Views of “The Pines “Estate by Gabriel Moulin, ca. 1927 https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf0k4006n4/

A garden path

Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising
Claremont Pines was housing development built around 1927
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising

Architecture & Engineer

In 1911 the home was featured in January issue of Architecture & Engineer of California Magazine.  It states the architect was L.B. Dutton.  Architecture & Engineer of California Jan 1911, pg. 204

Jan 1911 – Architecture & Engineer

High Society at The Pines

Many dances and social events were held at The Pines.

Oakland Tribune Jun 17, 1910

In 1912 the Bowles daughter Amy married Hiram Johnson Jr., the son of Governor Hiram W. Johnson. The wedding was held at The Pines.

The extension grounds surrounding the Bowles mansion were transformed into a fairyland

Oakland Tribune May 30, 1912

Oakland Tribune May 30, 1912
Oakland Tribune Sept 20, 1923

Death of P.E. Bowles

On January 20,1926, Philip Bowles died at the age of 67.

Oakland Tribune Jan 21, 1926

Possible Park

The city of Oakland Park board was urged by Mayor Davie to purchase land and home for $700,000for a public playground or park.  That fell through.

Oakland Tribune Oct 15, 1926

Claremont Pines

In  May of 1927, a year after Philip Bowles died,  Mrs. Bowles sold the entire estate to a group of men from southern California, and they hired the York Company, Inc. of Oakland to handle to development and the sales.

The York company subdivided the land and called it Claremont Pines.  The name Claremont Pines came from the nearby district called Claremont and the name of the Bowles Estate.

Claremont Pines Placed on the Market

New Owner

In about 1927 or 1928, Andrew Williams of the Andrew Williams Store, a local grocery chain, purchase the home, which was located at No. 2 Bowling Drive.

Oakland Tribune Feb 26, 1928

After spending two years remodeling and adding new furniture including expensive Persian rugs, Williams put the home up for sale in 1932

Ad for No. 2 Bowling Drive 1931
Oakland Tribune Sept 05, 1932

Bowles Hall – UC Berkeley

In 1928 in memory of her husband, Mrs. Bowles donated $250,000 to the University of California to be used to build a dormitory for men, wholly and appropriately furnished, on or near the University campus, in Berkeley. It is known as Bowles Hall.

  • Announcement of Mary Bowles’ Gift: Mar 19, 1927

The Wrecking Ball

In 1938 the main house was destroyed by the wrecking and sold off piece by piece. A sad ending to a home that was just 28 years old.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1938

Caretaker House

The was a caretaker house located at the front gates of the estate. It stood at the portal through the high metal-spiked fence around the estate. The five-room bungalow, which formally served as the guardian of the estate, was used as the tract office from 1928- 1948.

It was at this little cottage where the streetcar once stopped.

In 1948 the cottage was sold to Charles Ray Jr. of 1028 85th Avenue, and he will be placing it on the lot next to his.

More on The Pines:

Photographs

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 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

Posted in Montclair Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Casa Altadena

In Smith Reserve

Atop one of the knolls, commanding full advantage of the ever-changing vistas, is Casa Altadena, the distinctive exhibition home of Realty Syndicate. Company”

SF Examiner February 11, 1928

Casa Altadena is of Spanish architecture. Occupying a knoll overlooking the panorama of the bay on one side and beautiful wooded vistas and canyons on the other side.

Casa AltaDena – flickr

Opening Day

Over 500 people attended the opening on January 29, 1929.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_5__1928_
Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928
Oakland Tribune January 1928

Casa Altadena carries out the discerning taste of its decorators, who sought to weave into them, the romance of the Peraltas.

Sf Examiner February 11, 1928

Details include its tiled roof, arched doorways, decorative tiles, wood trims, antique wall sconces and decorative wrought-iron work.

SF Examiner February 11, 1928
For Sale in 1931Oakland Tribune

Casa Altadena Today

Casa Altadena 6401 Chelton
Casa Altadena today 6401 Chelton Drive Oakland CA
  • Casa Altadena
  • Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines)
  • Open Jan 29, 1928
  • Spanish design
  • Realty Syndicate
  • Still there
  • 6401 Chelton Drive

Location on Google maps

More Info:

Updated July 17, 2020

The End