Posted in East Oakland, Homes, Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Central Terrace – 55th and Foothill

It is located where Foothill Blvd meets Trask Street and 55th Avenue. 55th Avenue was formally called Central Avenue, and Foothill Blvd was often referred to as the Scenic Boulevard. Central Terrace also includes Ruth Avenue, Laverne Avenue, El Camille Avenue, and Kingsland Avenue. The area now is considered to be an extension of Maxwell Park or the Fairfax District, depending on who you talk to.

Mutual Realty Co.’s Central Terrace office,
Foothill Boulevard at 55th Avenue and Trask Street looking north
Cheney Photo Adv. Co., photographers. C 1912
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Brochure for Central Terrace

The Mutual Realty Company put the Central Terrace Subdivision on sale in April of 1912.  The agent was Fred T. Wood, who later took over the project. Then they added the Central Terrace Extension and Scenic Park Knoll

Earth Sciences and Map Library,
The University of California, Berkeley -Cadastral map. Historic Maps of Bay Area

Central Terrace is surrounded by modern schools and educational institutions of the very highest standard, the John C. Fremont high erected at the cost of $140,000, the Melrose School, the W.P. Frick School and the Lockwood Grammar School and the famous Mills Seminary for young ladies, all are within short walking distance from any part of Central Terrace”

See brochure below

Central Terr 1915_side
Earth Sciences and Map Library,
University of California, Berkeley –
Historic Maps of Bay Area
centarl-terrace-brochure-front
Earth Sciences and Map Library,
University of California, Berkeley –
Historic Maps of Bay Area
From the Brochure
Oakland Tribune Apr 1912
Foothill Blvd at 55th Avenue
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Laverne from 55th Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Ruth Ave from 55th Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
Ruth Ave
Photo By Cheney Advertising c 1912
Previously Sold on eBay
55th and Ruth Ave – Google Maps
Foothill and 55th today – Google maps

More to come –

Posted in History, Model/Display Homes, Oakland, Tract or Subdivisions

Oakmore Highland Model Homes

Breuner-Tribune Home June 1934

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Oakland Tribune Jun 1934
1774 Liedmet
1774 Leimert Blvd –  Google maps

Display Homes of 1934

New homes at 1746 Leimert, 1808 Leimert and 1816 Leimert – Sept 1934

1746 Leimert-COLLAGE

1746 Leimert, 1808 Leimert and 1816 Leimert

Just a few of the homes in the Oakmore Highlands Neighborhood.

The End

Posted in Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Havenscourt

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SF Call Nov 29, 1913

Wickman Havens Real Estate Company opened Havenscourt in 1912.   Within the 170 acres  Havenscourt there are 21 miles of streets and sidewalks.¹

The_San_Francisco_Call_Sat__Apr_13__1912_

The official entrance was at Havenscourt Blvd and East 14th Street, where there was a pergola and a gazebo. The Havenscourt station and business district was located  Havenscourt Blvd and Bancroft.²

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Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising – Oakland History Room
The entrance to Havenscourt
1920Havenscourt Station East 14th St. & Havenscourt Blvd.
Havenscourt Blvd at Bancroft looking towards Frick School

Two Schools, 17 Acres Playground, a Civic Center and train station

Picture21
67th Avenue between Arthur St and Avenal Ave
Picture20
64th Avenue and Foothill Blvd
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Looking south on 66th Street from Arthur St

Then and Now – Above and Below

66th Avenue Today – Google Maps
HAVENSCOURT-HOMES-65th-AVE-ARTHUR-ST-VIEW-OAKLAND-1914-
Looking south on 65th Ave from Arthur St
2546 65th Ave – Today
Picture13

All photos were taken by Cheney Photo Advertising Company and are from Oakland History Room or OMCA.

Links:

  1. Story of Havenscourt – SF Call Nov 29, 1913
  2.  The Home Place Beautiful – Oakland Tribune Jun 1, 1912
  3.  Showing 6712 Flora St circa 1912-1916 OMCA – Havenscourt Tract Block 3

The End

Updated Dec 16, 2019

Posted in Oakland, Oakland Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Oakmore Highlands

OakmoreRollingHIlls
Rolling Hills of Oakmore circa 1920’s – Oakland History Room

Natural beauty abounds in the 150 acres of wooded, rolling hills that comprise the Oakmore District or Oakmore Highlands.  The Walter H. Leimert Company laid out the subdivision with wide streets and ample sidewalks.  See Oakmore Highland History

The Leimert Bridge was designed in 1926, by George A. Posey, to safely accommodate vehicle traffic, Park Boulevard Streetcars, and pedestrians.

The Leimert Bridge during construction and in 1926,  Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising

The original subdivision was bordered by Sausal Creek and Dimond Canyon.  During the initial sales period, sound design was promoted through a model open house program called the ‘Oakmore Home Ideal’ where buyers could visit a custom home designed by local architects Miller & Warnecke.

Later, in 1934, The Leimert Company teamed with the Oakland Tribune and Breuner’s Furniture Company to furnish a demonstration model home that drew 8,000 visitors in three weeks.

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Oakland Tribune June 28, 1934

The following year another Breuner’s furnished house was nicknamed “Golden Windows” to highlight the extensive use of glass on the view side of the home and the commanding views from the subdivision.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Aug_4__1935_
Oakland Tribune August 1934
  • Real Estate Developer: Walter H. Leimert Company
  • Contractors: Park Boulevard Company
  • Property Managers: Mitchell & Austin
  • 150 Acres, 4 tracts 440 lots
  • Sales began in October 1926

Photos

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Aerial view of upper Dimond Canyon and surrounding, still mostly undeveloped, neighborhoods, Leimert Bridge visible in the foreground. – 1926-1936 Oakland History Room
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Aerial view of Dimond Canyon – 1926-1936 – Oakland History Room

Various Articles

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Oakland Tribune Jan 05, 1927

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_1__1927_ (5)

Posted in Oakland, Tract or Subdivisions

College Pines

ohrphoto.districts.109
Broadway Terrace @ Ostrander St. (see below)  Photo from Oakland History Room.

College Pines is located at the corner of  Broadway Terrace and Harbord Drive location(formally Edith), just past the Claremont Country Club.  The name of College Pines was chosen because of the close proximity to the College of the Sisters of Holy Names, new High School.  The sales office was located at the corner of Broadway Terrace and Ostrander Road, as seen above.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_19__1932_

Oakland Tribune 1932

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Oakland Tribune June 12, 1932

Below are pictures of  Broadway Terrace and Chetwoood and Broadway Terrace and Harbord Drive.   They were taken in 1933 and are from the Oakland Public Library History Room.

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Harbord Drive and Broadway Terrace in 1933 –  Oakland History Room Photo

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Broadway Terrace and Clarewood Drive in 1933 – Oakland History Room photo

The homesites front on along Harbord Drive for about a half-mile or more.  The lots were priced at $27.00 per foot.  A forty-foot lot would cost $1075.00, with a low down payment and easy terms.  Sold by the Claremont Pines Corporation and later Michell & Austin.

Oakland Tribune June 1932

Holy Names Centra High School was built on Harbord Drive and opened in 1934.

Display Homes

In December of 1933, the first display home opened at 4339 Harbord Drive. The house had eight rooms with two baths and a 14 x 32-foot rumpus room and “pleasing features galore.”  The house was priced at $6850 and was recently sold in 2016 for $1,360,000.

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Oakland Tribune Dec 1933

In September of 1934, another display home was opened at 4347 Harbord Drive.  The green and white wood and brick cottage and two bedrooms and a den or nursery and a large playroom. The house was priced at $6500, with just $75 down payment and $75 a month.  The home recently sold for $825,000 in 2012.

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Oakland Tribune Sept 1934

Misc. ads for homes

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_18__1940_

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_28__1940_Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Mar_10__1940_

Update:

The stone pillar is still there at the corner of Broadway Terrace and Ostrander Street

broadway terr
Broadway Terrace and Ostrander St 2018 – Photo from Google Maps

Posted in History, Oakland

Oakland…The White City

This is not about race. It about when Oakland city planners decided to market Oakland as “The White City.”  As a suggestion to future designers and builders.  It was not intended to be used in public, just circulated among builders and planners of the city.   I get the thinking behind the slogan and can almost picture Oakland with the sun shining on the buildings.  This was not the first time the slogan of a White City was used.  The Great White City

This was in 1914.


‘White City, Oakland Plan

Years ago, in about 1914, a noted architect(of the time) while looking back at Oakland from a ferryboat, “he spoke of it as “The White City.”   What he saw was the new shiny white buildings of Oakland, turn golden in the sunlight.   Oakland on a  “sunny day, the blue sky, and white buildings turned golden in the sun, remind one of the mystical cities of Maxfield Parish”  Oakland Tribune Oct 1916

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The origin of  Oakland… The White City – Oakland Tribune October 28, 1916

Style as Artistic Feature

In 1914 a plan to further the beautification of Oakland and designed to make Oakland more striking from the bay.   Members of the Oakland Commercial Club,  A.S. Lavenson, vice-president of the club, and city planning enthusiast and H. A. Lafler of the same organization. Oakland Commercial Club, Oakland, 1913;

Their idea was to suggest that builders in the future, especially in the taller buildings, use white material.   Oakland, as a “white city” situated before the hills in an elevated position, could be a remarkable sight.  A great mass of white buildings, with tall spires or towers, like many of that time “give semblance of, well it is declared, Oakland truly wonderful”  Oakland Tribune Sept 1914.

Already the from the bay the new City hall, the new federal building, and the Central Bank building and other tall buildings in white, present a remarkable site all standing out from brown hills and their surroundings “like great monuments to progress”  Oakland Tribune Sept 1914

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Oakland Tribune  Sept 1914

Uniform Skyline and White Buildings

 

 

 

 

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Transportation

The First Bus Lines in Oakland

New Service to Montclair
From Ac Transit Time Sept 1961

In May of 1921, The Key System began to operate a motorcoach service. The first line opened up on May 16, 1921, to Mills College and a week later on May 21, service to Montclair began.

The Realty Syndicate purchased and paid the bills for the motor coaches, to provide transportation for potential customers to Montclair. The coaches were painted to match the streetcars.

There is a little dispute as to which line was first, the Montclair, or the Mills College lines. My feeling is a tie – they both started in May 1921.

The first tract office was a tent, and later it was a small building.  The tract office was then moved the triangle piece of land at Mountain Blvd, Antioch St, and Antioch Ct.  The building later became the offices of Winder Gahan, real estate agents in dealing with Montclair.  The original site as seen in the photo was located on the opposite side of Moraga Rd (at LaSalle) which is now in the middle of the Warren Freeway (Hwy 13).

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_25__1940_ (1)
Offices of Winder Gahan at Antioch St and Antioch Ct. circa 1942

 The Schedule

During the commuting hours, 6am-9am and 5 to 7pm every 20 minutes. During the remainder of the day, a 40-minute service. The fare was 6¢ with transfer privileges to streetcars.  In 1924 they offered service to run until midnight.  Before this, bus transportation had been confined to the out-of-town service along the highway.

New Terminal – October 1928

In 1928 a new $18,000 Terminal was built in Montclair.  It was located at the corner of Mountain Blvd and La Salle, a short walk to the Sacramento Northern station.  The Spanish Style building was designed by local architect  Hamilton Murdock and was the first building structure in Montclair.  An Architectural Guide – Pg. 276 

The building is still standing and is located at  6206 La Salle Ave.

A Reunion

In September of 1961, a forty-year-old photo led a reunion between to former drivers who pioneered local motorcoach service in the East Bay.

J.L. “Marty” Martin started working in May 1921, and C.E. Pehrson began in September of that same year.  They met in Montclair at the approximate site of the first terminal and discuss new verses or coaches and how much things had changed.

AC Tansit newsletter
Sept 1961 – Reunion – Please see link ( 2) below to read the online version of this

Various from the Oakland Tribune

References
  1. Historical Photo of Early Bus Found  Transit Times April 1975
  2. Reunion of early drivers  Transit Times September 1961
  3. More on A.C. Transit – Transit Times September 1963

The End

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts

Montclair Display Homes

Narragansett House

Narragansett House is a New England Colonial-style home in the Montclair Highlands Section on Balboa Drive, built as a model home in 1937.

The home opened in February 1937, by the end of the first week, 3500 toured the house and by the end of April 1937 over 25,000 had visited the home.

Oakland Tribune February 1937

  • Narragansett House
  •  Montclair Highlands
  • Colonial style
  • Emge and Stockman – Developer
  • Earl R McDonald – Architect
  • HC Capwell’s – Decorator
  • Opened February 1937
  • 5546 Balboa Drive

Tomorrow’s Home Today

Tomorrow’s Home Today was the first Oakland Home constructed under the Precision Built system, and it opened December 1939.  It is located at the corner lot at  Balboa and Colton Blvd in Montclair Highlands, with a sweeping view of the San Francisco Bay.

The home was sold by Montclair Realty Co.

“The walls and ceilings were built with Homasote, the oldest and strongest insulating and building board on the market.  The walls were prefabricated by the Precision-Built process in the shop of a local mill under standards of exacting accuracy, which ensure tight joints, freedom from sagging, and permanently crack-proof walls and ceilings”.  Oakland Tribune Jan 21, 1940

Oakland Tribune Dec 1939 and Jan 1940

  • Tomorrow’s Home Today
  • Montclair Highlands
  • Montclair Realty
  • John Wagenet – Architect
  • Mac Jordon – Builder
  • Arthur Cobbledick – Landscaper
  • Opened December 1939
  • 5500 Balboa Drive –
5500 Balboa Drive

The End

Posted in History, Montclair Tracts

Merriewood

Merriewood is a section or neighborhood of Montclair District of Oakland.   The Realty Syndicate were the exclusive agents selling the tract.  It first went on sale in 1924.

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Oakland Tribune Yearbook 1926

Oakland Tribune stated that:

no other tract in Oakland can offer such a “combination of magnificent view and comfortable home”   The ad went on to say  “it is so pleasant and healthful with trees all around and birds singing away –Great for youngsters”  October 1925

Lots in Merriewood were selling for as little as $1750 and as much as $2450 for a completely finished home.  $30 a month with interest.

 What your money bought in the 1920s:

  • Large lot wooded and clear
  • Well built roomy house
  • Variety of floor plans
  • Gas, lights, water, paved streets
  • Fast local and San Francisco transportation

Public Stairways

The Merriewood Stairs are divided into two sections the Lower Merriewood stairs (from Thornhill Drive to Marden Lane to Merriewood) and the Upper Merriewood stairs (from Merriewood Drive to Valley View Road to Merriewood again). Merriewood Stairs _ Oakland Local Wiki.

Street Names

In Merriewood, there is a group of streets named for the signs of the Zodiac. The streets are Aquarius Way, Capricorn Ave, Leo Way, Taurus Ave, Uranus Ave, and Virgo Rd.  There are small cluster streets named in honor of Robin Hood. They are Nottingham Dr., Robin Hood Way, and Sherwood Dr. Street Names Oakland Local Wiki

Various Clippings from the Oakland Tribune

From the Oakland Tribune 1924

First Model Home

The first model home was located on Thornhill Drive and Grisborne Ave.  The address was 5815 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive).  It served as the model home and tract office for Merriewood.  Later it was the offices of  Phil Hearty, who sold real estate in Montclair for years, he also was involved in the development of many tracts in Oakland.

It is now the home of Montclair Community Play Center, which has served Oakland since 1933. Montclair Community Play Center

Model Home 5815 Thorn Road Oakland Tribune Sep-Oct 1924

Various Homes in Merriewood Oakland Tribune 1924-1927

Many of the old houses on Merriewood Drive were built as vacation cabins, and several retain their original clapboard siding: 5574 (1924), 5826 (1925), 5844 (1925), 5857 (1925), and 5876 (1926). An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area

Posted in Early Montclair, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair Highlands – Top of the World

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Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands was one of the earlier subdivisions in Montclair.  Located in the hills back of Piedmont and just above Montclair’s Business district or the “Townsite” as locals called it in 1925.

“Montclair Business Center, as the name indicates, is the tract opened as a community trading district.”   Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

“Montclair Highlands is separated by the Business Center from the original Montclair” (more on that later).  Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands fronts out overlooking the bay and beyond.

“It is said that the elevation of Montclair highlands affords a view which surpasses anything from any other point in Oakland.”  Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands is soon called the “Top of the World.”

The beautiful panorama afforded from the “Top of the World” is available to you all today – to be framed permanently by the windows of the home, you will build”   C P Murdock  Vice President of the Realty Syndicate – Oakland Tribune May 31, 1925.

“Skyline Blvd, which runs through Montclair Highlands has for years been the great scenic drive of the Eastbay.”  Oakland Tribune Tribune May 31, 1925

Oakland Tribune May 1925

 

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Oakland Tribune May 31, 1925

 

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Oakland Tribune June 7, 1925

 

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Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925

 

Coming soon:

  • Observation Tower – Top of the World
  • The Model Homes of Montclair Highlands
  • Bus Service to Montclair Highlands