Posted in Homes, People

Fountain of Serenity

Updated March 19, 2020

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Fountain of Serenity in Knowland State Arboretum and Park. “Serena,” the statue which tops the fountain, inspires calm and courage in the face of worldly troubles.   Oakland Tribune 

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Oakland Tribune Aug 31, 1958

Previous Location

Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1962

The fountain once graced the gardens of the home of James H. Latham. Latham purchased the land in 1878 from Samuel B. Merritt.

Latham sold the home to Horace H. Seaton in 1885, who sold it, S. Murray, in 1892, who then sold it to  Edward G. Lukens in 1897. Lukens, son, was state Senator George R. Lukens.

Oakland Tribune 1898

In its heyday, the old mansion was a showplace. The home was a three-story structure with 25 rooms, a billiard room, a glass conservatory, and a bowling alley in the rear. There was also an ornate two-story barn with a hayloft and with horse stalls.

Undated – the fountain closer to the right side of the photo.

The Lukens family lived there until the death of Mrs. Emma Lukens in 1925.

Sometime after the death of Mrs. Lukens, the mansion was purchased by Edger L. Buttnera civic leader, and electrical contractor.

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928
Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1928

Barn/Livery Stable

In about 1938, Raoul Pause, a leading Oakland ballet teacher, converted part of the old two-story barn into a ballet studio. Many of the Oakland Ballet’s first dancers were students of Raoul Pause., he was the brother of Paul Pause of Montclair Reality.

In October of 1948, the building was damaged in a fire.

In 1952 the same building was destroyed by another fire.  At the time of the fire, the building was being used by the Hotel Senator (a boarding house) as a garage.

In 1957 the mansion was demolished to make room for an apartment complex.

Oakland Tribune May 17, 1957
Oakland Tribune June 02, 1957

The Fountain Today

The Latham-Ducel Fountain is the centerpiece of Preservation Park. It’s more popularly known as the Diana Fountain. The fountain is cast iron and was forged in Paris in the 1870s.

Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

Latham-Ducel fountain
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

My question is that Serena or Diana on the top of the fountain?

More Info:

Western Fuse Company Explosion

E.G. Lukens was the owner of  Western Fuse and Explosives Company.  See Oakland Local Wiki – 

Oakland Tribune Jul 19, 1898

Latham Square Fountain

The Latham Square Fountain is located at the intersection of Telegraph and Broadway in downtown Oakland. It was erected in 1913 as a memorial for James H. Latham and Henrietta Latham by their children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

SF Call 1913

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 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 Model/Display Homes, Montclair, Tract or Subdivisions

Spanish Home for Smith Reserve

Updated Jan 2021

Casa maria luisa Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Dec_15__1929_(1)

A Spanish Type Home for Smith Reserve” (now the Piedmont Pines section of Montclair in Oakland)  –

Oakland Tribune December 15, 1929.

“The Casa Maria Luisa,”  the first of the “Daughter of Peralta” homes will be open an exhibition residence with imported furnishings in Smith Reserve shortly after Jan 1, 1930.  Fully decorated by H.C. Capwell company and sold by the Realty Syndicate.

Casa Maria Luisa, when completely furnished, represented an investment of $50,000.

“Master craftsmen have been employed in building and furnishing this usual home”

Oakland Tribune January 19, 1930

The beams and ceilings were stenciled by one of the noted Cathedral Artists, lighting fixtures from rare old-world patterns, overhanging balconies reminiscent of early Spanish-California with heavy doors.  Oriental rugs of Spanish design made to order.  The house had numerous 1930’s state of the art features, including a Walker Electric Sink and a two-ventilator in the kitchen.

Oakland Tribune Jan 12, 1930

Casa Maria Luisa occupies three wooded lots with a panoramic view. Surrounding the home with rare shrubs, plants, and Monterey and Cypress Trees.

Casa Maria Luisa opened to rave reviews claiming to be “the most beautiful and popular home ever shown in Oakland.” 

SF Examiner Apr 1930

By April of 1930 the number of people who visited Casa Maria Luisa was 46,000.

In 1931, The Oakland Tribune Yearbook named it one of the most beautiful homes of that year.

In 1987 a couple bought the home from the original owner Cordelia Wanderforde, who had lived there some 50 years.  They put a lot of money into repairing and updating the house.

  • 6514 Ascott Drive
  • Built 1929-30
  • Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines)
  • Realty Syndicate
  • Hamilton Murdock – Architect
  • Opened 1930 for a $18,500
  • Last sold 1997 for $698,000
6514 Ascot Drive Casa Maria Luisa
Casa Maria Luisa Today – from Google maps
6514 Ascot Drive – Google Maps

More Info:

The End