Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools – Part 20

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.   Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight.  

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.  

Montera Junior High

Montera and Joaquin Miller Schools are located where Camp Dimond owned by the Boy Scouts once was. The camp opened in 1919 and closed in 1949 when the land purchased by the board of education.

Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in December of 1957. The school was next to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  Speakers at the event were Peter C. Jurs, member of the board, Mrs. Robert Hithcock, President of the Joaquin Miller PTA, Zoe Kenton, eighth-grade student, Jim Ida seventh grade student, and Supt Selmer Berg. Rev Robert H. Carley led the invocation.

Malcolm D. Reynolds and Loy Chamberlain designed the school. The new school featured: Administration Offices.

Construction

Jan 1958
1958
Parking Lot – November 1958
Gymnasium
June 1958
Russ Reed Photo

Naming the School

Montera Junior High – Nov 1959

The school was temporarily called Joaquin Miller Junior High that was because it is adjacent to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  

As is the case of all new Oakland School, the students, faculty, and community help choose the name of the school. 

Recommendations to the school board from the school’s parent -facility club were as follows:

  1. Jack London Junior High
  2. Montera Junior High
  3. Pineview Junior High

They were set to vote on the name at the next board meeting. Before they could vote, they received a second letter from the parent-faculty club at the school withdrawing the recommendation of Jack London Junior High.

The parents said that

London was not a fit person for the honor.

Parent – Faculty
SF Chronicle – Oct 1959

 A student representative said, “Montera Junior High” was the top choice for those attending the school. The area was known historically as the Montera District.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1924

School Dedication

The school was formally dedicated as Montera Junior High on November 10, 1959

November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959

Film Festival

Oakland Tribune 1971

Montera Today

Montera is located at 5555 Ascot Drive.  

Montera Toros
Montera-OUSD Photo
Montera – OUSD Photo

In 2011, Montera became a California Distinguished School. The woodshop is another source of school pride, having celebrated over 50 years of teaching children the arts of woodcraft. It is the only remaining woodshop in an Oakland middle school.

More Info:

Posted in Montclair, People

Grateful Dead House – Oakland

The Grateful Dead once partied at 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.

6024 Ascot Drive
Oakland Tribune May9, 1948

In 1948 house at 6024 Ascot Drive was advertised as an ‘ A Little Bit of Mexico” in beautiful Piedmont Hills ( Piedmont Pines), nestled in a glorious 2 1/4 acres: balconies overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. All the tiles in the bathrooms came from the Muresque Tile Co. of Oakland, one of the premier West Coast tilemakers in the 1920s and ’30s. Property highlights include a log cabin family room.

In 1968 Michael Leibert, his wife Alexa, and their 5 dogs lived at 6024 Ascot. Leibert was the founder of the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

The house had a routine existence until sometime during the late sixties, the house was rented by Owsley “Bear” Stanley (1935-2011) was an American audio engineer and chemist.

Stanley was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. By his own account, between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced no less than 500 grams of LSD, amounting to a little more than five million doses.

Owsley was a crucial figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture. Under the professional name Bear, he was the soundman for the rock band the Grateful Dead, whom he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Acid Test party. As their sound engineer, Stanley frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and developed their Wall of Sound sound system, one of the largest mobile public address systems ever constructed.

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Google Books
Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1970

In 1972 the house was advertised an authentic Spanish “Villa.” Back on the market.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1972
SF Examiner 1998

The house was sold in 2012 for 1.2 million dollars.   A September 2012 article, “Rest Your Head Where the Grateful Dead Once Partied,” was posted on the  Curbed San Francisco website.

More Info –

The End

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair

Silver Windows – Piedmont Pines

Oakland Tribune Jan 1937

“Silver Windows” was a display home in the Piedmont Pines section of Montclair. The house opened for the public to see in 1936. The house was designed by F. Harvey Slocombe. It is on Darby 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

Oakland Tribune Dec 06, 1936

Sunlight through “Silver Windows”

Oakland Tribune Dec 13, 1936

Oakland Tribune Dec 13, 1936
Oakland Tribune Dec 1936

From the curved window in the living room, you could see all of Oakland, plus two bridges,

Oakland Tribune Dec 1936
Oakland Tribune Dec 1936

The kitchen, with its floors curving into the wall, eliminating dust-gathering corners was of particular interest to the women visitors. The kitchen was “all-metal” with a gleaming sink, drainboard, work board, and cabinets. Oakland Tribune Mar 19, 1937

Oakland Tribune Feb 14, 1937
Oakland Tribune Dec 1936

Silver Windows Today

Google maps

Links and More:

Posted in Model/Display Homes

26 Ascot Court – Piedmont Pines

Model Home Opens –

26 Ascot Court is on a quiet cul-de-sac in Piedmont Pines, and it opened for inspection in October 1935.

Oakland Tribune – Oct 07, 1934
See here
in 2019 from Realtor.Com

The French regency designed home was a joint effort of Frederick L. Confer and his father, F.W. Confer.

The house was built on a sloping lot among the pine trees with a picturesque view of the bay and the Golden Gate. The lot is just under 1/2 acre in size.

The home was sold before it was completed. The buyer was R.F.D. Le Mon of New York, who was planning on making Oakland his home.

R.F.D Le Mon was the developer of the Le Mon Park section of Piedmont Pines.

Mitchell & Austin were the realtors in charge of the property.

Featured in Architectural Magazine

October 1936

The house featured in an article called ” Homes – They Are Building Them Now” in the October 1936 edition of The Architect and the Engineer.

Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936 –

Frederick L. Confer has designed many homes in the Oakland. Including the Style House, which was discussed in a previous post.

In 1937 he designed another home for R.F.D. Le Mon at 14 Cornwall Court.

Putting down roots in Montclair

In 1944 Admiral Thomas Sprague and his family moved into 26 Ascot Court. But his life in the Navy took off and traveled around the world. In 1951 Sprague retired from the Navy, and they settled in after only living in them for 2 weeks in the 8 years they owned it.

The Sprague Family lived there until about 1963 after Mrs. Sprague passed away.

A Montclair Treasure – March 2019

In March of 2019, the house was put on the market for $ 1,249, 000 and it sold for April of 2019 for $1,300,000.

From Realtor.com
Realtor.Com
Realtor.Com

Links:

The End

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Coronation House – Le Mon Park Piedmont Pines

Coronation House opens in LeMon Park – May 1937

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_16__1937_ (3)
Oakland Tribune May 1937

The “Coronation House,” a display home for the Mitchell & Austin, opened on May 2, 1937, in the Le Mon Park section of Piedmont Pines.  It is located on Castle Drive.  The display home was furnished by Breuner’s in keeping the Coronation theme (King George’s Coronation May 1937).

 

 

“English architectural riches have been transplanted to Piedmont Pines in Coronation House”  the ad goes on the say ” Coronation House “fit for a king” in the beautiful Le Mon tract… the crowning achievement of the season”  – Oakland Tribune May 2, 1937

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_2__1937_ (2)
Oakland Tribune May 2, 1937

“this six-room home with three bedrooms and a bath, with gorgeous living room and un-impaired view, delightful recreation room and kitchen.”

“the coronation motif is carried out throughout, the crown drapes furnishing a fitting background for pieces following the English provincial motif” – Oakland Tribune May 1937

 

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_2__1937_ (6)
Oakland Tribune May 1937

 

  • Coronation House
  • Le Mon Park – Piedmont Pines
  • 1937
  • Mitchell & Austin Real Estate
  • Still there
  • 6301 Castle Drive

 

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Uncategorized

Le Mon Park Section of Piedmont Pines

What a view!

 

12697230_10206109845886030_5814170892301800655_o
Taken from Le Mon Park for the Oakland Tribune Year Book 1938

 

The name Le Mon Park comes from R.F.D. Le Mon, a New York capitalist, who made his home there a few years ago after purchasing a large amount of land to develop and build beautiful residences.  Le Mon purchased 60 acres of panoramic view property, in the heart of Piedmont Pines on Castle Drive and Cornwall Court.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_20__1937_ (1)
Oakland Tribune June 20, 1937

From the Oakland Tribune,” With an elevation ranging from 1300 to 1400 feet, Le Mon Park in Piedmont Pines commands a view of which its residents can never be deprived.”

The Model Homes

  • Coronation House – 1937
  • Villadora – The House of Gold – 1937
  • Fremont House – 1937
  • 5927 Chelton Drive – 1937
  • Penthouse – 1938
  • Weybridge Gables – 1938
  • Chateau Longue-Vue – 1939
  • Maison Normandie – 1940

I will write more on the Model Homes of Le Mon Park at a later date.

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair, Montclair Tracts

Smith Reserve

The Smith Reserve is a subdivision in Montclair and is now known as Piedmont Pines.  

The area is located at the top of  Park Blvd with borders on Shepherd Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park and up to Skyline Blvd.

Oakland Tribune 1928

“Selected years ago By F.M. “Borax” Smith as a private estate”.

Oakland Tribune May 22, 1926.

F.M. “Borax” Smith set this land and another piece of further down on Park Blvd aside for his own private estate.  The area at the top of Dimond Canyon and included two creeks where Smith could hunt and have picnics.

He chose to build his home “Arbor Villa” on land located at Park Blvd between E 22nd and E 28th. Arbor Villa – Oakland Local WIki

In 1919, 25 acres of the Smith Reserve was sold to the Oakland-Piedmont Council of the Boy Scouts of America, for camp for the scouts.  It was called Camp Dimond was in use from 1919-1948.

In 1948 the Oakland Public School district took over the land and built Joaquin Miller Elementary and Montera Junior High Schools.

Smith Reserve Goes on Sale May 1926

Smith reserve is the most beautiful tract of land opened by the Syndicate Company” 

Oakland Tribune May 23, 1926

In July of 1926, two months after the subdivision was open, the Realty Syndicate reported nearly $250,000 in sales.  It was also reported that a bus transportation system will be put into operation, connecting with both local and San Francisco electric lines. -Oakland Tribune, July 18, 1928.

Bus Service to Smith Reserve

Admiring Smith Reserve

In an October 1928 edition of the Oakland Tribune noted actress, Miss Grace Valentine acclaims. Miss Valentine was staring at the Fulton Theatre.

Smith Reserve the most beautiful home-park that she had ever seen in the Eastbay”. “If I were a permanent resident of the East Bay I would certainly wish to make my home in this beautiful park”

Miss. Valentine Oct 1928

 More clippings about Smith Reserve

Please see: Casa Altadena 

Please see: Casa Maria Luisa

The End

Updated Dec 16, 2019

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

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair, Tract or Subdivisions

Spanish Home for Smith Reserve

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, will represent 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.

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 Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jan_12__1930_(1)
Casa Maria Luisa opens – Jan 12, 1930

Casa Maria Luisa opened to rave reviews claiming to be “the most beautiful and popular home ever shown in Oakland.”  In 1931, The Oakland Tribune Yearbook named it one of the most beautiful homes of that year.

In 1987 the home was bought by a couple 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

The End

Updated Dec 16, 2019