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 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.
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. Later they added the Central Terrace Extension and Scenic Park Knoll
“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”
Natural beauty abounds in the 150 acres of wooded, rolling hills that comprise the Oakmore District or Oakmore Highlands. The Walter H. LeimertCompany laid out the subdivision with wide paved streets and ample sidewalks. See Oakmore Highland History
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, good 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 FurnitureCompany to furnish a demonstration model home that drew 8,000 visitors in a three week period.
The following year another Breuner’s furnished house was nicknamed “Golden Windows” to highlight the expansive use of glass on the view side of the home and the commanding views from the subdivision.
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.
In December of 1933, the first display home opened at 4339 Harbord Drive. The home had eight rooms with two baths and a 14 x 32-foot rumpus room and “pleasing features galore”. The home was priced at $6850 and was recently sold in 2016 for $1,360,000.
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 house recently sold for $825,000 in 2012.
Misc. ads for homes
The stone pillar is still there at the corner of Broadway Terrace and Ostrander Street
I started this blog because I have collected so much information on the history of Oakland that I couldn’t wait to share. Posting in Facebook groups isn’t the best outlet for me. I love sharing what I know and reading what others share. But things get lost on Facebook.
So with the help of my dear friend Phil (setup and how to), I got started and I was off running, well sort of. This should be easy I say to myself because, in my mind, I had already laid out actual pages and everything I wanted to say.
But it wasn’t.
I tend to get bogged down in the details. I worry about not getting my facts correct. It is hard for me to find a happy medium between too much and too little. So, this is a work in progress, so bear with me.
Down The Hole, I Go
But I have digressed from the topic of this post. Often when researching one thing you find something else that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but it piques your interest. That happens to me a lot.
You might know this as the “Internet rabbit hole” you know when you try to research one thing, and then accidentally go to Wikipedia, and then you are trying to find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? That is it in a nutshell.
One rabbit hole I get sucked into often is I will see a picture like this one and want to know more about it.
Is it still there?
Those two things can be very hard as sometimes the location is very vague and wrong. Sometimes the location is correct in the form of an address right below the picture. When looking up the location I am also curious as to who the house was being built for, were they famous or rich, maybe both?
I have compiled a lot of these pictures of newly built houses. I decided to create a map using Google Maps. The map I have created is called “What was there or still is… Oakland California”. I have already added lots of the homes that I have found while down in the rabbit hole.
What was there or still is… Oakland California
Description of the Map
Some from long ago and long gone, but some still there. Based on clippings, newspapers, and photos. May not be accurate as address numbers have changed and locations were often vague.
Maroon – Still there
Black – Gone
Yellow – Landmark
Green – Berkeley
Purple – Piedmont
Red – Questions – researching
Here is a link to the map. Click on it to see. Please feel free to share it.
I still have lots of pages in the works just have to get myself out of this hole.