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Bruce Wagg

Piedmont - Oakland - Alameda - East Bay Real Estate

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Oakland History

There are currently 20 blog entries related to this category.

History and Beauty-The USS Potomac At Jack London Square

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 10:42am. 189 Views, 0 Comments.

Oakland's Jack London Square has become an amazing venue for both local and international visitors.  Sitting right on the Oakland Estuary, it is a collection of handsome restaurants, shops, and it's famous Sunday Farmer's Market.  It is also the starting off point for the San Francisco Ferry which will take passengers to the City or Marin county.  However, if you want to spend some leisure time on San Francisco Bay, the USS Potomac is the place for you.  There are no high speed trips across the water, just leisurely tours packed with lots of information.

Originally built for the U.S. Coast Guard in 1934, this 165 ft. vessel was renamed the USS Potomac, in 1936, and became Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945. 

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Discover The Oakland Museum Of California-Free Admission Tomorrow

Saturday, February 1st, 2014 at 10:49am. 318 Views, 0 Comments.


 If you have not set a time aside to visit Oakland's "home town" museum, tomorrow would be an excellent time to do so.  In a regular effort to attract and new families and friends, the museum is holding a "Free First Sunday" event, tomorrow, February 2nd, from 11:00 am-5 pm..There is so much to see beyond the normal museum presentations.  Featured are special exhibitions.  Here is the current list focused around the Year of the Bay:

a. Above and Below: Stories from our Changing Bay

b. Bay Motion: Capturing San Francisco Bay on Film

c. A Cinematic Study of of Fog in San Francisco

If you want to join a docent tour to learn even more about the museum, save 1:00 p.m. for the Architecture Tour,  2:00 p.m. for the Gallery of California Art

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Oakland's Montclair Village's Historic Railroad

Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 11:26am. 1,064 Views, 0 Comments.


While many Montclair homeowners travel to San Francisco by car and BART today, they had another option just under a century ago--The Sacramento Northern Railway (SNR).  Beginning in 1928, the SNR provided service for both passengers and freight, going from San Francisco through Emeryville and Oakland, and then through Montclair, and on into Contra Costa County. Montclair residents can conduct their own mystery tour throughout the area to locate the actual path of the train through the village.  Clues are still visible in some areas.  The first clue is what is called "Shore Line Pocket Part" at Thornhill and Moraga.  To get there, the line passed by Lake Temescal, came along what is now Highway 13, and crossed the impressive trestle built at that

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Piedmont's Civic Heritage--Architect Albert Farr's Legacy

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 at 10:16am. 498 Views, 0 Comments.

When Piedmont homeowners drive by Piedmont City Hall during their daily family activities, they may not realize the source of this very unique, and handsome building with its lovely fountain, and appealing and gracious Spanish Mission style influence. Designed by famous architect Albert Farr, it's original design was a combined city hall and fire department with a bell tower (which cleverly doubled as a hose drying tower). Built in 1908, it was the beginning of the circle of creativity in the area.  One of the most famous downtown landmarks, the Exedra Arch, was designed by Farr in 1916, and has become an iconic symbol of the city. 

Just across from the Arch, at 400 Highland Avenue, is the Piedmont Community Church.  This was part of the

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When Oakland's Montclair Village Met Hansel and Gretel

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 at 12:04pm. 439 Views, 0 Comments.

While long term Montclair homeowners know about this unique structure, and are used to seeing it daily as they drive around the Village, newcomers are often truly surprised by this very unique structure on Moraga Road, adjacent to Montclair Park.  It is in fact, the old Montclair Firehouse, and when built, fit very nicely into the unique "Storybook" or "Hansel and Gretel" style of architecture that was developing in the area.  Built in 1927, by the city of Oakland, it was designed to replicate the German forest of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale.  In fact, the style was so popular, the city developed the same basic look for the Montclair Public Library just around the corner on Mountain Boulevard which still operates today, and is especially

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Oakland Homeowners Appreciate Historic Joaquin Miller Park

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 at 10:18am. 335 Views, 0 Comments.

High in the hills above Oakland, CA is the quiet and beautiful Joaquin Miller Park.  Many of the park's 500 acres have sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and adjacent cities.  Located just above one of the largest cities in Northern California, it is home to the only urban second-growth redwood groves in existence, and it offers many picnic areas and trails for families to enjoy.  Adjacent to both the Montclair and Redwood Heights neighborhoods, it is a pleasant respite for bike riding, hiking, or just a quiet time viewing the Bay.  As a result, Oakland homes for sale in this area are always in demand.    

The park is named after eccentric writer and poet Joaquin Miller, who once owned the land.  His home, called "The Abbey" is a California

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Discover Oakland-An Amazing Tour Of Past and Present

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 10:48am. 396 Views, 0 Comments.


Many new visitors arrive in Oakland daily, and many long term Oakland homeowners have never toured their city, nor discovered it's history.  If you are new to Oakland, or are considering purchasing a home here, the Oakland Walking Tours are a perfect opportunity to get to know the city's past and present downtown area. 

From May to October, these tours offer a free 90 minute walking tour through some of the historic and scenic areas of the Oakland downtown district from Jack London Square out to Lake Merritt.  History is everywhere, as are new and vital businesses awaiting your attention.

An example of the variety of the experience is the "Uptown to the Lake" tour. With the stress on classic Art Deco designs, it encompasses area

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Historic Oakland, CA Art Deco Home For Sale

Saturday, August 10th, 2013 at 1:56pm. 550 Views, 0 Comments.

Of interest to local architecture and history buffs is the recent listing of 6401 Castle Dr. in the Piedmont Pines area of Oakland. Built in 1937, for a model home tour that was a part of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, it is on the market for the first time since the mid 1960's. (The Exposition Model Home Tour encompassed twelve homes in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.) With original Art Deco and Art Moderne features still intact, one gets that rare opportunity to seemingly slip into another time and place in history, if only for a moment.  One of the most interesting aspects of the house is the metal Art Deco inspired stairway, with posts of lighted glass blocks, framed by a large vertical leaded glass window, and

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Oakland's Trestle Glen Neighborhood--Wonderful homes and a Busy Hub for Families

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 12:23pm. 599 Views, 0 Comments.

Oakland's Trestle Glen area was built around transportation.  Before it was as you see it today, it was the heart of  railroad line which ran along Trestle Glen Creek (mostly underground, now), and was originally named Indian Gulch after the Huchiun Indians who lived in the area. That railroad ran through nearby Montclair, and back through the Oakland hills, carrying freight, passengers and tourists from 1893 to 1906 when it was rerouted and torn down. The next transportation influence to encourage growth and development was the expansion of streetcar lines which allowed homeowners in the neighborhood to travel the short distance from their newly built homes above Lakeshore Avenue to their jobs in downtown Oakland, or across the bay to San Francisco. 

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Oakland, California's Redwood Heights Neighborhood-Historic, Yet Full Of Today's Vitality

Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 10:43am. 326 Views, 0 Comments.

Photo of the Redwood Heights Recreation Center

The hills above Oakland, California were, at one time, full of huge forests of trees, some of which were over 30 feet in diameter.  With the demand for lumber by growing San Francisco and Oakland around the turn of 19th century, the lumber industry established itself in the area.  Redwood Road, one of the boundaries of the Redwood Heights neighborhood was a major logging road.  As the nearby Oakmore and Laurel districts began developing along the trolley lines transporting their new residents, Redwood Heights began to grow as well.  One of the first developments was Avenue Terrace, built in the early 1920's.  It's entrance can be seen on 35th Avenue and Victor, where a stone obelisk , believed to be the marker for the area homes defines the area as

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