This iconic Art Deco style building, The Bellevue-Staten, has been an architectural classic at the shores of Oakland's Lake Merritt since 1929.  Always considered elegant and desirable, it now offers a unique opportunity for those who have wanted to live here--a twelfth story penthouse condominium that features 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 2011 sf of living space.   

The penthouse space is located on a corner of the building, and as such, offers a 360 degree view of the lake, and much of Oakland and the hills above, providing dramatic views, no matter what the time or season of the year.  

A reverse perspective reveals the pleasant walking/jogging path around the lake's three mile shoreline, the lush green lawns and trees, and moments away are the in demand shops and restaurants of Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Avenue. 

A favorite for its variety of offerings each Saturday is the Grand Lake Farmer's Market, and immediately adjacent to the market, is the classic Grand Lake Theater with its historically colorful marquees.  (Closed temporarily).

This building's entry with its striking gate-fronted door, inset entry lamps, and commanding multi-story frontage, is an intriguing combination of Art Deco and a taste of Spanish Colonial design, and was designed by famed architect Herman Carl Baumann. 

In 1991 it was added to the National Register Of Historic Places, and the Art Deco Society of California awarded it the Historic Preservation Award.  It has much to offer its many residents in terms of elegance, comfort and location.  

Guests are welcomed into this immense entry hall featuring multi-colored tile floors, graceful plaster Art Deco wall friezes, stately vertical columns, and overhead cross beams. The graceful lamp at the entry hangs below complex coffered ceilings above, 

A reverse aspect reveals further pleasant friezes, a second floor balcony with intricately carved railings, and a very distinctive elevator with bronze doors that are adorned with delightful panels of squirrels eating acorns.  

Entry into the penthouse reveals what will be a continuing theme throughout--large picture windows placed at every opportunity that are designed to reveal the spectacular views that this unit was built to provide. 

The spacious living room provides two such windows revealing outstanding views across the lake and the city.  The wood burning cast concrete fireplace is original to the unit, and adds both warmth and charm to the room, as do the softly colored parquet floors seen here. 

A formal dining room is to be expected in a home of this era and quality, and this dining room does not disappoint.  A extraordinary picture window provides all the pleasure that one would need, revealing unique city views that enchant each hour of the day.  

A reverse perspective of the dining room reveals the expanse of the exterior views.  Windows on either side of the larger window open to the outside, and generous wall and ceiling moulding add an extra touch of charm to the room.  

Just off the dining room is this charmingly updated kitchen with its cheerful black and white flooring,  and a truly remarkable assortment of storage drawers and cabinets that should more than meet the needs of most home chefs.  

A generous work space seen above is complimented with adjacent floor to ceiling wall shelving located against the far wall.  Updated amenities include a dishwasher, double oven, self cleaning oven, and refrigerator.  

There are two bedrooms in the unit.  The first, seen here, is quite generous is size, and provides three large view windows, each with two side windows that open to the outside scene.  The white wooden trim around the ceiling, doors and windows enriches the overall charm of the space.   

 Just through the open door in the center of the room is an additional room containing a wall of storage cabinets and drawers-certainly a welcome addition to any residence.  

A closer view of the storage room mentioned above reveals that it has sufficient floorspace to provide an small additional living area,  if desired. A consideration of the large floor to ceiling window indicates that the room was probably conceived as a dressing room, however, it still has sufficient room for a small office or study.

This is one of the two bathrooms in the residence.  Providing the charm and color of matching tiles, it has been enhanced to include a large stall shower, a matching pair of white sinks, and overhead mirrored cabinets.  

There is no doubt that the second bedroom is focused, quite correctly, around the picture window that encompasses much of the far wall.  Additionally, the handsome wooden parquet floors are warmly matched with the lightly colored walls.  Just off to the right is the library that is seen below.  

The library seen here is no doubt the centerpiece of this residence.  Elegant in every sense, it reflects the quality of construction and imagination of design that characterizes these penthouse units. 

From its dramatic box beamed ceiling, and richly trimmed bookcases and walls, to its gently arching central window, it is immediately extraordinary in its conception.  While it is being utilized as a library now, the available floor space makes it equally available for alternate uses and concepts.  

Just off the library is this beautiful and inviting solarium. It is  ideal for the mixed Bay area climate that often features cool mornings and evenings warm and sunny midday weather much of the year.  Often seen in larger, more sumptuous homes, this enhancement is an unexpected pleasure that combines comfort with the sweeping panorama. just outside the far doors.  

There is no doubt that there are not many homes that can offer this compelling ambiance and view.  Because the home is a corner unit, this vista is stunning, and many an evening meal, luncheon or party can be enjoyed right here for years to come.  If this lifestyle and home is of interest to you, I encourage you to call me promptly at (510) 517-6280 regarding it.  It is being offered for sale for $1,895,000.  

(Listing courtesy of David Gunderman of Keller Williams Realty)  

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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