Five Architectural Jewels on CSL s 2009 Home Tour Tour Dates ~ April 24 & 25
On Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, the Children s Support League of the East Bay will host its 21st annual Heart of the Home Tour. Tour proceeds benefit non-profit charities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties specializing in programs for at-risk children and their families.
There are six chimneys visible atop the storybook roof of one of the two central Piedmont homes on tour. Situated on a gated park-like corner lot with majestic mature trees, this 10,000 square foot English Revival mansion with Tudor influences was designed by Albert Farr in 1908. The architectural detailing in the remodeled area of the home seamlessly integrates with the original period detailing in the neighboring entrance hall and dining room. Throughout the main level of the home, exquisite antiques, custom-made furniture and window treatments, and precious area rugs have been sensitively selected and arranged by a renowned interior designer for the homeowners comfort and enjoyment.
The second home in central Piedmont is screened from the street by a towering copse of magnificent redwood trees, so it s a surprise to discover the homeowners enjoy a splendid downtown San Francisco skyline view through the French doors in their light-filled living room. It features an expanded new kitchen, breakfast area, family room, wet bar, full bath and powder room on the main level as well as a potting room, wine cellar and three-car garage on the lower level. The stunning two-year renovation expertly blends with the ornate period architectural detailing and sculpted arches in the original rooms of this 1920 s Tudor home, which was designed by the reputed architect Lewis Upton and solidly constructed by Axel Cederborg, a distinguished builder and contractor.
This year s tour also boasts a pristine 1926 Mediterranean home designed by William Schirmer. The present homeowners spent more than two years looking for an authentically detailed historic home in the Oakland hills before discovering this genuine period home which passed to them from the original owners daughters who lived in this same home all their lives with original furnishings still intact. The new owners have carefully preserved the home s rich architectural character and charm while artfully updating the kitchen and surrounding hillside landscape. The house has been conferred Level Seven Protected Status; nothing on the exterior of the home can be altered or changed without special approval from the Oakland Planning Commission.
Directly across the street from this tour home lays another home on CSL s 2009 tour. Sadly, the original Albert Farr French Normandy home on this site built in 1928 was lost in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991. But the exciting and amazing news is that the beautiful brand new Castle on this site completed in 2002 is an exact replica of the 1928 home. It maintains the original floorplans on the same footprint. Period details were captured from historic interior photos. A plaque on the front of the landmark home commemorates the original homeowners, the Allens, who were among the first affluent Afro-American couples to locate in the Oakland Hills. A few years ago, a renowned local architect purchased the home from the Allens heirs and smartly reconfigured a maid s room and bath into a handsome family room, which is open to the kitchen. The current owners have further enhanced the light-filled cheerful home; the interior color palette and d cor draw the eye to the stellar panoramic Bay views.
The fifth home on the CSL 2009 tour was also built by Axel Cederborg in 1926. Situated on the crest of a hill, this magnificent gated 7,000 plus square foot timber-framed Tudor estate offers Bay views that stretch from the San Mateo Bridge to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge from its three-story windows. The current homeowners have just completed a six-year, labor-of-love transformation of the home s interior and one-acre property. A new addition to the existing structure houses a gourmet island kitchen, breakfast room and butler s pantry on the main level, a son s bedroom with loft playroom on the second level, and a spacious bonus room/guest area on the third level. Every surface of the original interior has been scrupulously reappointed. The estate makeover also features a new 1,000 square foot guest cottage, an outdoor kitchen with wood-burning pizza oven, and outdoor fireplace. The newly landscaped grounds, irrigated by reclaimed water, also include an infinity edge pool which spills over a bronze fountain to a lap pool below it. The lower pool is surrounded by a sun-drenched limestone terrace overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Tickets for CSL s 21st Annual Heart of the Home Tour are available at $40 each ($50 with lunch) in advance. Tickets are available on the days of the tour at the Piedmont Community Center, 711 Highland Avenue, Piedmont 94611 for $45 each ($58 with lunch). For more information, contact CSL at 510-338-4521. CSL is a 501(c)(3) corporation Tax ID 94-3034708.