Friday, October 17, 2008

Beautiful Homes on Alameda Island

We live just south of the San Francisco Bay area and it's an incredible area. We have only an hour drive into the city, we are roughly 45 minutes from the beautiful coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, 3 to 4 hours to the ski resorts in the Sierras, 1 1/2 hours to wine country and there is so much more!

We have a boat and keep it up in Alameda, which is an estuary away from the San Francisco Bay. Alameda, which means "grove of poplar trees', is an incredible island right off of Oakland and across the Bay from San Francisco. It is well known for it's victorian homes. Alameda has more victorian homes than any city in California and I've heard, but haven't confirmed, that it also has more victorian homes than any city in the country.

The town of Alameda is rich in history and the downtown businesses are no exception. We love to go into the beautifully restored downtown area for the famous Ole's Waffle Shop for breakfast and after dinner, Tucker's Ice Cream. It's become a tradition for our family and our kids expect it every time we go there.

So, I thought I would give you a little tour of Alameda and the beautiful homes on the island.

I think this house, although not Victorian, is my favorite on the island. It's classical beauty and enclosed glass porch gives it a very stately, yet cozy feel.

Another view of my favorite. Love the dash of color from the flowers.

The Brehaut House in Alameda. A lot of homeowners who are restoring their victorians look to this beauty for inspiration. Located in the Gold Coast section of Alameda, which used to be beach property, until a landfill was added in the 1950's.

There are about 3,000 Victorian-era homes in Alameda, one for every 25 people who live here. In addition, there are another 1,000 historic buildings, including City Hall and many of the shops along the Park Street and Webster Street.

The houses on Alameda Island range in age from the 1870s to the 1970s. Most of the victorians are Queen Annes.

Another one of my favorites. I particularly like the enclosed glass porch and the column details. Actually, this one ties for first place for my favorite!

Side view of the same house.

The colors of this house and the palm tree out front make this victorian very California!

This italianate victorian home features a lot of the features of that type. A typical low-pitched roof, a balanced-symmetrical shape, a porch topped with balustrated balcony, top narrow double-paned windows, a side bay window, and roman or segmented arches above the windows.

Another Italianate Victorian home. Some of these homes look really tiny, but others are deceiving because of their length.

Kind of a rarity amongst all the beautiful ornate victorians, this contemporary pueblo-styled home features stucco walls, flat roof with no overhang, deep windows and door openings.

One of the local churches on the island.

This is one of my favorite color combinations for the victorians. A lot of the houses only have street parking, so my pictures in some cases unfortunately have vehicles in them!

Another Queen Anne styled home. I'm not crazy about the colors, but I like the shingles on the porch and the shape of the window.

This duplex looks like it needs a little spiffying up!

This beautiful Queen Anne-styled Victorian is used as a doctor's office. I love the color and although the use of enhancements on Queen-Anne Victorians are often excessive, I think that their embellishments are tasteful.

An understated color, but this victorian is kept in nice condition.

Years ago, many people moved to Alameda to raise families and to escape the density of San Francisco and Oakland. A few houses were built as summer homes, but most were occupied year-round.

Nothing too special about the house, but I love the flowers (bougainvilleas?) that pop out at the entrance.

My daughter insisted on giving this little "victorian cat" some blog space.

In the 1970s, the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society, then called the Alameda Victorian Preservation Society, formed to protect the old victorians. (You can still see the cat on the porch).

Another well-kept home.

An Obama supporter!

A bold color choice with the purple. The sun is in the camera, so the color is not true.

Another example of Queen-Anne Victorian. Here they use the exaggeration of colors.

Cute entranceway to this victorian.

A very large victorian that looks pretty well kept. I like the detail above the upper windows.

This cotswald cottage home is a little out-of-place among all the victorians in the neighborhood, but it's charm and angled entrance make it quite interesting. A popular subtype of the Tudor Revival house style, this home features a steep, sloping, uneven roof (sometimes made of pseudo-thatch), asymmetrical design, and low doors and arched doors.

A real stand-out amongst all the victorians. I'm not sure how well received this home might be in the neighborhood with what looks to be natural cedar siding?

A monstrosity of a house. I hope these people have a maid!

Beautiful home, but manicure that yard! It takes away from the beauty of the home.

I love this home, not for its color, but for its simplistic grandeur.

I believe they call this a stick victorian, because of the "stick" like trim pieces that extend from the lower to the upper windows.

Typical of a lot of California bungalows that you see here, the key features are usually one and a half stories, low-pitched roof, the front porch is supported by thick square columns and the front door is off-set from the middle.

This American Federal-styled house is not prevalent on the island, but this one was stately looking and attractive and reminds me of the East Coast, where I once lived, so I thought I would include it!

Nice clean home, but again, the landscaping leaves much to be desired. (I think these people were on vacation with all the newspapers piled up!).

Finally, I came upon this cute little brick wall which was hiding who-knows-what behind it. But, I loved the iron gate and the tiles above it. This is what I call a happy little surprise.

Have a great weekend!


Ivy Lane said...

What a fun post! Lovely homes! I really like the last photo..wouldn't it be neat to see what is behind that wall?! :)

Harriet Pecot said...

Hi Becky,

Beautiful homes - thanks for sharing all your photos. And the iron gate is one of my favorites!

I wanted to check out your blog and laughed when I saw your layout because it's the same one I'm using for my blog! You can check me out at when you have a moment and let me know what you think.

Sorry I missed you when I stopped by the other day but hope you are doing well! I'll check in to your blog again soon.


Anna Spiro said...

So many beautiful homes Becky! Thanks for sharing them with us!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky---We're neighbours! I live with my husband in Palo Alto and one of our favourite things to do is drive around the old neighbourhoods and admire the homes. I'd happily live in any of them if someone handed me the key! It's fascinating to see the variety of architectural styles that have popped up in this area...and you chose some beauties to feature!

Thanks as always for the great finds!

Anne @ The City Sage

Linda Lou said...

My husband lived in Alameda when he was in second grade, mostly grew up in San Mateo...went to Washington Park as a kid, I had no idea all of these beautiful old homes were there-I need to visit next time we visit his mom in San Mateo-great pics!!

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

Alameda has so many beautiful homes. It really is worth a trip there Linda! It's a neat little island. Glad I could entice you back there!

Fifi Flowers said...

GORGEOUS homes! Thanks for sharing! ENJOY your weekend!

vicki archer said...

What wonderful homes - i would love a visit to Alameda. Thank you for stopping by French Essence and posting the lovely comment xv.

Ofelia Bertrand said...
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Abdul said...
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