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A Neighborhood for Every Lifestyle
Classic Elegance near Piedmont Ave
Three blocks up from Piedmont Avenue, you’ll find a classic, elegant traditional home at 4281 Gilbert Street. Cherished by the same family for 75 years, this house is steeped in family traditions and wonderful memories.
The solid oak front door, with leaded glass windows gives you a clue to the historic detailing and architecture you’ll find within. The main floor reception area shows off a grand, wide oak and fir staircase on one side, and French pocket doors with beveled glass on the other, leading into the parlor—today’s living room. Beautiful Craftsman details abound on the interior, from the wide wood casement windows and doorframes, to crown molding and baseboards.
The home has maintained the grand, brick mantel on its fireplace in the dining room, flanked by Craftsman-style built-ins and a stunning cabinet for ‘the good dishes’ and its accompanying silver and linens. Look up and around: Note the original matched ceiling light fixtures and wall sconces, too. Hardwood and fir floors have lovingly been refinished and glow once again.
The kitchen truly was the heart of the home, and its retro vibe happily remains. A new stove and refrigerator meld with the built-in pie cupboard and the ironing board’s hiding place. There’s a half bathroom tucked away, and a sizeable breakfast room just off of the kitchen, overlooking the backyard and planting beds, while a laundry/mudroom leads you out to the back porch and yard, for indoor/outdoor play and entertaining.
Upstairs, a large central hall gives a separation between the spacious front bedroom, with walk-in closet, and the other two light-filled bedrooms in the center of the house and overlooking the backyard. A full bathroom sits at the end of the hallway, and features both a tub and separate shower stall, and vintage tile work.
The Gilbert Street home has a long driveway, leading to a detached carport and a generous backyard that’s fully enclosed for privacy. Its fragrant, mature roses and geraniums line the fences and grace the property, with gardening beds ready for the summer sunshine. The outside’s ideal for relaxation, or watching the world go by on the semi-enclosed front porch.
While the architecture harkens to a bygone era, you’re but a stone’s throw to the vibrant Piedmont Avenue shops and restaurants, nearby Rockridge BART, and all the Bay Area has to offer. It’s time now for a new family to grace this home and make it their own.
Piedmont Avenue, in many ways, feels like a small hometown, with a long sidewalk of great restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, and historic attractions stacked side-by-side. From designer vintage clothing to home antiques, the neighborhood is filled with unique places to stop and enjoy, and beautiful vintage homes surrounding it.
Not to be confused with the City of Piedmont, Piedmont Avenue is one long, incredible sidewalk of restaurants, shops, and home bric-a-brac, stacked side-by-side. Choices range from family-friendly, 1894-founded Fentons Creamery, which made a cameo in Pixar’s Up and serves up some of the best ice cream around, to the Michelin-starred Commis. Indie films screen at Oakland’s longest-running cinema (1917), the Piedmont Theatre, while at the more modern Cato’s Ale House, sports screen on TVs as taps pour craft beers. Despite being part of the big city and having a high density of stores, Piedmont Avenue is very small-town, with a genuine magazine stand (Issues), a sewing shop with lessons (Sew Images), and a tobacconist (Piedmont Tobacconist). It’s a model street.
Like unsolved mysteries and old cemeteries? Good news—Piedmont Avenue dead-ends at the 226-acre Mountain View Cemetery designed in 1863 by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York’s Central Park. Because there’s so much interest, docents lead tours on certain days of the month. Famous burials include Julia Morgan, and Samuel Merritt.
The Julia Morgan redesigned Chapel of the Chimes once hosted a series called Jazz at the Chimes, where Bay Area musicians play in the designated, acoustic landmark. Attendees could tour the chapel and cloisters pre- and post-show. Hopefully, it will re-open!
Shopping is dense with a nice distribution of antiques and vintage with quirk. Mercy Vintage is a well-curated selection of designer vintage and unusual—the same goes for Pimlico, only the focus is on accessories, like handbags.
The reimagined Bay Area restaurant The Wolf calls Piedmont Avenue its home, as two of my favorites who are shuttering their doors: Adesso, loved for its gin & tonics and charcuterie plates; and Homestead, with love to Liz and Fred and their amazing generosity. May the newcomers live up to their standards and be welcomed!