A few good homes: Alameda history featuring some of our finest

We are so fascinated with the history of architecture in Alameda.  We are surrounded by it and yet, it is so hard to really imagine what it was like in the 1800’s. Check out these three amazing homes which have a rich history.

2019 Pacific Avenue: Original price $3500

Pacific Avenue Home Reflects Victorian Era
Story credit: Alameda Sun

The staircase on the high-basement cottage at 2019 Pacific Avenue in Alameda draws the eye upward to the home’s full porch. A row of spindles complements the porch that sweeps across this Queen Anne-style home. Fish-scale shingles — like the spindles, signature Queen Anne elements — decorate the second-story dormer, which is built in the form of a pediment. A pair of windows on each side of the entry door adds symmetry to this home. The window in the dormer echoes the design of the windows below.

According to Alameda Museum Curator George Gunn, William J. Hamilton built this home in 1889. Hamilton also built homes at 2009 and 2015 Pacific Ave. that same year. He charged $3,500 for each of the three homes, expensive in a day when Queen Anne cottages in Alameda sold for almost half that amount, as little at $1,800.
Gunn says that the hefty price tags reflected quality construction. According to Gunn, Hamilton kept the home at 2009 Pacific in his own name, likely to sell as a spec house. He sold the home at 2015 Pacific to Thomas J. Hierlihy, who owned the Pacific Planing Mills in Oakland.

Gunn says that Hamilton sold the home at 2019 Pacific to Frank P. Copp. When he purchased the home, Copp was working as a salesman for C. H. Whitney, a Petaluma-based dairy business. Copp lived here with his wife, Rose, and his sons, Gardner and Fleet.

For more of this story, go to the Alameda Sun.


1177 Regent Street: Victorian charm


A Victorian-era high-basement cottage has stood at 1177 Regent St. since 1881, when George Bittleston built the home for Robert and Alyssa Davis and their daughter Elizabeth. Davis owned Robert Davis & Co. at 405 Front St. in San Francisco. He and his associates worked as commission merchants, lending money to farmers and manufactures in return for the sole right to sell their goods.
Like Davis, Bittleston lived in Alameda. He made his home with his wife, Margaret, their daughters Mabel and Lucy, and son, Wilbur not far away from the Davis family on Park Avenue in a home that he had built just a year earlier. Bittleston earned his living as a skilled carpenter. He built six homes that still survive in Alameda.

He built his first one in 1879, when he teamed up with carpenter Peter Christensen to construct a combination living space and commercial property at San Antonio Avenue and Oak Street. His sixth surviving home went up some 18 years later in 1897, when he built a home on Stanton Street. Christensen proved more prolific. In Documentation of Victorian and Post-Victorian Residential and Commercial Buildings, City of Alameda, 1854 to 1904, Alameda Museum Curator George Gunn accounts for more than 20 Christensen creations.

This house can be filed under history, gingerbread detail or amazing paint colors. It just sold to new owners and they can continue the legacy.

See more on at the Alameda Sun.

1178 Park Ave: Queen-Anne

Home Deeply Rooted in Local History

Story credit: Alameda Sun

The home at 1178 Park Ave sites on land that an Alameda pioneer had plannto develop as a haven for the wealthy; that idea never bore fruit. Almost 20 years after that dream faded a prominent Alameda developer built his first homes on four parcels of that same land. His creations included the high basement Queen Anne-style cottage at 1178 Park Street.

See more on Alameda Sun.


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