671 Carlston Avenue
671 Carlston Avenue
Built circa 1993, this Modern Mediterranean integrates luxe appointments throughout three levels of lavish proportions. Four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms include a palatial primary suite plus lower-level suite with separate entry, offering myriad options. Fireplace-enhanced living and family rooms, plus gathering-island kitchen connected to a courtyard elevate the everyday and equip the home for entertaining. Formal dining, living, family rooms plus elongated deck overlook the park-like back garden, where walking paths crisscross landscaping accented by soaring redwoods.
The setting on this one-direction stretch of Carlston Avenue remains low-trafficked, leafy, and leads to a parkspace. Distinguished architecture makes up one side of the block; a treed expanse neatly edged in stone occupies the other. Such a quiet location lies unexpectedly close to walkable, bikeable neighborhood attractions, including celebrated Crocker Highlands Elementary, the Grand-Lake Farmer’s Market and surrounding cafes, shops, recreation, and transportation options.
Extending from the home, a gated terra-cotta courtyard outlined in vine-covered walls and manicured greenery forms a luxuriant approach. Arches, a Mediterranean hallmark, flourish on the home’s façade capping windows, the prominent hooded entry, and wrought-iron gate. Enter to a vibrant interior; light from grand-scaled windows, many expressing the arch motif, radiates to and from wide-plank hardwood floors on all three levels of living space.
Main-floor public spaces are noteworthy for bold dimensions and indoor-outdoor connections. Sunken, the living room increases its ceiling dimensions and adds distinction to its entry. A bay of windows invites the outdoors in and features glass-door access to the deck. The kitchen revolves around a central island ideal for prep, serving, and congregating. Encircling it, a plethora of professional-caliber function integrates amid paneled cabinetry and natural-stone counters; it includes a pair of ovens, five-burner gas cooktop and Sub-Zero refrigerator. All functions considered, the kitchen features a beverage bar, butler’s pantry, French doors to the courtyard, and an adjacent powder room.
Airy second-floor bedrooms stand out for their vaulted ceilings and spacious, well-configured closets. The lofty primary suite soars with the redwoods it takes in. Its walk-in closet embodies a dressing room, and basket-weave marble flooring unfurls throughout the multi-chamber bathroom, including its multi-function shower with inset bench. Another spacious multi-chamber bathroom between two upstairs bedrooms echoes in style the bathroom attached to the lower-level bedroom. With exterior access, this bedroom, on its own or combined with the neighboring wet-bar-equipped family room, may function as an additional dwelling.
The lower level also offers storage, augmenting the plentiful amount throughout the home and attached two-car garage. A robust structure and infrastructure, it includes air conditioning and a fire-protection system.
Map & Directions
Crocker Highlands Then & Now
A fascinating history launched the neighborhood that teems with enchantment today. Like Oakland’s symbolic oak tree, Crocker Highlands brandishes roots that delve deep and a vigor that endures. Owned in the 1880’s by Peder Sather, (whose name remains familiar for Cal’s iconic Sather Gate) the land was initially developed as Sather Park. An electric double-decker trolley ferried picnickers to the hilly dale, traversing a wooden trestle bridge that reached a glen marking entry to the park. The origin of the neighborhood’s illustrious Trestle Glen Road is revealed! Rail transportation prevailed, and the original East Bay Railways lines evolved into the Key System, carrying passengers between Oakland and San Francisco, increasing accessibility to this natural wonderland.
A cast of luminaries in their fields played influential roles in transforming the area.
Enter the Olmsted Brothers. Their father had designed New York’s Central Park. Next-generation Olmsteds ultimately created blueprints for noteworthy landscapes and parks across North America. Here, they laid out Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery and Crocker Highlands ‘residential park’, delineating gracefully winding streets that hug the curves of the landscape with park areas sprinkled throughout. A crown atop the new garden suburb, its majestic entryway was fashioned by the architects of San Francisco’s City Hall, Bakewell & Brown.
Architects of note including Julia Morgan, Frederick Reimers, Maybeck & White also shaped Crocker Highlands, designing exalted homes that were erected mostly in the 1920’s. Grandly fashioned, these Tudor, Mediterranean, Italian Renaissance, Colonial, French Provincial homes bejewel the landscape along tree-lined streets interspersed with vintage streetlamps. With foresight to the future, Lakeshore Homes Association was established in 1917 to protect and preserve the neighborhood. Their oversight, coupled with owners who keep their period homes polished, has ensured that the dynamic assortment of architecture retains its original glory.
Today, homes remain ensconced in serene park-like surroundings, which sit on the verge of vitality.
Residents relish scenic walking and biking throughout the residential streets, green spaces, and adjacent attractions: beloved, highly rated Crocker Highlands Elementary; Lakeshore’s hub of unique café culture and independent boutiques; Trader Joe’s and the Farmer’s Market at Splash Pad Park, which features far more than produce and is an every-Saturday outing for many; historic Grand Lake Theater, the art deco movie palace; Lake Merritt’s rowing and boating, three-mile shoreline perimeter for walking and jogging, public gardens, Children’s Fairyland. A sparkling scene by day and night, the lake is encircled by a necklace of lights suspended from lamp posts, originally put up in 1925, now energy efficient and designated a landmark.
The historic Key System was recast in 1960 as AC Transit, which provides local and Transbay bus service to and from stops throughout the neighborhood. A swift 10-mile ride to downtown San Francisco makes an easy commute with Wi-Fi aboard. Convenient highway access, as well as BART, add to the ease of roaming the Bay Area.