165 Beechwood Drive
About This Home
The best way to truly understand any home is to hear from those who have lived there. Here is what the seller would like you to know about the home he has loved -
What makes a house a home? What makes it the place in the world where you feel most comfortable? A place that feels like an extension of yourself and your family? It is hard to describe what makes 165 Beechwood special. You can talk about sizes and proportions and trees and the surroundings, but to me the singular feature of the house has always been that it is a place where you do not just reside, but rather you live.
There have been the quiet summer mornings when I have woken up early and walked outside into the backyard, letting the dog sniff around, and have sat watching the mourning doves bustling softly on the ground or, as the sun rose, the hummingbirds gliding and darting among the flowers. And sometimes I would pull a pear from a tree and crunch on it as I smelled the plants and prepared for the day. On hot afternoons our dog would snooze in the moss and loam underneath the cool branches of the magnolia tree, the sun’s rays like golden streamers hanging from the branches, while we cut some roses and lavender to fill the house with their perfume. And as the sun started setting, I would leash up the dog and go for a run around the neighborhood, going past the golf course and then down College Avenue to the Rockridge BART station. Some evenings we would stroll or drive down to College Avenue, having dinner where staff greeted us as familiar friends.
The backyard is the house’s calendar, almond blossoms are awakened by winter rain in the early part of the year, followed by roses, which blossom around the same time you see the goats who take up their seasonal residence at Mountain View Cemetery. Then the apples and pears, and finally persimmons, so many persimmons, with the lemons like a friendly nearby relative, showing up frequently and whenever they feel like appearing. We kept baskets of fruit, and I learned to bake so that I could make fruit tarts, and I figured out many different ways to use fruit in cooking, sometimes to the chagrin of visitors.
It should not surprise you that when we announced we were selling the house, there was an anguished outcry from our friends and family. The house was a natural hub for gatherings and was often designated as the host site for parties, even when most of the party would be coming from San Francisco. We had a grand piano, five guitars and a drum kit in one part of the living room (the other part having the usual furniture and home theater), and our musical friends would come to the house and pick up instruments and we would play and improvise whatever music came to mind. We put a long oversized table in the dining room and the dining room doubled as a library, art gallery and bar, and became the default place where family and friends would sit and talk. On warm weekend days, friends would come over to grill outside on the patios. On days when the weather wasn’t so nice, friends would come over to sit in the dining room. If we ran low on food or drinks someone would just run around the corner to the Village Market. It made it very easy for people to almost overstay their welcome (even if there may have been an occasion or two of someone needing to stay in a guest bedroom for the night).
I hope you will understand what I mean when I say this house holds something special that makes it a home. I hope you will feel it when you enter, when you open the front door and the sunlight is coming from every surrounding room, and when you walk through the rooms and sit in the dining room, and play in the living room, and bask in the sun in the family room. When you see the magnolia in full bloom and the tiny almond blossoms and when you sit in the kitchen having breakfast and hear the turkeys calling from the nearby hills. I have artist friends, but have never been an artist myself, so while my friends filled the walls of my house with artwork, the life I made in the house was like my own work of art, the walls like pages of a book recording a million perfect fleeting moments. The next pages are blank, waiting for you to fill them."
That is admittedly a hard act to follow, but here are some other key things to know about this wonderful home.
- 4 bedrooms, including master suite
- 3 full bathrooms
- Approx. 2744 sq ft of living space
- Updated kitchen and bathrooms
- Interior and exterior of home painted for sale
- Hardwood floors refinished
- All new lighting
- Approx 11,700 sq ft corner lot
- New hedge planted at the back fence of the property along Romany
- New sod in front and landscaping around the property
- Attached 2-car garage and storage room
- Outdoor garden storage closets
- Close to top-rated public and private schools
- Easy access to BART and transbay buslines
Rockridge was listed by Money Magazine as one of the “best places to live,” and it’s easy to see why. Combining lovely homes with a leafy, private setting, this is arguably Oakland’s best neighborhood (a commentator once called it “the East Bay’s most appealing urban village.”). Claremont Pines, where 165 Beechwood Drive is located, is a high-demand sub-neighborhood of this most-desired residential area. It features lush landscaping, curving streets that hug the hills, and open greenspace. Homes here are a mix of pre-war and state-of-the-art contemporary designs, sleek moderns mingling with turn-of-the-century brown shingles, revivals, and Tudor-style structures.
The Beechwood Drive-Country Club Drive neighborhood mixes newer homes built after the 1991 fire with older survivors. 165 Beechwood is one of the only homes that survived the fire and thus still offers buyers the option for a classically elegant home in an area that was largely rebuilt.
Close by, the secluded shopping district just off Broadway Terrace features the Village Market (surprisingly comprehensive), the Broadway Terrace Nursery (a terrific source of all kinds of plant and landscape materials), and Terrace Gifts and Coffee, a cozy hangout for coffee, pastries, and light meals—plus gifts.
The Elmwood shopping district on College Avenue is just a mile or so away. This is Rockridge’s main shopping area, offering gourmet and casual restaurants, fine groceries, old-fashioned shops and boutiques, flower stands, and quick access to the Rockridge BART station. Fine bakeries and smart, independent bookshops are all part of the diverse mix in this pedestrian-friendly environment. Young professionals, long-time residents, and UC Berkeley students fill the sidewalks and popular shops in the afternoons. At night, the community is buzzing with nightlife and foodies alike—and yet, as intimate as the district feels, the denser urban centers of downtown Oakland and San Francisco are merely 10–20 minutes away by BART or car.
Home to several award-winning schools, Rockridge attracts many young families. Nearby Hillcrest School (K-8), and Chabot Elementary School (K-5) are always at the top of Oakland's public school options. There are also several top private-education options nearby, including the Bentley School (K-12), Park Day School (K-8), and The College Preparatory School (high school).
The area’s landmark is the majestic Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, a vast Victorian edifice perched on 22 acres in the hills. Three outdoor pools, 10 tennis courts, a full-service spa, a fitness club, and three onsite restaurants deliver stunning views, and the resort has become popular with generations of locals as a luxurious getaway. Claremont Country Club (private) is another local landmark with its beautiful, 18-hole golf course and historic, half-timbered clubhouse.
The nearby Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve comprises 208 acres of open space, managed by the East Bay Regional Park District, and more than 200 acres outside the canyon owned by the University of California, Berkeley. Garber Park, a 13-acre oak-and-bay-tree woodland south of Claremont Avenue, is owned by the city of Oakland. Trails reward ambitious hikers with panoramic views of San Francisco Bay.
Links to local information and attractions-