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Stylish, inviting and spacious 4bdrm/4.5bth home, designed by noted architect Charles W. McCall features exquisite details throughout, with picturesque views of the SF skyline and the Bay. This centrally-located property encompasses a private front garden, gracious foyer, welcoming formal rooms, handsome wood-paneled study, convenient home office, expansive eat-in kitchen, newly renovated primary suite, professional landscaping, and intimate deck. Just blocks away from coveted K-12 Piedmont public schools, this stunning property has not only been lovingly maintained, it’s also been utterly cherished.
213 Mountain Avenue was built in 1914 for Mrs. Pansy Perkins Baker, who hails from a nationally prominent political and entrepreneurial family. Pansy’s father is George Clement Perkins, the 14th Governor of California, a US Senator and successful businessman. Perkins was elected to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the death of Leland Stanford, and was re-elected three times.
Pansy was married to admired Stanford University grad Cleveland (“Cleve”) Baker, the Attorney General of Nevada. Charles de Young, who appears to be the nephew of M. H. de Young (of de Young Museum fame), was the groomsman in their wedding. Cleve’s untimely death at the age of 29 in 1912 caused a regional sensation and gained national attention. Bereft from the loss of her husband, Pansy adopted an infant daughter, Margaret "Peggy" Baker. Margaret became the apple of her eye, and Pansy and Margaret continued to live at 213 Mountain Avenue into the 1920s.
East Bay architect Charles W. McCall, a contemporary of Julia Morgan, designed this elegant Prairie Craftsman home for Pansy after Cleve’s death. It was intended to be one of the “show pieces of Piedmont” according to the Oakland Tribune in 1914, and designed to capture the views of San Francisco and Oakland. McCall’s work was notable as it reflected the changing tastes of his time, from Classic Revival through Mission Revival, Craftsman, Prairie and Mediterranean. There are about 25 McCall homes in Piedmont. 213 Mountain is one of two Prairie Craftsman homes in town. The Piedmont Historical Society published, “Designing for a Purpose: The Life and Works of Charles McCall” in their Summer/Fall 2010 edition of Piedmont’s History.
Fast-forward to the present day. We can understand what drew Pansy to this spot a century ago. Its central location, great views and the beautiful architecture that characterizes Piedmont. Today, we add to that its continued small-town feel, terrific schools and wonderful community.
Piedmont, a two-square-mile city within the borders of Oakland, was incorporated in 1907 and was known then as “The City of Millionaires” because there were more millionaires per square mile residing there than in any other U.S. city. Today, their large, estate-like homes are still standing in the heart of Piedmont, reminding residents of its glitzy past. Homes in Piedmont range from those estate-like homes in central Piedmont with expansive grounds to more modest homes on the edges of town. Well-manicured landscapes prevail and the city’s stringent permitting guidelines ensure all of the homes maintain their original flavor. The commercial area of town is small, featuring several banks and one gas station. Mulberry’s Market, a specialty food store with ready-made meals, caters to gourmet taste buds and is the frequent morning coffee stop for parents and after-school hot spot for kids. Piedmont’s proximity to Oakland’s many big-city amenities ensures Piedmonters will not miss out on the latest restaurants or first-run movies. The sense of community is strong, as witnessed by the large turnout for the annual Fourth of July parade that happens each year down Highland Avenue. The Piedmont Recreation Center offers a central gathering place for residents. Available for rental, it is the frequent setting for community events and parties. The beautiful grounds provide a wonderful place to hang out and play, and the wooded trail connecting the Center to the high school is the best place to take your dog to play. A casual carpool zone on Oakland Avenue, along with proximity to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District buses, offer workers convenient commute options. Pride in community involvement and village living are just a few of the reasons people love to live in Piedmont.