Cielito Lindo

Located in Oakland's Cleveland Heights area at 1021 McKinley Avenue, the Cielito Lindo apartment building was built in the early 1930's. The architect was Clarence Casebolt (C.C.) Dakin. The building's name, meaning beautiful heaven or lovely sweet one, may have been inspired by one of the best known Mexican folksongs. Cielito Lindo was written in 1882 and includes the refrain "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay."

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Overhead view facing Alma  - credit: Google maps

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McKinley view - credit: Gene Anderson 

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Alma view - credit: Google maps

The building was featured inArchitect and Engineer, March 1930  in an article  entitled "The Development of the Group Home" by E. Kulikowska, (pages 49-57), group home having a very different connotation from our current usage. Kulikowska describes "an air of multiplicity and yet of unity. It might be a group of little homes clustered about a common garden; it might be the country villa of an Iberian don, with generous, hospitable additions." Each apartment is unique in layout and design with many having lower and upper levels as well as fireplaces. Units range from three to six rooms. "Servants quarters were regulated to another part of the building", (p,51). The 1967 Polk directory lists 15 units. Present day real estate listings note that the property is a 15,854 square foot multi-family home sitting on a 0.31 acre lot and featuring 18 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. 

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Images from Architect and Engineer, March 1930 - McKinley Avenue entrance to patio

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Closeup of McKinley Avenue entrance off patio, 1930

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Alma Avenue entrance, 1930

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Interior images, 1930

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Garden Apartment, 1930

C.C. Dakin and family

Born in San Francisco in 1880, Dakin studied in the College of Mines at the University of California. He dropped out to study architecture with John Galen Howard, UC architect and professor. His cousin, Edna Deakin (1871–1946), (their fathers chose variant spellings), also studied with Howard after dropping her mechanics studies.

The cousins collaborated on a number of Berkeley area projects, including the 1924 restoration of the Bernard Maybeck designed Temple of Wings, a Berkeley landmark building. Edna's father was the noted artist, Edwin Deakin. His brother, Clarence's father, Frederick Dakin, was a successful businessman and architect. The cousins may have worked with him on the design of his 1905 construction at the corner of Shattuck and Addison, The Studio Building.

Links:

  1. Architect and Engineer, March 1930
  2. Berkeley Daily Planet
  3. Home Facts
  4. More on Edwin Deakin
  5.  Jim Stetson 1994/5 photos