The Cohen-Bray House (aka the "Alfred H. Cohen House") was built circa 1882–4 by Julia Moses and Watson A. Bray as a wedding present for their daughter Emma, who married attorney Alfred H. Cohen on February 28, 1884.
When Emma Bray, who had come to Oak Tree Farm as a baby, became engaged to Alfred Henry Cohen, her wedding present from her parents was a seventeen room house on the property across the road from her parents' home "where the asparagus patch had been". Big Four attorney Alfred A. Cohen, Alfred Henry's father, completely furnished the newlyweds home as the wedding present from the groom's parents.
Over 300 guests attended the wedding a Oak Tree Farm on February 24, 1884. When Emma and Alfred H. left their wedding reception, instead of going directly to the honeymoon suite awaiting them in Del Monte, they slipped across the street and watched their wedding reception "wind down" from their brand new home.
Emma and Alfred H. Cohen lived in their home at 1440 29th Avenue for the rest of their lives, and their four children Alfreda Cohen, Douglas Cohen, Marion Cohen, and Edith Emelita Cohen were born there.
After Alfred died in 1925, Emma Cohen stayed in the house until her death in 1945. Her youngest daughter, Edith Emelita, lived in the house which her mother Emma bequeathed to her as a life estate for 90 years until her death in 1988.
On January 7, 1975 the Alfred H. Cohen House was designated an Oakland Landmark, under Zoning Case #LM 74-335. The home is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the official website, “The Cohen-Bray House is still a family home; however, to continue to educate the public about our mission, we have several annual celebrations when the house is opened and may be toured.”
1440 - 29th Avenue
Links and References
- www.cohenbrayhouse.org Cohen-Bray House official website
- Cohen-Bray House - Oakland, CA - Historical Place Facebook
Cohen-Bray House/Victorian Preservation House of Oakland VolunteerMatch.org
Cohen-Bray House wins Ugly Window contest BAHA News - Journal of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
'Tain't Spooky No More' Oakland Tribune March 22, 1959 (page 2)
Cohen-Bray House Paranormal Documentary YouTube (lots of interior shots)