The Pines Estate was built for Mr.& Mrs. Philip E. Bowles in 1910 and was located at Broadway Terrace and Prospect Drive (now Margarido Drive). The house was located at what is now 2 Bowling Drive. Philip E. Bowles was president of the First National Bank of Oakland and a Regent of the University of California from 1911-22.
In 1909 Bowles purchased 51 acres of land in "Claremont hills adjoining the Livermore Rockridge Homestead." 1 He signed a contract for the erection of a residence to cost $31,000. The property he chose had a view of the Bay and all of the surrounding country. He engaged an expert landscaper who designed the grounds of the estate following Bowles' plans.
The home was an Italian Villa style with 22 rooms and a full basement and six master bedrooms, dressing rooms, five bathrooms, three sleeping porches, a library, drawing room, and conservatory. There 50 acres of gardens surrounding the home, five large fish ponds, a tea garden—tennis courts, swimming pool, large garage, horse stable, and a trotting park.
In 1911 the home was featured in January issue of Architecture & Engineer of California Magazine. It states the architect was L.B. Dutton. 2
In October of 1927, a year after Philip Bowles died, Mrs. Bowles sold the entire estate to four Southern California developers who created the Claremont Pines Corporation, and hired York Company, Inc. to handle the development of a new subdivision called Claremont Pines. 3, 7 Before the Claremont Pines Corporation purchased the estate, Oakland Mayor Davie urged the park commission to buy it for $700,000, for a public playground. 4
In about 1927 or 1928, Andrew Williams of the Andrew Williams Store, a chain of local grocery stores, bought just the home then identified as No. 2 Bowling Drive. 5 There is some speculation that the street name was intended to honor the Bowles family, although contemporary articles merely note that the entire Claremont Pines development used old English-style street names.
After spending two years remodeling and adding new furniture, including expensive Persian rugs. Williams put the house up for sale in 1931. 8 The house was demolished in 1938. 9
Links and References
Bowles purchases land San Francisco Call March 29, 1909
Architecture & Engineer of California - Jan 1911 pg. 204
Development of Claremont Pines Oakland Tribune October 16, 1927
Park Board Urged to Buy Bowles Estate Oakland Tribune October 1928
- Reception, Dance in Piedmont [sic] home Oakland Tribune February 26, 1928
- G4364 O2 2R62 1910 L3 UC Berkeley Collections
- Claremont Pines: an estate transformed Oakland Heritage Alliance newsletter Spring 2013
- A $350,00000 Luxuriously Furnished California Home Real Estate Directory March 1931
- Wrecking (classified ad) Oakland Tribune February 3, 1938
- Views of the Pines Estate Oakland, CA 1927 Gabriel Moulin
- The Pines - Bit of History