Sold $1,675,000 SOLD (List: 1.495M) - Single Family Home
Rare, Completely Renovated Alameda Two-Home Compound Near Park Street and Edison School (6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths)
Designed and built by renowned Bay Area architect Edwin Symmes* as his personal residence in the early 1920’s, this Spanish Mission style home in Alameda’s Fernside neighborhood is a truly remarkable offering of nearly 3500 square feet on a huge and private 8626 square foot lot. With a fascinating history reflected in its unique design, and over a half million dollars in renovation completed in 2015, this 6 bedroom, 3.5 bath property located next to Edison Elementary also boasts a rare zoning classification for this upscale neighborhood: it is a legal duplex — affording numerous possibilities for its accompanying 1 bed, 1 bath guest house.
While the home has been in the family of its current owners for over fifty years, 1700 Pearl was the childhood residence of influential area poet Robert Duncan, adopted son of the Symmes family. The most notable evidence of the Symmes’ legacy is found in the home’s incredible great room, modeled after a theosophical chapel. Here, vaulted wooden beams create a soaring cathedral ceiling while a Juliet balcony (accessible from the upper level) overlooks the space. An impressive bas-relief mural** extends above a stone fireplace flanked with built-in shelving, and rich, chestnut-hued hardwood floors provide added warmth. At the room’s far end, an expansive window niche allows for generous light and neighborhood views, while sliding doors open directly to a patio looking out across the front yard and gardens.
The formal dining room features a large pantry and wide picture window, offering a comfortable yet elegant space for gatherings and meals. The adjoining kitchen has been designed with abundant cherry wood cabinetry, polished granite countertops, Travertine floors, and stainless steel appliances (Bertazzoni hooded range, Bosch dishwasher, and KitchenAid fridge). A pot filler faucet adds convenience and style and a large pantry provides ample storage. A sliding glass door opens to the back yard, where a newly-poured concrete patio offers private, plenteous space for outdoor seating.
The home’s lower level has two bathrooms—a half bath just off the foyer, and a full bath with a walk-in shower and natural stone flooring. The dedicated laundry room is a sunny space that includes a utility sink.
Beyond the kitchen, a spacious family room makes for a great area for spending time with others or relaxing. Its carpeted floor and dry stack stone fireplace give the room its homey, pleasant character. Two adjacent bedrooms have spacious closets and backyard views.
Classic wrought iron railing leads up the staircase to the home’s upper level landing and three additional bedrooms. The master bedroom features views in three directions, a seating niche, and a windowed, walk-in closet with shelving inserts for efficient storage. Another bedroom features an elevated sleeping area, corner views, and a delightful door to the Juliet balcony, with a view of the great room below. A smaller bedroom across the hall is warm and bright, with large windows and a corner view.
Matching those of the kitchen, the upstairs bath’s tiling, countertop, and cabinetry create design continuity between the home’s levels. A separate water closet allows for added convenience.
Additional features of the main home include a basement with sump pump and French drain, a four-car driveway, and off-street parking. The front lawn features landscaped drought-tolerant gardens, and a beautiful Japanese maple tree.
Across a wide, private lawn is the property’s au pair/guest/rental home, extensively re-built in 2015. The main living space has a vaulted ceiling and open feel, adjoining with the kitchen. Like the main house, the kitchen features plentiful cabinetry and granite countertops. A large pantry contains washer and dryer hookups, and the full bath echoes stylistic themes in its surfaces and storage. The home’s large bedroom has substantial closets, and provides direct access to the concrete patio and yard—great for both entertainment and recreation. A single-car attached garage allows for additional storage and workshop space.
With its intriguing history, unique design, thoughtful renovations, and ideal location next to Edison school in the Fernside neighborhood, 1700 Pearl presents a wonderful opportunity to be part of Alameda’s proud community.
* Among other achievements, Edwin Symmes was the beloved architect of Alameda’s famed Neptune Beach – the “Coney Island of the West”
** Bas-relief is believed to be inspired by the Rudyard Kipling poem “The Ballad of East and West”