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The Price is Right Walk - Part 1

It was another beautiful morning for our Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group last Wednesday, and there was another large turnout of 32 walkers and one K-9 best friend at the Exedra at our normal start time.

Before we got started walking there were a few announcements. It was shared that Dara Birnbaum has restarted the Piedmont Meditation Group. The sessions are at 9 AM on Thursdays at the Tea House and last about an hour. People can contact Dara at if they are interested, or have questions.

Additionally, the PUSD Wellness Center Support Committee is having its "Walk for Wellness" that funds the program's Piedmont High and Middle School student physical, mental, and emotional wellness efforts. More information is available at

With the announcements done, it was time to get down to the business of the morning, and that business was real estate. Walkers admitted that they find the local real estate market pretty interesting. There are currently a number of beautiful homes for sale in Piedmont. Eight homes with listing prices ranging from $2,450,000 to $18,500,000 could be walked in a loop that would take us to the top of Glen Alpine Rd., a great street that we hadn't been to this year. There was some elevation, but the group made this climb in past years, and anyone not wanting to climb to the hill's top could peel off at Hampton Park. There is also some Piedmont history associated with

this walk, so a walking tour to these homes was the plan for the morning. To add to the fun, the walkers were given $18,500,000 in "Piedmont Real Estate Fantasy Dollars" to make imaginary offers on the homes.

We headed off for the first house at 21 King Avenue by going up Highland Avenue to Sheridan and Lincoln Avenues, and turning down King. About midway down the street we spotted a typical real estate sign. However, on it was a SOLD sign. It. Timing is everything and someone had beaten us to making offers on this one. However, we were still interested in playing "The Price is Right" for this home that was built in 1925. We had fun making guesses to this 4 bedroom/3 bath, 3760 square foot home's listing price, which was $3,250,000.

No one seemed disappointed that we had missed an opportunity to make offers. There were more homes to see, and we retraced our steps back to Lincoln and went up to Sea View Avenue. Taking a right on it, we soon came to 70 Sea View. It is a 5 bedroom/7 bath, 7,162 square foot home designed by Claude B. Barton and was built in 1923 on .93 acres. We also made guesses on the listing price, which is $10,800,000. The realtor's sign said the house would be open on Sunday for our closer inspections and offer refinements.

We went down Sea View and passed more beautiful homes, and a couple that are having construction work done. We turned up Hampton Road with 395 Hampton our next destination. On the way a couple of us also made book selections from a sidewalk library. 395 Hampton is a 1928 Albert Farr-designed, 8 bedroom/9 bath, 11,150 square foot mansion on .93 acres and has a permitted ADU next door at 1 Glen Alpine Road. At $18,500,000, this was the walking tour's highest listed priced home and a spot worthy of the attached group photo.

Next up, literally, at the top of this steep street was another Albert Farr mansion, 75 Glen Alpine. We made our climb up Glen Alpine, passing some truly fabulous homes along the way. We noted a new home of a modern design that has been under construction for some time, and also the home at 45 Glen Alpine, which would be discussed after we got to our destination.

75 Glen Alpine is a 5 bedroom/8 bath, 11,938 square foot, French revival chateau built in 1926 on 1.62 acres, and listed for $11,500,000. It's an impressive home, sitting on the top of this impressive street. Will Adams, who is a planner, urban designer, and architect, and writes regular "Walking Piedmont" articles for the Post, made some comments on Farr's exterior design. Additionally, there was history that we enjoyed. In 1914 James Tyson, a wealthy lumber and shipping businessman purchased 30 acres here to build his estate, which he named "Oakmont," at what is now 70 Sotelo. He also build a carriage house as a garage and servant quarters where he and his wife could live temporarily while supervising the construction of their new home, which was completed in 1916. This carriage house is the lovely home at 45 Glen Alpine that the walkers passed on the way up the hill. However, the Oakmont mansion no longer exists, as it was demolished in 1964.

Just to the right of 75 Glen Alpine are Tyson's original, two sandstone pillars with the words, "Oakmont" and "70 Sotelo" on them. They formerly marked the entrance to the long driveway to Tyson's now-gone mansion. The gated driveway now leads to new homes built on the former Oakmont site.

We started our decent of the hill and street, which had become Sotelo Avenue, to our next destination at 7 Sotelo. As we went we were able to get a peak of Tyson Lake through the sides of homes along the way. This lake was another Tyson creation. After he build Oakmont he dammed the small creek that ran through his property and created this reservoir, which is now owned and managed by a neighborhood association.

7 Sotelo provided another surprise. The realtor's sign said it was SOLD. Someone had swooped in and bought this home too. This is a 3 bedroom/3 bath, 2,945 square foot, newer design home, built in 1948. It was the first time this home was on the market, as it was built for the great grandparents of the sellers. At a listing price of "only" $2,750,000 it seemed like a bargain to the walkers.

We had enjoyed the walking tour to these beautiful homes, but time had passed quickly and it was getting close to our desired noon return time at the Exedra. It was decided to postpone going to the last three homes on the tour until next Wednesday. Happily for us and Piedmont realtors, there are always more beautiful homes to see and sell in Piedmont.


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