Bernard Ralph Maybeck (February 7, 1862 – October 3, 1957) was a noted Bay Area Tradition architect. He lived and worked in Berkeley, but executed some notable commissions in Oakland, and his influence on younger architects was considerable since among other things he taught at Cal. There is more to be written here about his interesting life, flitting around being sort of like the Cincinnatus Heine Miller of Bay Area architecture, designing the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco (a California city reportedly near Oakland), and mentoring (among others) Julia Morgan, etc. (What was up wit dat?) But for now, let’s get right to the …

Maybeck buildings in Oakland

The ravages of time have unfortunately left fewer of these standing than we would like.

  • Probably the most well-known is the Chick House on upper Chabot Road. This house survived the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm.
  • The Owens House at 1041 Ashmount Avenue in Trestle Glen.
  • The Calkins house at 601 Rosemount.12
  • The Staniford House at 6130 Ocean View Avenue in Upper Rockridge, was destroyed by the 1991 Oakland Fire. [side note - I (NAParish) agree with Gene that the house on the site is very nice, and I also checked out Google Street View when adding the house to this page, and initially assumed the house was historical. However, the descriptions of the original Maybeck house say it was designed as almost a “one room” house, so I don’t think the new house matches the original Maybeck. Also, the SF Fire Dep’t history of assistance during the fire (highly recommended reading) specifically notes that a Marin County strike team saved the next door house at 6126 Ocean View, and Zillow says that the current house was built in 1999.]
  • Maybeck also designed the former Earle C. Anthony Packard / Herrera Buick showroom at 2101 Harrison (built 1928, razed 1973). The site is now part of the Cathedral of Light complex.
  • But wait! He’s also credited with designing the Marion Cottage at the Mary Smith Home for Friendless Girls, which is still standing (though in bad shape architecturally). [Note that Erika Mailman wrote a column in 2007 saying that Maybeck designed the Florence Cottage: read it here. 4/12/2013: According to Phil Bellman who leads the OHA tour, Erika's column is incorrect. Florence Cottage was designed by Walter J, Mathews, and Betty Marvin found the contract between Mary R. Smith and BR Maybeck (source Oakland Survey records). -Gene]

Mr. Maybeck is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, in the garden area next to the largest mausoleum. Buried nearby are Wallen, Jacomena, Erna Maybeck Gannon, and William James Gannon.

Maybeck marker (# is for lot above)
photo CC SA-NC-BY Our Oakland

See also

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Links and References

  1. Buildings designed by Bernard Maybeck (note that the house at 110 Sunnyhills is in Piedmont, not Oakland, and was originally designed for the parents of Egbert Beach, for whom Piedmont’s Beach school is named)
  2. VLN: Bernard Maybeck, page 8
  3. VLN: Bernard Maybeck, page 10