Idora Park Storybook Home Goes on the Market
The quaint and affordable split-level 1,621-square-foot house in the Bushrod district is near shopping, restaurants, and businesses in Temescal and Rockridge, plus it’s near BART, bus lines, and casual carpools.
Photos by Open Homes Photography
Once upon a time — in the early 1900s, actually — the little Idora Park neighborhood in a pocket of North Oakland wasn’t a neighborhood at all. It was an amusement park.
A real honest-to-Ferris-wheel amusement park with a fanciful merry-go-round, a roller coaster, a zoo with ostriches and grizzly bears, vaudeville performers, a skating rink, opera house, and even a miniature auto-racing course. It drew fun-seekers from all over the region to the blocks between Telegraph and Shattuck avenues and 56th and 58th streets. Even Jack London and his wife had a grand time on the rides.
Over the years, as the Bay Area grew, interest in the little park waned, and it was razed in 1929. But its memory lingers on, mainly in the adorable storybook homes on vintage lamp-lined streets that popped up in its place in the early 1930s, as if growing from the ground’s whimsical past.
Today the cute houses — like the peaked-roof, three-bedroom, two-bath home at 5662 Carberry Ave. — are modest but desirable dwellings in the Idora Park section of the Bushrod district.
“It’s really cool history,” said listing agent Sheila Johnson of Compass Real Estate in Oakland. “To be right where a turn-of-the-[last]-century amusement park once stood is pretty special.”
Built in 1931, the Carberry home is a split-level, compact space of 1,621 square feet. Enter on the side of the house through an original wooden door with a grated peek-through window, almost speakeasy-style.
Once in, step onto the hardwood floors and take a right through an arched doorway into the living room. It’s filled with light, thanks to three walls of windows including the big, arched, front-facing picture window.
The storybook style is most evident in the fireplace, its mouth rimmed with mismatched stone slabs. A niche is built into the chimney as a showplace for a treasured piece of art.
Go back through the center hallway and into the formal dining room where a teardrop crystal chandelier sparkles over the table. Through the next door is the bright kitchen with classic black-and-white flooring, black countertops, and a white subway-tile backsplash. A cute corner built-in cupboard in the breakfast nook is the perfect place for knick-knacks or cookbooks.
Back through the dining room again, take the adjacent stairs with wrought-iron railing up to the three bedrooms, all with ceiling fans and windows on two sides of each room for a delicious cross breeze in the summer. The main bath on this level serves all the bedrooms.
Back downstairs and into the kitchen, a door leads to a few steps down to the laundry area, second bath, storage, interior access to the garage, and out the back of the house to the spacious backyard. Pavers base a patio area next to a swath of green grass, all bordered by shrubs and raised planter boxes.
Things have certainly changed since the amusement park was here — admission is no longer 5 cents — but there are still lots of attractions like shopping, restaurants, and businesses in the nearby Temescal and Rockridge districts. And Idora Park is a commute-friendly location near BART, bus lines, and casual carpools. A fine spot to build your own history.
5662 Carberry Ave., Oakland
Fireplace, hardwood flooring, attached garage
1,621 square feet
Agent: Sheila Johnson, Compass Real Estate, Oakland