Fit for a Queen

The restored Victorian character and eye-catching period touches mesh well with modern amenities in this Queen Anne charmer.


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Photo by Open Homes Photography

It’s not hard to imagine the upper echelon of late-19th-century Alameda society wafting into the parlor of this Queen Anne Victorian at 1223 Paru St.

Not hard to imagine at all, because the home has been restored to its original grandeur, from the tip of its turret to the toes of its claw-foot tubs. Yet it’s ready for today’s modern island resident to settle in with a cuppa kombucha — pinkie raised, of course — plus a green-burning log in the wood-manteled fireplace and some classic harpsichord played by Alexa.

Photo by Open Homes Photography

The three-plus bedroom, 3½-bath charmer with more than 2,415 square feet blends original period details with modern amenities, including stainless steel appliances and air-conditioning — luxuries those 19th-century folks would have killed for — plus a 20th-century addition on the rear that provides extra space.

The home was built in 1891, according to Alameda Architectural Preservation Society, by turn-of-the-last-century’s famed Bay Area architects Marcuse & Remmel, who specialized in Victorian design. It sits on one of central Alameda’s tree-lined streets on the edge of the Gold Coast neighborhood, one of the city’s most coveted enclaves.

This is a classic Queen Anne, dressed in an ornamental skin of shingles in burgundies and teals and embellished with decorated gables and ornate finials. There’s so much to take in that even the listing agent, Dede Cunningham of Alain Pinel Realtors, has a hard time limiting her favorite elements to just one.

Photo by Open Homes Photography

Victorian details add allure, but this Gold Coast Queen Anne by Marcuse & Remmel is awash with modernity as well.

“I love the original windows with wavy glass, the ruby-hued flash-glass windows that exude a glorious red glow in the morning sun,” she said. “And there’s the intricate staircase, amazing plants and garden, koi pond, turret, and tiered decking that is perfect for entertaining. Just so much.”

Indeed, step through an iron gateway, move through the flowering front garden and up to the porch where you’ll enter another era through windowed double front doors. The first view is the foyer with the period wood staircase and inlaid hardwood floors. Here, one of the ruby windows lends a rosy luster.

To the right is the formal parlor with its soaring ceiling and sparkling chandelier suspended from an ornate medallion. The original lincrusta, a deeply embossed wall covering, has been tenderly restored and the upper walls clothed in fresh period wallpaper from Bradbury & Bradbury, which specializes in historic wall coverings. Natural light streams in through tall sash bay windows. The theme continues through the dining room and into the study with a newly renovated full bathroom and claw-foot tub.

Photo by Open Homes Photography

In the kitchen, the dark wood and molding maintain the historic feel, but sleek updates bring the home into this century.

The updated kitchen cabinetry with dark wood and moldings maintains the historic feel, countered with sleek appliances. Double glass doors from the kitchen lead out to a large deck and into the lush rear garden, complete with koi pond.

Upstairs are the original bedrooms. The master is bright and airy with an ornate fireplace. The high-ceilinged baths have been beautifully redone with a fresh teal on the wainscoting and sparkling tile.

To take a break from the past, enter the rear addition with its bright, white modern rooms and skylights. A porch from the second floor overlooks the quiet neighborhood.

Cunningham said the ideal buyer for this home is “someone who enjoys and has an appreciation for preserving historic homes,” she said. “It’s also a wonderful neighborhood for those who want to be close to Franklin Elementary, a top school. You’re close to Franklin Park with a pool, tennis and basketball courts. Plus, it’s walkable to shops and restaurants.”

Photo by Open Homes Photography

Besides being lovingly restored to its fomer grandeur, the house contains a new addition and boasts exceptional grounds and a koi pond.

The Particulars

$1,495,000

1223 Paru St., Alameda

3-plus Bedrooms

3½ Bathrooms

Original detailing, hardwood floors, high ceilings, modern upgrades

Detached garage

2,415 square feet

Agent: Dede Cunningham, Alain Pinel Realtors

1223Paru.com

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