Break Out the Hula Skirts

Break Out the Hula Skirts


Alameda’s Gold Coast features a mid-century home with a Mediterranean soul. It’s also a great place to hold a party.

During the 1950s push for suburbanization, Alameda’s Gold Coast was transformed from an enclave of stately 19th-century Victorians with San Francisco Bay frontages to a re-imagined 20th-century “future” of interconnected waterways and lagoons.

The modernist movement sweeping post World War II America made its way early to the progressive Bay Area. Built in 1951, 1235 Hawthorne St., a multi-tiered mid-century modern manse, once boasted a bay front beach with unobstructed views of San Francisco. After the developers had their way with the shoreline, the home became a fixture of the lagoons, still commanding impressive, near-panoramic views of San Francisco and the South Bay. The beachfront and tide pools are gone.

Nonetheless, a Bay Area waterfront home is a Bay Area waterfront home. And at 3,300 square feet, what a home it is.

With floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room, the home is flooded with natural light from sun up to sundown. What was once an expansive deck overlooking the bay gained a roof and permanent walls to become the home’s great room, large enough for a Beach Blanket Babylon production — or one helluva hula party. This property is simply begging for someone who loves to entertain.

“My wife wanted me to buy this property before it even went on the market,” said Vincent San Nicolas, a broker/owner at Oakland’s Green Bridge Properties. “There isn’t a nicer home to be in on a sunny day.”

Alameda’s renowned banana belt climate lends the home a Mediterranean flavor, with a backdrop of swaying palms. At the end of a cul de sac, the home has a custom gated driveway that opens to a circular plaza surrounded by tropical greenery and mature landscaping. Rustic pavers are shaped into a compass rose, a pattern repeated in the home’s entryway.

Enter the home’s double-wide Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired portal to a modern home with an Italianate’s heart. Terrazzo, marble, and ceramic tiling unify the flow and reflect light. A glass brick wall provides privacy and diffused light for the stairwell to the upper levels.

A thoroughly updated kitchen features state-of-the-art gourmet appliances surrounded by dark-paneled cabinets with enviable storage space. Expansive marble countertops provide all the cooks with plenty of room to create, while hardwood floors provide warmth to the heart and hearth of the house.

The three upstairs bedrooms are spacious, airy, and sunny — each with spectacular 180-degree views. A generously proportioned master features walk-in closet with custom cabinetry and a resort-worthy bathroom complete with whirlpool soaking tub.

San Nicolas admitted the home could use some freshening up and better utilization of unused outdoor space.

“Due to its size, and location, this property holds great appeal for multi-generational families or people who love to entertain,” added San Nicolas. “It’s a magnificent home with boundless potential.”


This home recently sold and is no longer on the market.


The Particulars


1235 Hawthorne St., Alameda

3 Bedrooms

2.5 Bathrooms

2-car garage with adjacent office/hobby room

3,300 square feet

Agent: Vincent San Nicolas, Green Bridge Properties, Oakland

Faces of the East Bay