Walter Dixon’s storybook tracts dot the East Bay, and the homes within them are so beloved by their owners that many of his developments remain completely intact today. The best known examples are probably Picardy Drive in Oakland, and Stonehenge and Stoneleigh in Alameda. The homes were built in clusters, designed by Dixon and built by his partner, Robert Hillen, and much of their charm is a result of this fact that they were built as neighborhoods rather than as single homes. They create community through their whimsical uniformity within the group yet differentness from the homes outside. Homeowners express a sense of being a part of a private club of some sort, even almost a century after the homes were built.
It is not unheard of for homes in these communities to come on the market because Dixon and Hillen were quite prolific during the 20’s and 30’s, but it always nice to see a good example in one of the best preserved clusters. Such is the case today with this lovely storybook home from the Stonehenge development in Alameda. Stonehenge itself is a wonderful arrangement of homes around a courtyard with a fountain in the center, and its homes are very fanciful. Exposed stone and stucco, turrets and bay windows – no two homes are the same, but they create a unified assemblage when viewed as a whole. It’s not hard to see why people fall in love with these communities.