Welcome to the Glenview—a foothill neighborhood in Oakland, CA. Its flora include Bougainvillea, Lavender and Mexican Sage and its fauna typically include squirrels, raccoons and dogs that lounge in front of the local coffee shop. Park Boulevard, the arterial road of the area, has great vistas of the bay.

Cartographic views of the Glenview go back to the early 20th century. One of the first comes from the Oakland Tribune, in an April, 1925 story that ran about a new subdivision called the “Glenview Heights”:

Map courtesy of the Oakland History Room

Map courtesy of the Oakland History Room

In 1908, before Park Boulevard got its name, a realtor of the area named Wickham Havens listed the property as “Fourth Avenue Terrace.” Sometime after the Ohlone Indians and Peralta family walked the land it was owned by ranchers named Carmony, Carmeron, Feeney and a German immigrant named John Hampel. Hampel used to live at the corner of Park Boulevard and what is now Hampel Street. That was seventy-three years after the city was founded.

Fast forward to 2008:

This is the Glenview district as seen by Google Earth.

This is the Glenview district as seen by Google Earth.

It’s interesting to imagine what the landscape looked like before the houses went up. (Luckily, Oakland’s version of suburbia was the Craftsman Bungalow and not homogenous boxes with vinyl siding.) Oakland was bitty then. Another 1925 Tribune article described the Glenview as on the “outskirts of the city.” Now it’s ensconced in a patchwork of other neighborhoods like Crocker Highlands.

The borders of the neighborhood are nebulous. The Glenview is said to span from Hollywood Ave. (toward Montclair) to E. 38th St. (toward the San Antonio district), and from Trestle Glen Road to Dimond Canyon. Or so writes Erika Mailman in her book, Oakland Neighborhoods.

Here’s another version that pushes the southwestern boundary out a bit:

Courtesy of the Glenview Neighborhood Association.

…And another that extends the northwestern border to include the highest point in the neighborhood, Glendome Circle:

…also from the GNA.

Both bird’s eye views, provided by the Glenview Neighborhood Association, delineate Dimond Park as bordering the southeastern edge of the Glenview. The City of Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency (CEDA) says that there is no official record of neighborhood boundaries. They rely on district maps instead. The Glenview rests in District 5.

This map pictures Oakland according to Wikipedia, with the Glenview located in red. Oakland could be compared to an amoeba, and its nucleus the City of Piedmont, which set up its own municipality in 1907. The city of Alameda (on the water, as if it were a proverbial Sicily kicked by a mainland boot) is a man-made island that set up a council-run government in 1916. Emeryville (incorporated in 1896) and Berkeley (1878) border Oakland North, and to the south is San Leandro (1872).

,From Wikipedia.com

That green loveliness on Oakland’s eastern side is parklands. It also marks the beginning of Sausal Creek that runs down the hill through Dimond Canyon. You can’t see it on this map; it’s a velvet belt of tree canopies covering a narrow valley. The natural beauty is just one of the many amenities this neighborhood has to offer. And the street views? Definitely worth the trip.