Source: Letters from SF Dwellers 1913

Starting about 2906,  the Schenley Farms Company began developing/builting/selling homes in the Schenley Farms neighborhood, a residential component of the City Beautiful movement which was transforming Oakland.   The first homes were at the lower end of Lytton, starting about 1906.

Between 1913- 1915, homeowners were apparently asked to write a letter to a SF Company representative, Mr. E. C. Brainert.    By reading their responses, it is apparent homeowners were asked to comment on several aspects of the new neighborhood:    location, cleanliness, restrictions   (e.g. coding requirements, underground utilities, 13 inch exterior walls, etc), and they were asked to comment if they were satisfied with their new home purchases.

The street running parallel to Fifth Avenue was then called Grant Avenue, later renamed Bigelow Blvd like its extension up the small hill to Schenley High School which was build in 1916.   There were homes on both sides of Grant/Bigelow, but  homes on one side were demolished in the mid-1960’s to make room for an expanding University of Pittsburgh campus.

These letters were compiled and ‘published’ in a book called “Letters from Schenley Farms Dwellers”.   A copy of this book was scanned by long-time resident Mary McDonough (born and raised at 217 Tennyson).    These images can be found until the individual home addresses.





Original Owners   (1914):


4040      Hamerschlag

4107       Hoatetter

4114       Kier

4131       Robeson

4136       Stengel

4154       Dowling

4205      Evans

4211      McLain

4214      Follansbee   (demolished)

4215      McFeely, C

4301      Ehrhard

4301      Keefer     (demolished)

4303      Powers

4307       Myler


203       David

205        Hamilton

207        Allen

211         Cordes

213        Smitley

215        Smitley

217        Stieren

221        Rose

204       Campbell     (now 222)


200       Ferree

201        Ewing

203        Grant

204       Felix

210       Burchfield

213        Rae

214       Siebert

215       Brown

217        McSwigan

218        Spuhler

219        Hardman

223       Breitweiser


4255      McFeely, J

4303      Kingsley

4323       Murphy