Love It and Leave It

Family pens parting tribute to MCM beauty as it hits the market in Oakland’s Montclair
Fridays on the Homefront
Sitting in the Oakland Hills above Montclair, this new listing on Saroni Drive is a classic mid-century modern design with vaulted wood ceilings, mid-century detailing, walls of glass, and outdoor decks on two levels (as above). Photos: courtesy The Home Company

Montclair is one of the prettiest, most prestigious communities in the East Bay, and a sparkling mid-century modern home that's available for a short while there inspires such fondness in its owners, they've written it a love letter.

"6576 Saroni Drive, we'll miss thee," begins the family's poetic missive to the 1959 house they are leaving to move closer to family in Oregon. The four-bed, three-bath home was listed recently for $1.318 million, which in fact is $22,000 less than they paid for it three years ago.

"It's actually very, very well taken care of and in great shape," promises Jennifer Montague Clark, owner of Oakland-based The Home Company, who helped restore and stage the house before listing it. They have set an offer deadline of June 8, two days after they host the next open house for it.

Fridays on the Homefront

"Open and light, with an auditorium of trees that created a retreat from the electricity and hustle of an urban area," is how Jacqueline Fodor, Marc Richardson, and their children describe the house sitting in the Oakland Hills above Montclair Village. In the family's letter, they explain, "Had it not been for the year 2020 we would have stayed—jobs that were rooted in Bay Area locations now find us working remotely."

Sadly, the architect is unknown for this 2,544-square-foot beauty sitting on a hillside lot that is slightly less than one-seventh of an acre. It's particularly sad because there is such classic design in the vaulted wood ceilings, mid-century detailing, walls of glass, and outdoor decks on two levels.

"As mid-century modern houses do, it's got that indoor-outdoor [connection,]" is how Clark describes what she calls the property's best asset, "the setting, and how the architecture of the home really accentuates that."

Fridays on the Homefront

"We'll miss the wildlife—deer, squirrels, foxes, turkeys, and countless songbirds—but mostly the hummingbirds that would visit the feeder outside the main bedroom," write the current owners of their animal neighbors, some of whom visited often enough to earn names from the family. They add almost as an afterthought, "We'll miss the humans too."

Not that the family named just the neighborhood wildlife, either: "We'll miss [the] cypress outside our kitchen window, Rosie; the redwood outback, Amber; and the protective maple that canopies our front stairs, Maple (we know, not that original [a name])."

Fridays on the Homefront