The Camron-Stanford House (1971 – present)

Restoration Campaign 1973When the Oakland Museum of California opened in 1967, replacing the three earlier institutions, fate of the old, deteriorating Victorian house was in question.  A small group of individuals concerned about Oakland’s architectural heritage came together in a successful effort to save the building from demolition. The Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association raised more than $800,000 in capital and gifts-in-kind to restore the city-owned building for the community. The restorers had to overcome extensive alterations made during the museum years, falling ceilings, and defective electrical, plumbing and heating systems.  Lacking photographs of the interiors, L. Thomas Frye, Frances Rhodes, Wayne Mathes and other researchers selected items such as the wallpapers and friezes after careful study of 19th century guides to interior decoration, photographs of other local houses of the period, and the interior decoration of the Alfred H. Cohen house in Oakland.  Descendants of the original residents of the house generously donated items to decorate the house and other items were loaned from individuals and institutions, including the Oakland Museum of California.

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and is cited by the Historic American Building Survey, the California Landmarks Committee and is a City of Oakland landmark,  Camron-Stanford House was opened to the public in May 1978 and has remained a teaching institution serving Oakland and the greater bay area.