According to an East Bay historian, this Piedmont home was "quite the showplace" when it was built back in 1941, finished just two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey's Gail G. Lombardi says that house at 2 Lexford Road was designed by prominent architect Irwin Johnson for Dr. Harrison J. Kolb, a serious collector of Asian art. The doctor's love for the style is evident throughout in details that must have made the home very personal to him.
The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home measures 4,141 square feet and sprawls over its 12,900 square-foot lot. It was recently remodeled, and the kitchen and the master bath are clearly of this era. But according to the office of listing agent Rick Richetta of Alain Pinel Realtors, the proportions of the original house are unchanged. There are also many elements that have likely been there from the beginning, and would have made the home very modern for its time. The first owner's affinity for Asian art is apparent in the metalwork around the front door and in doorknob details elsewhere in the house.
This is just one of the well-known buildings by Johnson in the area. His work includes notable commercial buildings (San Leandro City Hall and the Salvation Army Building in downtown Oakland) and private homes (including one for Earl Warren, who went on to be the Governor of California and a U.S. Supreme Chief Justice). Johnson had a long time to build his portfolio—he's said to have worked up to the age of 95.
· 92 Lexford Road [Official Site]