Victorian Preservation Center of Oakland
Completed in 1884, the Oakland Historic landmark Cohen Bray House represents what remains of two prominent East Bay families from the Gold Rush era. The House remains on the original site of the Bray Estate, it was called Oak Tree Farm.
The Victorian Preservation Center of Oakland nonprofit organization was founded by professionals and family in 1993 as a means to maintain, preserve and teach about this time period the Cohen Bray House represents.
The three story house is an example of Stick- Eastlake Victorian style architecture and (after the damage from the 1906 earthquake, part of the rooms were remodeled in Craftsmen Style); consisting of 17 rooms, 5 fireplaces, ornately carved redwood paneling, original furnishings stained glass, wallpapers, and carpeting.
The property also includes a 137 yr old 1/2 acre garden complete with native trees, fruit trees, seasonal vegetables, hops, wildflowers, 2 bee-hives, rose bushes and other ornamentals originally planted in 1884. This property was originally the asparagus patch of Oak Tree Farm in 1865, before it was gifted to W.A. Brays oldest daughter, Emma. He built her the Cohen Bray house on it as a wedding present.
This house provides a rare and unique opportunity to
learn about this family's life from 1884-1940's when their fortunes changed and the family struggled to keep this house from being torn down and all the collection including of items from their parents houses ( long gone) dismantled.
Amazing people came together to support this special house and save the unique collections that support academic study of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Oakland. We created the Victorian Preservation Center of Oakland as a 501(c)3. We consider it a privilege to care for this gift to everyone of us and we have to tell its stories.
Our tours and programs showcase the home's original interiors, collections and period Victorian garden. Our school and garden programs connect students, teachers, neighbors and visitors to the land, through family stories told by descendants. Joining us with your funds, time and talent will help us keep such a rare piece of California history together and moving safely toward the future.
To visit us, please contact us in advance.
Due to the Covid, we are opening slowly, starting with outside work parties, and limited indoor collections work for individual vaccinated volunteers. Masks are mandatory.
Friends, please supporting us through your membership! Join or renew today! You are helping us survive.
Please follow the links and our menu for more information about what we will do once we are able to open fully.
Our goal is to preserve and protect this amazing house. Help us toward that goal for future generations.
Fall in love and become a volunteer.
Come once or many times.
Once you've been here, you will never forget it.
Read and see this wonderful blog by a local artist .
Help make sure the future doesn't lose the past.