Oakland Real Estate and Prudential California Realty

By: Hamid Grinage

Prudential California Realty certainly has an interesting history, which is directly connected to the Bay Area. The history dates back to 1887, when Prudential California Realty was founded by Joseph Mason, who was later joined by Duncan Mcduffie, hence the name Mason-Mcduffie.

There is an interesting connection between Duncan Mcduffie and the Bay Area, because Mcduffie was a real estate developer who is responsible for the St. Francis Wood residential Park in SF, and the development of the Claremont and Northbrae communities in Berkeley, two areas which remain desireable to this day.

In order to promote the Northbrae community, it is said that he proposed that Berkeley be designated the Capital of the state. Mcduffie was somewhat of a Naturalist, and this was reflected in his vision for the nieghborhoods he designed. He was interested in creating neighborhoods where the architecture blended with the natural surroundings. It was important to him not to overlook the natural beauty of the areas he was developing. This is reflected in as well, with communities such as Crocker Highlands, Montclair, Piedmont as well as others.

Mcduffie became Sierra Club President from 1928 to 1931, and from 1943-1946. In 1924 he helped create the state park committee that formed the state park system. In th 1930's he served on a committee that surveyed open space in the East Bay hills and was a proponent for the 1934 state law that created the East Bay Regional Park District. It is evident that his contributions to the Bay Area are vast and long lasting.

Mcduffie was a true pioneer, setting the stage for what is now some of the most desireable real estate in California. The company he formed, Prudential California Realty now has over 100 offices and thousands of agents, and is currently the market leader in the East Bay Area.

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