Compared to such hilltop structures as the Murchison House and the Hawthorne Studio Barn, the low-slung, Ranch-style Oppen residence, built in 1964 atop Telegraph Hill, is a fairly modest piece of work. But that may be one of its most appealing qualities. You’re not aware of it from almost any place down below. Even on Oppen Lane, it barely crests the horizon.
Richard Alan Oppen (±1925-2004), whose name is commemorated in Oppen Lane, was a native of Cincinnati who served as a naval aviator in World War II. While attending the University of Miami, he came to the attention of the Boston Braves, the Major League predecessor of the Atlanta Braves, and spent some time on the Braves’ farm team. While in Florida, he met Barbara Cabral, a John Robert Powers model and the daughter of Manuel and Mary P. Cabral, the owners of the Bonnie Doone Restaurant (then called the Bonnie Doone Grille) at 35 Bradford Street. The couple were wed in 1948 and had two children: Manuela “Bonnie” (Oppen) Jordan (b 1951) and Anastasia “Stacey” (Oppen) Garvey (b 1953), who owns the house at 3 Oppen Lane. They also began working side by side at the Bonnie Doone, where they remained until 1986. The Oppens built this summer house in 1964 and spent their winters in Florida.
Mrs. Oppen died in 1999. Her husband died five years later. In 2007, Bonnie sold the property at 9 Oppen Lane to Jeffrey A. Libert and Martha D. Brown for $1.915 million. It is now owned by Thomas J. Walter (b 1968). • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-05-27