The Claremont Hotel occupies a large, 22-acre sloping site in the urban East Bay. Development of the vicinity occurred predominantly in the early 20th century. The property contains numerous historic trees and other plantings, provides panoramic views, and retains open space that is not only landmarked, but prized by visitors and neighbors alike.
Before the early 20th century, the general vicinity was mostly undeveloped. When the Telegraph tram line arrived in 1858 it followed what is now called Claremont Ave. Along that road, farms and large estates were established. However, urban development did not get underway in earnest until the expansion of the electric streetcar service, the Key System. It was abetted by the effects on San Francisco of the 1906 earthquake and fire. Several major subdivisions adjoining or near the hotel-among them the Hotel Claremont Tract, Claremont, El Vista Claremont, and Claremont Court- opened around the same time.
With the Claremont Hotel, as with so much else in our physical environment, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The Claremont must be evaluated as a comprehensive unit. Although the creation of the parking, pool and tennis courts involved reconfiguring many parts of the original grounds, the Claremont remains a dramatically open "oasis" that contrasts with adjacent urban development. As such, unblocked and historic views looking towards the main hotel building remain from adjoining streets and from afar. Multiple landmarking and historic designations of the hotel and grounds in the early 2000s by local, state, and national agencies unanimously recognized the importance of open space around the hotel building (including the contribution of the south parking to that open space) and endorsed the protection of this space as a historic resource. Since its opening in 1915 and still today, the hotel is a refreshing sanctuary set apart from the bustle of everyday life.