Uses: Automobile service station, automobile repair shop (currently)
GM Auto Dealership - 1936
790 High Street at Homer: This fine Streamline Moderne structure was designed by Birge and David Clark for Hacket Motors. Streamline styling with rounded corners, smooth surfaces and strong horizontal bands was reflected in trains, household items and buildings. Gas pumps were installed under the rounded canopy visible through the glass of the protruding show area.
Uses: Auto dealership, auto repair, gas station, Commedia Theatre, athletic shoe store. Currently used for offices.
Family Service Laundry - 1930
140 Homer: This industrial building with stepped papapets and roof monitor was part of the Palo Alto laundry district, which contained about 15 laundries at one time. At 7 cents a pound and 1 cent per piece, many families could afford to have their laundry done, even during the worst of the Depression era. In the late 1960s the building was operated as an ice cream plant by the Peninsula Creamery.
Uses: Laundry, ice cream manufacturing plant; Future adaptive reuse or demolition is unknown at this time.
Auto Dealership - 1928
Homer at Emerson: Constructed as a Ford dealership in 1928, the building became the George Paddleford Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership in 1933. This industrial building, with an unusually wide spanning steel trusswork supporting the roof, remained an auto dealership until 1986, when the building exterior and interior was redesigned for the Whole Foods Market, the present tenant.
Uses: Auto dealership and repair facility and currently an upscale food market.
Cashel Brothers Plumbing Company - 1905
200 Homer: This plumbing company and stable were built by H. L. Upham. In the late teens or early 1920s, the stable and plumbing shop were connected. The stable still has the beam for lifting hay. This very rare sample of an early commercial building has faint touches of classically derived detail. The use of narrow clapboard was common in both residences and commercial buildings. The Cashel family built their residence across the street at 201 Homer.
Uses: Plumbing shop, piano sales room, laundry, the upscale Smith Anderson Art Gallery, and currently a computer design firm.
Queen Ann Victorian - 1893
209 Homer: This Queen Ann Victorian residence was built for Stanford Professor Emory Smith at 539 Waverley. Victorian features include fish scale shingles on the gable and jigsaw porch brackets. Professor Smith taught horticulture and helped plan Golden Gate Park. The house later became the rectory for All Saints Church. In 1910, Mrs. Bridget Cashel moved it to its current location for use as a rental house.
Uses: Residence, rectory, and rental house.
City of Paris Dyeing and Cleaning Works - 1925
248 Homer: This mission revival building by Roy Heald features a simple mission style papapet above the roof. The fleet of trucks suggests that the company picked up and delivered items to be cleaned. After serving the community as a cleaning plant for 60 years, the building was restored and redesigned for office use.
Uses: Dry cleaning company, and currently an advertising company.
French Laundry - 1931
260 Homer: Designed by Erwin Reichel, this building later became the Cardinal Laundry. In the 1920s through the 1940s, laundries were extremely important businesses because few private residences had mechanical washing or drying machines. Before the advent of home laundry appliances, women typically spent two days a week processing the family laundry by hand. It was exhausting and sometimes dangerous work.
Uses: Laundry; Future use is unknown at this time, but building exterior is to be restored.
Polly & Jake House - 1902
730 Bryant: This unusual and inventive design was built by well known builder H. L. Upham. The angled exterior forms relate to almost octagonal rooms inside. The style is eclectic with decorative elements of Eastlake and Colonial Revival. For many years it was the home of Polly and Jake Swartz, long time Palo Alto antique dealers. They added fanciful roof finials and Victorian jigsaw trim to the gables of the carriage house and garden room.
Roth Building - 1932
300 Homer: This is the original Palo Alto Medical Clinic building designed by Birge Clark. The Monterey Colonial style (later a signature style for Birge Clark) and the location (too far out of town!) were unique. The decorative murals by Victor Arnautoff, a disciple of Diego Rivera, were controversial in conservative Palo Alto, especially the images containing semi-nude figures. The building is now being considered for use by non-profit organizations.
Uses: Medical clinic; Future use is unknown.
Williams House and Gardens - 1906
351 Homer: Constructed for Palo Alto physician Dr. Thomas Williams and family and designed by architect Ernest Coxhead, this two story English Country style building has many Craftsman touches in its richly paneled interior. It is now the home of the Museum of American Heritage. The original garage in the rear housed one of Palo Alto's early automobiles.
Used as a family residence and donated to the City of Palo Alto, it became home for MOAH in 1997.
Summerhill Homes Project - 2003
The neighborhood around the Museum is undergoing many changes. Several historic houses have been moved and restored.
Summerhill Homes is also building new condominiums and single family homes on much of the former Palo Alto Medical Clinic site, and a city park is planned along Homer Avenue.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church - 1901
745 Waverley: This Gothic Revival, or as some refer to it, Carpenter Gothic, church was designed by Shea and Shea of San Francisco. It is the oldest extant church in Palo Alto. It has the steep gable roof, tall narrow arched windows, and a tall spire found in Gothic architecture. 1902 Sanborn Fire Maps indicated the building had electric lights and steam heat.
Catholic services have been held there since 1902. Scenes for the movie "Harold and Maude" were filmed here.
Craftsman Bungalow - 1905
420 Homer: This near-by Craftsman bungalow has the low pitched gable roof with wide overhang that is typical of the style. Other features are the covered porch with tapered square columns, and a shed style dormer. Construction materials were left as close to natural state as possible. Furnishing and interiors often reflected the Arts and Crafts movement. Other Craftsman bungalows are located on the west side of the 700 block of Waverley Street.
Hewlett-Packard Garage and Residence - 1905
367 Addison: The simple vernacular garage located on Addison Avenue was the spot where Bill Hewlett and David Packard developed their first commercially successful inventions in 1938-1939. Both Hewlett and Packard lived on this property. The image of this structure has worldwide recognition as the birthplace of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and it is a State of California Registered Historical Landmark as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. It is the site of the archetypal "garage startup".
Used as a private residence/rental, the property has recently been purchased by Hewlett Packard.
William Shockley home - Craftsman Style - 1899
959 Waverley: This craftsman style house was built by local builder Gus Laumeister, who was well known for quality construction and fine workmanship. The porch has classical columns.
This building was the boyhood home of Nobel Prize winner, William Shockley, who was co-inventor of the transistor and a significant (though controversial) contributor to the development of Silicon Valley as a center of the semiconductor industry.
Used historically as a residence, it is currently configured as rental units.
The Squire House - 1904
900 University: This formal Classical Revival house was built for the John Adams Squire family. This imposing style with tall Roman columns, Ionic capitals, and triangular pediment was rarely used in Palo Alto. Important San Francisco architect, T. Paterson Ross, designed the house and well known Palo Alto contractor, George W. Mosher, built the residence. This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by a facade easement owned by the City of Palo Alto.
Interior details of the Squire House include classical fireplace and steam radiators, graceful staircase, stained glass window, and electrical lighting fixtures.
last updated: October 2, 2003
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