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New! Meet Emily Vance, the new Historic Preservation Planner

Just added — More pictures from the 2017 Preservation Awards presentation — Take a look!

SJ tour

Wolfe & Higgins Tour — August 26

  • Exactly 100 years ago, the architectural firm of Wolfe & Higgins brought the Spanish Revival style, with its red tile roofs, ornate decoration, wrought iron balconies, and arched doors and windows, to San Jose.
  • On August 26, the Preservation Action Council of San Jose will present an architectural homes tour showcasing the work of the firm that helped to define San Jose in the 1920s.
  • Eight 1920s Wolfe & Higgins masterpieces will be open, most for the first time.
  • Visitors can drive or stroll through the historic Greater Rose Garden and Willow Glen neighborhoods in San Jose to visit these beautiful buildings.
  • For more information, visit
enlarge poster Read more about Frank Delos Wolfe


College Terrace

Check back in the fall for our next series of walking tours!


cover On-line now: the Spring 2017 edition of PAST News.

Are you a member? We have received many generous renewals and hope one of those is yours! If you want to support PAST financially, please find a membership/donation blank here. Our membership was honored on February 23 with a presentation by Michael Garavaglia and Dan Garber on the Nuts & Bolts of historic preservation!

title set up caterer
name tag table heads audience
audience flowers audience
speakers window audience
Steve speaker Hayley, Claire, Lee. Charlie


Pump House Banner

Have you driven down Palo Alto Avenue lately? Or glanced towards San Franscisquito Creek while crossing Hale Street? The pump house has ungone restoration to repair the ravages of time on this charming city building! The renovation is complete—see the after picture below!

pump work pump house with green door



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Have you seen this man?  

He was locked in the University Arts store on Hamilton Avenue.
Is he still there now that the building is open again?


He escaped!

(Photo taken May 8, 2016.)

261 Hamilton



A sampling of homes from Mayfield! (Otherwise know as the California Avenue area.)
2053 Park

2053 Park Boulevard
2065 Park

2065 Park Boulevard
2110 Park
2110 Park Bouldvard
423 Oxford

423 Oxford Avenue
390 Oxford

390 Oxford Avenue
304 Oxford

304 Oxford Avenue

Have you followed these links?

Read about architectural styles found in Palo Alto and where examples can be found.

A newly discovered listing of important local people from the Palo Alto Historical Association's files which also provides an outline of Palo Alto's early history and links to many historic photographs!

Margaret Feuer's articles that first appeared in the Palo Alto Daily News.

Residents of the Los Arboles Eichler neighborhood gathered together to restore their sign and the clean up the overgrowth at Middlefield and Ames Avenue. See how the work progressed!

Then and Now... the windows on the tower are the clue to the identity of this 1895 house at 446 Forest Avenue.

446 Forest Avenue today. 433 Forest Avenue. John Moss photo 446 Forest side view


Attention researchers! The History Desk and Archives manned by historian Steve Staiger is now at its new site in room K–7 at Cubberley, 4000 Middlefield Road. Steve's hours remain the same, Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Most of the old photos used by PAST are from the Palo Alto Historical Association's archives.



Continuing local tid-bits not to be missed!  Even though the Palo Alto Daily News is no longer publishing history articles in the Friday real estate section, you can find most of them right here!


Demolitions . . . Always a concern. . . .

Homes by prominent Palo Alto architects are being demolished, but remember, "the greenest house is almost always the one already built". (Spring 2012, Preservation Magazine)

Take a look... at the master index of houses on this Website! There are links to houses all over town. If you have a photo of your house to add, please contact us! It could be an older photo, a more recent one, or even better, historic!

Playing on Heritage: Old Page Mill Road with Laura Jones, Stanford University Archaeologist

   Channel 30   




8 p.m.




10:00 a.m.




1 p.m.   

Note: These monthly Heritage programs are also shown on Channel 28 at less convenient times, or are available at the same times on the Media Center web site,


Volunteer Opportunity: Video Operators Wanted:
The Media Center public access organization has openings for City Hall Video Operators. These part-time positions provide live video coverage of local government meetings. Most work is on Monday through Thursday evenings. Some experience with video production is important. Working in public access is a rewarding way to use your technical expertise to provide the important public service of broadcasting the decision making processes of government.

For more information please visit


If you don't have access to cable, you can also watch on your computer at the same times on the web page for the Media Center:

If you missed any of the broadcasts, such as the programs about Edward Durell Stone, Jeanne McDonnell's presentation on Juana Briones, or the presentation that included 2005 Bryant Street, they are available on DVD to borrow from the History Desk located in Room K-7 at the Cubberley Center on Middlefield Road. The History Desk is open Tuesday evenings from 4 to 8 and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 5.

Palo Alto Remembered: Stories from a City's Past published by the Palo Alto Historical Association find out more

Architectural Styles


Palo Alto homes feature a rich variety of architectural styles, including Streamline Moderne. There are several similar scattered throughout Palo Alto. How many can you find?

Discover more Palo Alto styles and see more sketches.

Links to videos from the Palo Alto Historical Association's Exploring the Archives . . . National Register Properties in Palo Alto . . . Places to Visit . . . and more are on our Resources page.

Do you recognize anything in these photos? Do you know where they were taken?

University Ave. 1941
University Avenue, 1941
Nortree Hall
Nortree Hall, not rebuilt after 1906 earthquake
318 Middlefield
318 Middlefield
Byxbee Real Estate
Byxbee Real Estate Office
Russell Lee and Birge Clark
Dr. Russell Lee and Birge Clark
Escondite Cottage on Stanford University Campus
Stanford cottage. Do you know who lived here?
BOD Bank of Palo Alto
Board of Directors of the Bank of Palo Alto

Do you have an old photo to share?
Please contact us!



Find it fast

Architects and builders who worked in Palo Alto into the 1960's.
Preservation Awards by Year
Birge Clark
Early Palo Altans
Photos of houses by address
Daily News Articles
Edgewood Plaza
Hangar One
History Links
Charles Hodges
Juana Briones
Los Arboles
National Register Properties at Stanford and Palo Alto
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More easy links:

  • Photos of Mayfield School, including class pictures from the 1930s
  • Links to short videos on the Cardinal Hotel and the Roth Building on the Resources page
  • Details about all past Holiday House Tours.
  • PAST board list
  • Photos of the future History Museum building on Homer Avenue. See pictures of the future home of the Palo Alto History Museum on our Advocacy page and read about progress towards converting the Roth Building to the Palo Alto History Museum!
  • The Inventory page comments now identifies homes and properties that have won Preservation Awards and/or have been on a Holiday House Tour. This information is also found in the Master Index of Houses.
  • The latest Preservation award winners are on the Preservation Awards page as are pictures of winners from 2007 to 2017.
  • Hangar One: It's saved, but you can read about it at the Save Hangar One website.

Not that far from home. . .

Nevada City residents are struggling with the realities of maintaining two art deco treasures. Read the National Trust for Historic Preservation's story about this historic Gold Rush town.


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PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage—Dedicated to the preservation of Palo Alto's historic buildings.