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Birge M. Clark

 

 

Birge Clark with Post Office corner stone

Birge Clark with the Palo Alto Post Office corner stone. Photo from the Archives of the Palo Alto Historical Association

It seldom happens that a single architect is so influential that his work actually provides a major component of the image of a city. There are, however, at least three California towns where this has happened: in San Diego with the work of Irving Gill; in Watsonville with the work of W. H. Weeks; and in Palo Alto with the work of Birge Clark.

While Clark designed some structures in the Tudor or Medieval Revival styles, his work is primarily in the Spanish Colonial Revival mode, or, as he prefers to call it, the Early California Style. There is in his work a fondness for large expanses of wall, carefully irregular fenestration, and embellishments of colored tiles and wrought iron. (Short tile video)

Clark's father, A. B. Clark, was an early Stanford faculty member and although his primary field was art rather than architecture, he was the designer of many fine early Palo Alto residences. Thus his son, Birge Clark, was exposed to architectural concerns at an early age and together they designed the Lou Henry Hoover House.

Clark's long practice has been almost solely conducted in Palo Alto, and was varied enough to include single aind multiple family residences, commercial structures and prominent institutional buildings. Thus, his hand is to be traced in every range of building in the community, and is responsible for the remarkable visual coherence of post–1920's Palo Alto.

Source: Historical and Architectural Resources of the City of Palo Alto, 1979.

 

 

Video interview with Gail Woolley about Birge Clark

Top


Local Works by Birge Clark

 

Commercial Buildings

650 Addison Avenue

Addison School

1924
Addison School
121 Alma Street

1925
121-31 University
291 Alma Street

1928
 
539 Alma Street

1921
535-59 Alma
695 Arastradero Road

Alta Mesa Memorial Cemetary,

1932
Alta Mesa entrance
440 – 450 Bryant Street,

1927
read more
Police'Fire department
522 – 524 – 526 – 528 Bryant Street

Palo Alto Hardware

1936
522 Bryant
535 – 539 Bryant Street, 1922

2015 photo

1922
535 Bryant
540 Bryant Street

Piggly Wiggly Grocery

1932
540 Bryant
164 California Avenue  
392 California Avenue

(re–faced)

1948
remodeled
415 – 417 California Avenue

2015 photo

1948
421 California Avenue

re–faced

1929
421 Calif
431 California Avenue, 1926

Fine Arts Theater

1926
Fine Arts
433 – 435 California Avenue 433 California
480 East Meadow

JLS Middle School

(Wilbur Jr. High)

1953
Wilbur/JLS
2560 Embarcadero Road, 1941,

Sea Scout Base

1941

(with David Clark)

more
Sea Scout Base
435 – 439 Emerson Street

Baker Hotel

1924–25
 
544 Emerson Street

1926
544 Emerson
611 –  619 Emerson Street

1924
611 emerson
Florence Street at University Avenue

Masonic Hall. Destroyed by fire.
 
140 Forest Avenue, 1936  
146 Forest Avenue  
116 – 122 Hamilton Avenue, 1925  
200 – 230 Hamilton Avenue 200 Hamilton
261 267 Hamilton Avenue

1927
Medical-Dental Building; University Art
300 Hamilton Avenue

Bank

lower mural close up

1963
bank
380 Hamilton Avenue

United States Post Office


1932

short video
post office
411 – 419 High Street

1924
 
635 High Street

1945
635 High
790 High Street at Homer

Pontiac garage),

1936
Pontiac Garage
151 Homer Avenue

1925
 
300 Homer Avenue

Palo Alto Medical Clinic

Roth Building, 1

1932
Roth building
1305 Middlefield Road

Lucie Stern Community Center

1933 – 1936

short video
Lucie Stern Center
532 – 536 Ramona street,

1926
536 Ramona
538 Ramona Street,

1926
538 Ramona
541 – 545 Ramona Street,

1927
541 Ramona
628 – 630 Ramona Street

1927
628 - 630 Ramona
668 Ramona Street

Palo Alto Art Club

1926
Art club
102 The Circle  
125 University Avenue,

1925
May 3, 2015
180 – 190 University Avenue

1936
180 University
233 – 235 University Avenue

233-235 University

historic view

261 University Avenue 261 University
263 University Avenue 263 University
267 University Avenue 267 University

323 University Avenue

2015 Commercial Rehabilitation Preservation Award

1925
323 University
340 University Avenue

Liddicoats Market

Demolished
 
400 – 424 University Avenue
423 University Avenue

1927
423 University
425 University Avenue,

1927
425 University
429, 433, and 437 University Avenue


1927
429- 433-437 University
436 University Avenue 436 University
440 University Avenue

1927
436 University
440 — 448 University Avenue

1927
444-448 University
452 University Avenue

1927
436 University, taken 1985
451 University Avenue

1938

451 University

451 University side view

460 – 476 University Avenue

1927
460 University
488 University Avenue

President Hotel

1929
Hotel President
526 – 530 – 534 Waverley Street

1927
526 Waverley

 


 

Palo Alto Residences

505 507 Addison Avenue

1922
505 Addison
2040 Amherst Street

1947
2040 Amherst
2060 Amherst Street

1947
2060 Amherst
2215 Amherst Street 2215 Amherst
2225 Amherst Street 2225 Amherst
1837 Bryant Street

1940
 
1851 Bryant Street

1940
1851 Bryant
1865 Bryant Street

(311 Seale Avenue)

1940
311 Seale
1991 Bryant Street

1935
1991 Bryant, Judith Frost image
1480 Byron Street

1932
 
526 Center Drive

1931
 
370 Channing Avenue

1922
 
232 Coleridge Avenue

1925
232 Coleridge
455 Coleridge Avenue

1927
455 Coleridge
470 Coleridge Avenue

1923
470 Coleridge
512 Coleridge Avenue,

1928
512 Coleridge
526 Coleridge Avenue

1935
526 Coleridge
544 Coleridge Avenue

1923
544 Coleridge
570 Coleridge Avenue

1926
570 Coleridge
619 Cowper Street —
demolished
 

1247 Cowper Street
Kathleen Norris House

Notes on the Norris House

History and Architecture Article
1927

1247 Cowper
1928 Cowper Street

1935
1928 Cowper
1950 Cowper Street

1932
Ruth Stern house
1990 Cowper Street

1932
Lucie Stern house
2200 Cowper Street,

1936
2200 Cowper
557 East Crescent Drive

1930
557 East Crescent
1400 Edgewood Drive

1933
1440 Edgewood
1401 Edgewood Drive 1401 Edgewood
1431 Edgewood Drive

1948
1431 Edgewood
1440 Edgewood Drive

1947
1440 Edgewood
1474 Edgewood Drive

1935
1474 Edgewood
1480 Edgewood Drive

1936
1480 Edgewood
1490 Edgewood Drive

1936

rear of house
1490 Edgewood
590 Embarcadero Road  
758 Everett Avenue

1923
758 Everett
27210 Fremont Road  
1766 Fulton Street

1936
 
1830 Fulton Street  
619 Guinda Street,

1924
 
955 Hamilton Avenue,

1935
955 Hamilton
1120 Hamilton Avenue

1932
1120 Hamilton
1220 Hamilton Avenue

1938
1220 Hamilton
1457 Hamilton Avenue

1953
1457 Hamilton
1491 Hamilton Avenue

1937
 
111 Island Drive

1935
111 Island
155 Island Drive

1933
155 Island
Guest house
at rear of residence at
360 Kellogg Avenue
 
325 Kingsley Court

1940
325 Kingsley
327 Kingsley Court

1940
327 Kingsley
333 Kingsley Court
1940
 
335 Kingsley Court
1940
 
343 Kingsley Court
1940
 
345 Kingsley Court

1940
345 Kingsley
353 Kingsley Court
1940
 
355 Kingsley Court
1940
 
363 Kingsley Court
1940
 
365 Kingsley Court
1940
 
335 Lowell Avenue  
556 Lowell Avenue  
569 Lowell Avenue

1924
569 Lowell
420 Maple Street

Dunker Residence

National Register

additional views

1925
420 Maple
1322 Martin Avenue  
640 Middlefield Road,
1922
 
1410 Middlefield Road

1924
1410 Middlefield
1420 Middlefield Road

1924
1420 Middlefield
1430 Middlefield Road

(after expansion)

1924
1430 Middlefield
1440 Middlefield Road

1924
1440 Middlefield
425 Nevada Street

1938
 
580 Newell Road

1941
580 Newell
1990 Newell Road  
760 Northampton Drive

1941
 
960 Old Trace Road  
Page Mill Road  
1066 Palo Alto Avenue  
300 Santa Rita Avenue

Demolished
300 Santa Rita
311 Seale Avenue

(see 1837 Bryant Street)

1940
311 Seale
559 Seale Avenue 559 Seale
730 Southampton Drive  
882 Southampton Drive

1946
 
1941 Tasso Street

1941
 
595 Tennyson Avenue

1928
595 Tennyson
701 Tennyson Avenue
1937
 
1150 University Avenue

1939
1150 University
1570 University Avenue

1933
1170 University
1755 University Avenue

1945
1755 University
1010 Waverley Street

1923
1010 Waverley
2121 Waverley Street 2121 Waverley
1455 Webster Street

1921
1455 Webster
1500 Webster Street

1924
1500 Webster
1525 Webster Street

1922
1525 Webster
1565 Webster Street 1565 Webster
1651 Webster Street

1922
1651 Webster
1711 Webster Street

Demolished Feb. 2012

1923
1711 Webster
1975 Webster Street  
520 West Crescent Drive
1933
 

 


Stanford Residences

665 Alvarado Row,

1927
665 alvarado Row
661 Cabrillo, 1921 Designed for the Townleys, his future in-laws. Birge and Lucille were married in the living room
611 Coronado, 1930  
735 Dolores, 1928
747 Dolores, 1924  
710 Frenchman's Road,

1925
710 Frenchman's Road
441 Gerona Road, 1927  
515 Gerona Road, 1941  
548 Gerona Road, 1928  
607 Gerona Road, 1926  
574 Junipero Serra, 1928  
648 Junipero Serra, 1930  
535 Los Arboles, 1939  
541 Los Arboles, 1936  
607 Mayfield, 1924  
615 Mayfield, 1924  
619 Mayfield, 1924  
623 Mirada

Lou Henry Hoover House

1920
623 Mirada
634 Mirada,

1922
634 Mirada
672 Mirada, 1925  
669 Mirada, 1920  
679 Mirada, 1922  
684 Mirada, 1924  
691 Mirada, 1922  
622 Salvatierra, 1924  
638 Salvatierra

pre-remodel photo) ,

1924
638 Salvatierra
691 Salvatierra

1927
384
657 Santa Ynez, 1924  
671 Santa Ynez, 1924  
770 Santa Ynez,

1926
770 Santa Ynez
228 Searsville Road, 1940  
238 Searsville Road, n.d.  

 


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