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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

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Local Works by Birge Clark

 

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Commercial Buildings

650 Addison Avenue, 1924, Addison School

291 Alma Street, 1928

539 Alma Street, 1921

695 Arastradero Road, Alta Mesa Memorial Cemetary, 1932

440 – 450 Bryant Street, 1927

522 – 524 – 526 – 528 Bryant Street, 1936,  Palo Alto Hardware

535 – 539 Bryant Street, 1922

540 Bryant Street, 1932, Piggly Wiggly Grocery

164 California Avenue

392 California Avenue, 1948

415 – 417 California Avenue, 1948

419 – 421 California Avenue, 1929

425 – 431 California Avenue, 1926, Fine Arts Theater

433 – 435 California Avenue

480 East Meadow, 1953, JLS Middle School (Wilbur Jr. High)

2560 Embarcadero Road, 1941, Sea Scout Base (with David Clark)

200 – 230 Emerson Street

435 - 439 Emerson Street, 1924-25, Baker Hotel

544 Emerson Street, 1926

611 – 619 Emerson Street, 1924

Florence Street and University Avenue (Masonic Hall)

140 Forest Avenue, 1936

146 Forest Avenue

116 – 122 Hamilton Avenue, 1925

200 – 230 Hamilton Avenue

239 Hamilton Avenue

261 – 267 Hamilton Avenue, 1927

300 Hamilton Avenue, Bank, 1963, lower mural close up

380 Hamilton Avenue, (United States Post Office) — short video, 1932

151 Homer Avenue, 1925

300 Homer Avenue (Palo Alto Medical Clinic, future home of Palo Alto History Museum), 1932

411 – 419 High Street, 1924

635 High Street, 1945

790 High Street at Homer (Pontiac garage), 1936

151 Homer Avenue, 1925

300 Homer Avenue, 1932

1305 Middlefield Road, also be sure to see a short Lucie Stern Community Center Video, 1933 – 36

530 Ramona Street, 1926

532 – 536 Ramona street, 1926

533 – 535 Ramona Street

541 – 545 Ramona Street, 1927

628 – 630 Ramona Street, 1927

668 Ramona Street, 1926, Palo Alto Art Club

102 The Circle

125 University Avenue, 1925

180 – 190 University Avenue

235 University Avenue

250 University Avenue

261 – 265 – 267 University Avenue

323 University Avenue, 1928

340 University Avenue, Liddicoats Market (Demolished)

400 – 424 University Avenue

423, 425, 427, 429, 433, and 437 University Avenue, 1927

436 University Avenue, 1929

440 – 452 University Avenue, 1927

451 University Avenue, 1938

460 – 476 University Avenue, 1927

488 University Avenue, 1929

526 – 530 – 534 Waverley Street, 1927

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Palo Alto Residences

505 – 507 Addison Avenue, 1922

2040 Amherst Street, 1947

2060 Amherst Street, 1947

2215 Amherst Street

2225 Amherst Street

1837 Bryant Street, 1940

1851 Bryant Street, 1940

1865 Bryant Street (311 Seale Avenue), 1940

1991 Bryant Street, 1935

1480 Byron Street, 1932

526 Center, 1931

370 Channing Avenue, 1922

232 Coleridge Avenue, 1925

455 Coleridge Avenue, 1927

470 Coleridge Avenue, 1923

512 Coleridge Avenue, 1928

526 Coleridge Avenue, 1935

544 Coleridge Avenue, 1923

570 Coleridge Avenue, 1926

619 Cowper Street

1247 Cowper Street, 1927

1928 Cowper Street, 1935

1950 Cowper Street, 1932

1990 Cowper Street,1932

2020 Cowper Street

2200 Cowper Street, 1936

51 Crescent Drive

557 East Crescent Drive, 1930

1400 Edgewood Drive, 1933

1401 Edgewood Drive

1431 Edgewood Drive, 1948

1440 Edgewood Drive, 1947

1474 Edgewood Drive, 1935

1480 Edgewood Drive, 1936

1490 Edgewood Drive, 1936 rear of house

590 Embarcadero Road

758 Everett Avenue, 1923

27210 Fremont Road

1766 Fulton Street, 1936

1830 Fulton Street

619 Guinda Street, 1924

238 Hamilton Avenue

955 Hamilton Avenue, 1935

1120 Hamilton Avenue, 1932

1220 Hamilton Avenue, 1938

1457 Hamilton Avenue, 1953

1491 Hamilton Avenue, 1937

111 Island Drive, 1935

155 Island Drive, 1933

Guest house at rear of residence at 360 Kellogg Avenue

325, 327, 333, 335, 343, 345, 353, 355, 363, and 365 Kingsley (10 rcottages), 1940

335 Lowell Avenue

556 Lowell Avenue

569 Lowell Avenue, 1924

420 Maple Street (National Register, Dunker Residence) additional views, 1926

1322 Martin Avenue

640 Middlefield Road, 1922

1400 Middlefield Road, 1924

1410 Middlefield Road, 1924

1420 Middlefield Road, 1924

1430 Middlefield Road, 1924

1440 Middlefield Road, 1924

425 Nevada Street, 1938

580 Newell Road, 1941

1990 Newell Road

760 Northampton Drive, 1941

960 Old Trace Road

Page Mill Road

1066 Palo Alto Avenue

300 Santa Rita Avenue demolished

311 Seale Avenue (see 1837 Bryant Street), 1940

559 Seale Avenue

730 Southampton Drive

882 Southampton Drive, 1946

1941 Tasso Street, 1941

595 Tennyson Avenue, 1928

701 Tennyson Avenue, 1937

1150 University Avenue, 1939

1570 University Avenue, 1933

1755 University Avenue, 1945

1010 Waverley Street, 1923

2121 Waverley Street

1455 Webster Street, 1921

1500 Webster Street, 1924

1525 Webster Street, 1922

1565 Webster Street

1651 Webster Street, 1922

1711 Webster Street (demolished Feb. 2012), 1923

1975 Webster Street

520 West Crescent Drive, 1933

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Stanford Residences

665 Alvarado Row, 1927

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

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, 1920

634 Mirada, 1922

672 Mirada, 1925

669 Mirada, 1920

679 Mirada, 1922

684 Mirada, 1924

691 Mirada, 1922

622 Salvatierra, 1924

638 Salvatierra, 1924; 2003 photo of original appearance

691 Salvatierra, 1927

657 Santa Ynez, 1924

671 Santa Ynez, 1924

770 Santa Ynez, 1926

228 Searsville Road, 1940

238 Searsville Road, n.d.

 

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