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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 Alta Mesa entrance
440 – 450 Bryant Street, 1927
read more
Police'Fire department
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) Wilbur/JLS
2560 Embarcadero Road, 1941, Sea Scout Base (with David Clark)
more
Sea Scout Base
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 Medical-Dental Building; University Art
300 Hamilton Avenue, 1963, Bank
lower mural close up
bank
380 Hamilton Avenue, United States Post Office, 1932 —
short video
post office
151 Homer Avenue, 1925  
411 – 419 High Street, 1924  
635 High Street, 1945  
790 High Street at Homer, (Pontiac garage), 1936 Pontiac Garage
151 Homer Avenue, 1925  
300 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto Medical Clinic Roth Building, 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 from 535
541 – 545 Ramona Street, 1927 541 Ramona
628 – 630 Ramona Street, 1927 628 - 630 Ramona
668 Ramona Street, 1926, Palo Alto Art Club 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 Hotel President
526 – 530 – 534 Waverley Street, 1927  

 

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Palo Alto Residences

505 507 Addison Avenue, 1922 505 Addison
2040 Amherst Street, 1947  
2060 Amherst Street, 1947  
2215 Amherst Street  
2225 Amherst Street  
1837 Bryant Street, 1940  
1851 Bryant Street, 1940 1851 Bryant
1865 Bryant Street (311 Seale Avenue), 1940  
1991 Bryant Street, 1935 1991 Bryant, Judith Frost image
1480 Byron Street, 1932  
526 Center, 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  
1247 Cowper Street, 1927
Kathleen Norris House, read more
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  
238 Hamilton Avenue  
955 Hamilton Avenue, 1935 955 Hamilton
1120 Hamilton Avenue,1932 1120 Hamilton
1220 Hamilton Avenue, 1938 1220 Hamilton
1457 Hamilton Avenue, 1953  
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 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, National Register, Dunker Residence, 1926
additional views
420 Maple
1322 Martin Avenue  
640 Middlefield Road, 1922  
1400 Middlefield Road, 1924  
1410 Middlefield Road, 1924 1410 Middlefield
1420 Middlefield Road, 1924 1420 Middlefield
1430 Middlefield Road, 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, 1923 —demolished Feb. 2012 1711 Webster
1975 Webster Street  
520 West Crescent Drive, 1933  

 

 


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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, 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
(pre-remodel photo)
638 Salvatierra
<691 Salvatierra, 1927 691 Salvatierra
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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