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1997 Holiday House Tour: College Terrace

1997 ticket          

Homes on tour:

          1997 Ad


The following appeared in the October 1997 PAST News:

Tenth Annual Holiday House Tour This Year in College Terrace

Don't miss the extraordinary opportunity to see five houses in a neighborhood which PAST Heritage is featuring for the first time on its Holiday House Tour.

College Terrace is a neighborhood which contains a wide variety of architectural styles and features—from funky to aristocratic. The Terrace is a e where Stanford students and faculty live next door to each other, where working class and professional people share a neighborruxxl known for its friendliness.

College Terrace was originally a portion of Mayfield, the town located immediately to the south of the Stanford campus, and some of its houses are even older than those in Professorville.

Five houses will be open on Sunday, December 14, 1997 from 1:00–5:00 pm for the PAST Heritage Tenth Annual Holiday House Tour. Each of the five is an outstanding example of College Terrace at its best.

Among them is an 1898 Queen Anne with a myriad of details, including a rectangular tower at an angle on one corner, a pyramid roof, a main gable with window eyes, a false gable with medallions, a porch with spool work, and scalloped shingles.

A second house, built in 1904 by English stonemason Joseph Birkett, is an Eastern Shingle Cottage and shows its Colonial Revival heritage in the details added to the upper story.

A third house, also built in 1904— this one built by a Stanford student— is a two-story Shingle style and stands at one of the highest points of the Terrace.

The oldest house on the tour, built in 1889, is a simple but elegant Stick style Victorian facing what was once Cambridge Avenue when that street bisected College Terrace from Yale to Amherst.

In 1927, architect Charles Sumner designed the fifth house on the tour, an imposing Colonial Revival, for Ruth Woodyatt and her children. It is a classical design with a detailed portico.

2275 Amherst Street — 1893

Stanford University opened in 1891. Two years later this Queen Anne style house was built for Latin professor Walter Miller, a member of Stanford's original faculty. The house faces what was Cambridge Avenue when that street ran from El Camino to Amherst. The front of the house includes several gables. The main one has window eyes. A false gable has medallions, and the gable over the porch has concave medallions and an acorn pendant. The house has many other embellishments as well. The present owners have kept the original floor plan, and have refurbished, and where necessary, restored the extensive detailing on the house.

Inventory sheet

          2275 Amherst

2275 Amherst



2230 Amherst Street — 1904

College Terrace, or Palo Alto as it was called until the name was officially changed in 1891, has always included Stanford professors and students amongst its population. This shingle house with its Craftsman details has, on occasion, housed Stanford students and is reported to have been built by one. The builder planted a redwood tree, two cedars and a Monterey pine which still stand on the property. They create a charming wooded setting for the house. The wing to the right has been expanded slightly to increase the size of the living room and to add an upstairs den.

          2230 Amherst


1425 Stanford Avenue — 1927

In 1925 College Terrace, as part of Mayfield, was incorporated into the city of Palo Alto. Two years later the architect Charles K. Sumner designed this Colonial Revival house for Mrs. Ruth C. Woodyatt, the proprietor of The Flower Shop in Palo Alto. The cottage at the rear of the property was built several years later for Mrs. Woodyatfs sister. Only three families have owned this house. They have preserved its original design and have maintained the many classical details which characterize the house. The maze in the front garden was added by the present owner.

The kitchen has been remodeled but within its original walls. The wall between the butler's pantry and the kitchen was removed (by the former owner) and an island added where the wall had been. The window in the kitchen has been enlarged and the cabinets replaced, though they 're copies of the originals.

The house next door at 2050 Dartmouth was also built for Mrs. Woodyatt by Charles Sumner. The original plan was for Mrs. Woodyatfs sister to live there, but when the sister had a stroke, the cottage at the rear of 1425 Stanford was built for her.

The maze in the front garden was designed by earthwork artist Alex Champion.

NOTE: The current owner [1997] has the original blueprints.




2130 Yale — 1904

In 1903 Mayfield, which included College Terrace, was incorporated. The following year Joseph Birkett, an English stonemason employed in the construction of Stanford University, and his wife Electa, daughter of an early Mayfield settler, built this Eastern Shingle Cottage with Colonial Revival details on its upper story. Original to the house is the sandstone fireplace, hand–carved to resemble a pile of logs with a bird's nest and two squirrels. The current owners have worked to refurbish the house and to reverse the "modernization" which took place in the 1970's.
Inventory sheet



2290 Yale — 1889

In the late 1880's, Alexander Gordon bought most of what is now College Terrace from the two farmers who owned it, subdivided the land, and sold the lots for development. It was on one of these lots that this simple but elegant Stick style Victorian was built, facing what was then Cambridge Avenue. The main body of the house is original; there has been an addition at the rear of the house. The present owners have refurbished the house respecting its history and origins. The driveway/entrance walk was constructed from the bricks discarded when the house across the street at 2310 Yale had its foundation rebuilt recently. The horseshoes over the doorways, a reminder of the land's past use as a farm, were all found on the property.




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