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2001 Holiday House Tour: A Return to Professorville


2001 ticket          

Homes on tour:

730 Bryant Street 1903

This Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1903 by builder H.L. Upham for George B. Bramhall for $3,100. The most famous residents of this property were Pauline and Jacob Swartz, known to the community as Polly and Jake, owners for many years of a gift shop at the corner of Page Mill Road and El Camino Real. They moved into the home in 1941, and several of the outbuildings can be dated to their early days on the property. Jake built and refurbished furniture both here and at their shop across town. When the current owners purchased the home they undertook an extensive restoration project to revitalize the house while retaining the historic flavor and whimsical spirit of Polly and Jake.

          730 Bryant

Inventory sheet


1148 Bryant Street — 1904

This redwood cottage was constructed at a cost of $3,200 in 1904 for Isaac Phillips Roberts, dean for 30 years of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University, then newly retired to Palo Alto. Another notable resident was Duncan McLachlan, manager for 35 years of the power plant for the city of Palo Alto. An accomplished engineer, he once worked for Ransom E. Olds in Detroit and helped turn out the first thirty Oldsmobile Runabouts ever built. The house features a sturdy redwood door and window frames, and a stone fireplace that was recovered by the original owners from the Stanford University library after the earthquake in 1906.

          1148 Bryant


1200 Bryant Street 1904

George Loftus art professor at Stanford, built this two-story Tudor Revival home in 1904. Outstanding features of the house include the entrance porch set off by Doric columns, the dormer windows with diamond–shaped panes, and the front path guarded by trimmed hedges and a picket fence. New owners in 1907 were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Angell. Angell was a Stanford psychology professor and later Stanford's first track coach (Angell Field on campus is named for him).

Later owners of the house were Hal and Cornelia Burdick, popular radio personalities of the 1940's. In more recent times, the Pearsons occupied the house for 25 years. Enid Pearson, a residential advocate, served on the Palo Alto City Council from 1965–75, and was vice mayor during part of that time.

          1200 Bryant

Inventory sheet


559 Kingsley Avenue 1912

A building permit for this Craftsman bungalow was issued by the City of Palo Alto in 1912 to A.J. Bain, who may have been both the owner and architect. Axel Backlund, a local hardwood flooring contractor, owned and resided in the home from 1935–39, at which time the house was sold to Professor Margery Bailey, who lived here until her death in 1963. She was an English professor at Stanford, well–known for her popular classes in Shakespeare and as one of the founders of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. The current and previous owners have done extensive remodeling over the last 25 years.

          559 Kingsley



345 Lincoln Avenue 1893

Engineering professor Charles B. Wing had this house built in 1893, as is inscribed above the front entrance. The architect was Arthur B. Clark, another Stanford professor and the father of well–known architect Birge Clark. Professor Wing and his neighbor C. D. Marx are credited with the establishment of Palo Alto's municipal utilities. Wing also designed the Stanford football stadium. The adjoining tank house once stood over a cooperative well shared by five neighbors: professors Angell, Marx, Murray, Wing and Thoburn.

345 lincoln

Inventory sheet


365 Lincoln — 1903

Professor Leander Miller Hoskins and his wife Minnie cornrnksioned Gus Laumeister to build this home in 1903. According to the Palo Alto Times this "exceptionally fine home" cost $8,000. Subsequent owners Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Thomas had the third floor fitted out for Stanford student housing. Refreshments will be served on the spacious front porch. There will be no interior access today.


Inventory sheet



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