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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

251 Middlefield Road

inventory photo 251
Inventory photo Photo taken May 8, 2013

 

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1985:

Physical appearance:   This one-story stucco Craftsman house uses its broad and simplified masses and its symmetrical façade to create an atmosphere of dignity and formality. The originally open porches have been enclosed.

Significance:  This large residence is a beautifully massed example of the Craftsman house. It was built for and presumably by John Dudfield, one of the city's principal lumbermen, mill owner, real estate inventor and builder. It was the Dudfield home until 1925, when a new residence was completed for the family at 625 Hale Street. (See 625 Hale for more about John Dudfield.)

Several short-term occupants followed until 1941, when it was acquired by Mrs. Iva M. Perry. She used part of it as a rest or convalescent home. After her death in 1946, it became the residence (to 1979) of Mrs. Sarra Kliacho Sabsay. She was born in Russia, graduated from the Imperial Conservatory of Music, and began a career as a concert pianist. She came to the United States in 1921 and taught music in New York and Pennsylvania.

During World War II she taught Russian at the University of Iowa and the University of Colorado before coming to Stanford in 1946, where she helped start the Russian language and literature program. Her husband Semyon Kliacho was first cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony at the time of his death in 1941. She remarried in 1946 to David Sabsay (d. 1964).

 

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entry map

This house was built in 1913 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was John Dudfield. The property measures 100 by 200 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/2/14, 1/20/25, 2/26/29, 10/9/42, 6/13/46, 6/17/46, 12/14/79; interview 1985 Savel Kliacho

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