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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

734 Seneca Street

inventory photo locaton map
Inventory photo Location Map


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

Physical appearance:   This small Classical Revival residence presents a façade which is at once a severely formal yet unexpectedly asymmetrical. The semi-circular, columned entrance and the high conservatory wing at the left are particularly interesting features.

Significance:  An individualistic approach to Classical Revival design creates an important and memorable structure. Gustav Berson, a sales man, first owned it (1926-33), followed by W. H. Moulthrop, 1936-49. It appears that it was rental property during the 'fifties.

Short-term owners since then included Max A. and Robin Martin (1962-66), Edward J. Tearney (1967-73), clothing store owner; and in the later 1970s and early 1980s, Stephen W. Player, attorney; and Donald Rowe, an employee of Hewlett-Packard Co. The owners when the inventory sheet was prepared were Barbara and Gerry Lapid.


This house was built in 1925 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was Joseph Dunn from Berkeley. The property measures 77 by 150 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 6/17, 6/22, 7/21, 12/16/25, 2/16/34; Santa Clara County Official Records:  Book 95, p. 108, 6/25/24; Book 248, p. 176, 10/18/27; Book 204, p. 230, 12/5/25; Interviews: 1985: Stephen Player, Shirley Hyatt, Irene Dynes, Edward Tearney, Barbara Lapid


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