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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

448 Addison Avenue

Roller Residence


inventory photo map
Inventory photo Location map


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

Physical appearance:   The variety of window placement and treatment in this two–story stucco residence with English Revival stylistic overtones, combines with a variety of roof levels to create an interesting composition.

Significance:   English Revival influences are evident in this two-story stucco house, displayed in both the basic form and roof configuration of the building and in its detailing. Eccentric fenestration enlivens the front elevation. An interesting and articulate example of the English–inspired period revival modes that often appear in Palo Alto's post-World War I residential building.

According to Community Book 160, the block which contains 448 Addison was originally to be a park but, the $10,000 purchase was voted down in 1919.

From the beginning to 1976, this was the home of Milton B. Roller, a member of one of Palo Alto's earliest families. By the time of his death, he had logged over seventy years of daily commuting to San Francisco via the SP railroad. He was a superlative lighting designer for the Phoenix Day Co. Among his best-known works were the Chinatown street lamps and the great chandelier of the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. His first wife, Janet, was a teacher at Addison Elementary School for many years.

The owner in 1979 was Jules G. Moritz, Jr.

This house was built in 1924 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. Milton B Roller was the architect and George W. Mosher the builder. The two cottages of compatible design at the rear of the lot, were built in 1938 by D. Tunberg & Co.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 1/29/34, 3/3/24, 11/10/3?, 11/13/51, 6/27/60, 11/26/76; interview with robert Roller, 1983.

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