PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Home Architects & Builders  Holiday House Tour Newsletters Walking Tours
About PAST Centennial Houses INVENTORY Preservation Awards Contact PAST
Advocacy History and Architecture Articles   Master Index to Houses Resources  

Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

529 Alma Street

529 is on right 529 on right
Inventory photo Photo taken May 6, 2007. 529 is at the far right.


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

Physical appearance:  The one–story brick buildings at 525 and 529 Alma are composed of tripartite façade modules above which rise false-front parapets. Vertical brick piers decorate the otherwise flat façade surface. both were resurfaced to present a more "modern" appearance in the late 'twenties, but in the seventies were rehabilitated, with some alterations to accommodate current uses.

Significance:  Originally, at this location, F.C. ("Baron") Thiele had ambitious plans for a business structure extending to High Street and providing a theatre as well as shops. The earthquake of 1906 leveled his aspirations as well as his building, unfortunately. Giovanni Bracchi, who had settled in Mayfield in 1887, took the reconstructed Alma Street building for a livery stable. B.F. Bell was the manager from 1910–1916, when Bracchi and Sons brought in a Dodge Brother Motor Car agency. Very soon afterward, the old structure was replaced by the present building and Bracchi's agency was taken over by Johnson and Sund. At the same time, Fuller was rebuilding next door and the two structures were combined. Their subsequent use was similar as well, various automobile agencies and service garages succeeding one another for the next half–century.

The owner at the time of the Inventory was Charles. J. Keenan.

Location map

This structure was built in 1918 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect and builder are not identified. The property measures 50 by 125 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 2/9/05, 1/5/06, 7/10/06, 7/20/16, 1/2/17. 1/2/18, 12/20/27.


FaceBook f

E-mail us at either or

PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage—Dedicated to the preservation of Palo Alto's historic buildings.