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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1121 Bryant Street

Nardyne Apartments

Professorville Historic District

1121 Bryant 1121
Inventory photo taken in 1978. Photo taken January 16, 2010.

 

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

Physical appearance:   A shingled version of institutional Classicism, this two–story building has the flat roof, classical pilasters and cornices, and other devices normally associated with masonry buildings of this style. It was somewhat enlarged not long after being moved to its present site, and again altered when it was converted into apartments. An early photograph (1900) indicates that the columned porch once extended beyond the front facade which now encloses the entry, and that the mansard roof had three front dormers.

Significance:  This handsome building is an unusual version of the Classical mode. Two young Radcliffe graduates, Miss Eleanor Pearson and Miss Lucy Fletcher, came to Stanford in 1891 at the request of President David Starr Jordan to establish a girls' preparatory school. The school was opened on Alpine Road in that year, then moved in 1892 to 319 Kingsley Avenue. Castilleja Hall took its name from the crimson paintbrush which grew on the grounds at its first location. Miss Pearson was succeeded as Principal by Mrs. Anna E. Peck in 1898.

When the school closed in 1901, Mrs. Lucy B. Angell, wife of Professor Frank Angell, bought the building and had it moved to 1121 Bryant and enlarged in 1902. Miss Catherine Harker then operated her elementary school in the house from 1902–1907, when Miss Mary Lockey founded Castilleja School for Girls. She used the building until new classrooms were completed in 1910 at the school's present [1979] location. The structure then was remodeled as Nardyne Apartments.

Although virtually unique in Palo Alto, the structure retains its environmental relationship to the neighborhood through its surfacing material and use of classical elements, variations of which are found in Colonial Revival styles of the area.

The following is from the Centennial Buildings Tour, prepared by The City of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board for the Centennial Building Celebration, April 16, 1994. The houses included on the tour were all identified as at least 100 years old:

This shingled version of the usually masonry Classical style school building has typical features like the flat corniced roof and classical pilasters. Originally at 319 Kingsley, it was occupied by Castilleja Hall from 1892 until 1901. In 1902 it was moved and enlarged by Mrs. Angell and occupied by Miss Harker's elementary school until 1907, when it became the original home (till 1910) of the present Castilleja School for Girls.

robert Brandeis photo garages
May 2010 photo 1121
detail location sketch map

For a time, The Exactus Photo–Film Corp. operated in this structure according to their ad in the Palo Alto City Directory for 1914–1915.

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This house was built in 1892 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. William Pluns carried out an addition in 1894 and George W. Mosher was the contractor for alternations made in 1896. The property measures 100 by 115 feet.

 

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 7/27/94, 12/30/96, 6/8/98, 8/30/01, 1/12/02, 3/28/02, 4/16/02, 1/2/17. 1/25/19; Palo Alto Live Oak, 6/8/98, 1/1/00 for early photo; Castilleja Hall booklet, P. A. Historical Association; The Tall Tree, October 1957.

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