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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

250 Churchill Avenue

inventory photo
Photo taken in 1978.

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

Physical appearance:   This small but massively scaled shingled one–story house is dominated by its expansive, hovering roof plane. The recessed porch is supported by heavily expressed structural members. One portion of the porch has been enclosed.

Significance:  This is a very muscular version of the Craftsman bungalow.

The house may have been built for James M. Hyde, a member of the large Hyde family which came to Palo Alto in 1897; he was an occupant in 1917 and again in 1927. After receiving his degree in engineering at Stanford (1901), he taught in the Engineering Department from 1919 to 1927, when he moved to Los Angeles.

For a decade (1926–1938) it was the home of Frank G. Hoge, a Palo Alto attorney who served as mayor 1928–1929.

From 1946 to the present (1979), it has been the residence of Colonel and Mrs. Thomas W. E. Christmas. Colonel Christmas served as a doctor in the Army Medical Corps in three wars, and supervised the construction and was Executive Officer for Dibble Hospital, Menlo Park, in World War II.

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This house was built in 1917 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder is unknown. The property measures 50 by 200 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 5/1/22, 7/20/43, 11/13/68, 1/10/77; interview 1983, Mrs. Thomas W. E. Christmas

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