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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

327 Cowper Street

inventory photo 327 Cowper
Photo taken in 1978. Photo taken in 2015.

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

Physical appearance:   This is a twin of 321 Cowper. Detailing, such as the contrast of narrow siding and molding with wide board courses, the oval window at the side, half–round window in the gable, clean–cut fenestration, and shallow front bay, gives presence to these small houses. This house had some minor alterations made in 1931. Both lots are the same depth, but the frontage of 327 is 40 feet compared to the 45 of 321 Cowper.

Significance:  This house and its twin neighbor are elegant, if simplified examples of Colonial revival style. In this location in 1903, houses were built by James W. Wells and by, or for, Kilborn H. List, these two probably among them.

The first occupant was Mrs. L(ida?) Kelly, followed for ten years (1910–20) by Mrs. Eva H. Smith, widow of a Presbyterian minister of Oakland, Edgar P. Smith, and mother of Stanford professor of chemistry, James H. C. Smith. From 1948 to 1970, the owner was Fred Haag, a gardener. The owner at the time of the inventory was Anna Peck.

327 Cowper

2010 photo
map

This house was built in 1903 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder might have been James W. Wells. The property measures 40 by 100 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/1/1904, 9/28/1904, 12/30/1904. 10/17/1931, 3/27/1953; interview 1985, Anna Peck

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