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

520 Cowper Street – Demolished 1985
Cowper Court

inventory 520 Cowper
Photo taken in 1978. Photo taken circa 1985.

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

Physical appearance:   This two–story U–shaped apartment court in straight–forward Craftsman Shingle Style is allowed a modest declaration of refined propriety by three Classical front entries preceded by a garland of ten Classical columns supporting a trellis.

Significance:  The City's first major apartment complex, an investment enterprise of Matthew A. Harris, an early Atherton mayor, who, as World War I drew to its end, rightly anticipated the demand for first–class apartment facilities attractive to permanent residents. Built at the cost of between $40,000 and $50,000, the property's value proved a sensitive index to the community's fortunes in boom times (sold in 1925 at nearly $150,000) and Depression or transition years (changing hands in the 1930s and mid–1940s at prices in the $70,00s).

Among owners of interest were Mary Gilman and her heirs, who originally owned the site; Harris, the initial owner; C. H. Strube of San Francisco, sometime owner of the President Hotel, the San Francisco Seals, and Santa Anita race track; Professor John A. Almack, canny investor and distinguished Stanford faculty member in Education; and Ruth W. Freeman, of Palo Alto. By 1981, Lance D and Wanda W. Ginner were the owners.

 

map

This building was built in 1918 and was a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was  D. R. Hallling of San Francisco. The property measures 127 by 200 feet. See photos of the replacement here.

Top


FaceBook f

E-mail us at either webmaster@pastheritage.org or president@pastheritage.org.

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