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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

206 – 210 Homer Avenue

Oak Home Bakery / Thompson Bakery

inventory photo 206-210
Inventory photo of 206 - 210 at left Photo taken April 10, 2013

 

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1981:

Physical appearance:   Like the adjacent structure at 200 Homer Avenue, this is an example of early utilitarian commercial building on the most modest scale: two-story, ship-lap surfacing, façade cornice with dentils, false-front parapet at roof line. The center window at the upper level of the façade and an enclosed staircase on the alley side are mid-century additions.

Significance:  The survival in Palo Alto of an early commercial enclave such as the pair of buildings at 200 and 206–210 Homer Avenue is quite rare. Originally, Alfred G. Thompson and his family lived in a small house at 210 Homer. Thompson, who was in the town by 1894, began a home bakery in 1897, which immediately began to thrive; a new delivery wagon in 1899, new ovens in 1901, and, finally a new building for sales in 1907.

In 1909, his son William E. Thompson became the manager of the "Oak Home" (or "Thompson") Bakery, expanding the business until its deliveries of "Palo Alto Bread" stretched from Burlingame to San Jose by 1929. Meanwhile, in 1925, the home at 210 Homer gave way to a large steel and reinforced concrete bakery at 212–214 Homer, with the older structure at 206 Homer continuing as the sales outlet.

The Thompson Bakery, at its height the largest local bakery, closed down in 1937. Thompson retired to Winters, California, as a rancher, and died at age 62 in August 1944. the new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart M. Marshall, remodeled the building for other commercial uses in 1938. It served as a workroom for the American Red Cross during World War II.

In 2005, Angela Prior and Carol Shaw, owners of The Parlor, 206 Homer, received a Community Preservation Award for restoring the look, feel and purpose of an historically significant element of Homer Avenue.

In 2013, the Kruss family (Richard and Lorraine), Lippert & Lippert Design (Lee and Carol), and Lindstrom & Sons Builders were presented PAST Preservation Awards for its rehabilitation and seismic stabilization.

 

tour photo 206
detail roof detail
entry detail circa 1986 photo
centennial plaque map
Plaque and address of upstairs portion of building. Location map

This structure was built in 1907 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The original architect and builder are unknown. Lee Lippert was architect for the rehabilitation and seismic stabilization, and Lindstrom & Sons was the builder. The property measures 34 by 100 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 10/6/99, 1/11/01, 1/20/08, 8/31/12, 8/26/25, 1/21/26, 7/12/27, 9/11/44; Palo Alto Historical Association files

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