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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

379 Lytton Avenue — Demolished 1985

Inventory photo map
Inventory photo Location Map


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1984:

Physical appearance:   The almost Palladian formality distinguished this one-story Mission Revival stucco building with three quatrefoil windows. The same design appears at 215 and 225 Fulton and 575 Hawthorne.

Significance:  The composition and proportions of this example of Mission Revival design, together with the massing and quality of detailing, convey refined elegance. On its corner site, it serves as a transition link between larger commercial structures of the downtown area and the residential neighborhood. It is one of three identical houses built in 1908/09 for Robert S. and, in this case, his brother, William R. Thomas. A fourth house, identical to this one and the two on Fulton Street, is at 575 Hawthorne. G. W. Mosher is credited by the Palo Alto Times as its builder in 1908; hence it seems most probable that he built 379 Lytton as well.

William and Harriet Thomas were natives of Cornwall, Wales. They owned the house until the time of World War II. Thenceforth, it was used for offices, including those of Dr. Marshall Carter and Dr. Carl H. Ellertson, a specialist in childrens dentistry. Ellertson's father, Carl H., was a leading Palo Alto dentist from 1927 to 1970, whose office was in the Deckeroak Building at Waverley and University.

Owners at the time of the Inventory were Arthur and Suzanne Bridgett of Woodside.

This house was built in 1909 and was a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was George Mosher. The property measures 50 by 43 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 8/24/06, 1/3/08, 3/18/08, 3/26/08. 12/24/08, 12/31/09, 2/3/13, 1/19/14, 3/28/77;  interview 1984, Dr. Carl H. Ellertson


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