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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

532 – 534 – 536 Ramona Street

Rita on Ramona, Melody Lane

Ramona Street Architectural District

inventory photo 532 Ramona
Inventory photo Photo taken May 5, 2003

 

The following is from the the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form dated May 21, 1985 and the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1985:

Physical appearance:  A one- and two- story Spanish Colonial Revival office/commercial building built by Wells Goodenough has an arcaded ground floor and decorative iron balconies on the second. The building contains three narrow shops which are entered through an arcade with two Gothic arches and one corbeled arch. The entrances are unified by irregular shaped concrete pavers which extend the full length of the arcade and continue to the next building at the south side.

The two-story roof line steps down to one story, which reduces the bulk of the building and relates it to the neighboring south structure. Two finely detailed wrought iron balconies project out from the second story and are accessed by French doors. Mezzanines are reached by heavy planked stairways with banisters of wide, flat boards pierced by band-saw open work. Both the interiors and exteriors of the building are remarkable unchanged.

Except for signs, no change from original.

Significance:  The structure is a good but not spectacular design which becomes important through its contributions to the street scape. It was designed by architect Birge Clark for the Palo alto Improvement Co. specifically to further establish the visual character of the street.

The Geraldine Beauty Shop, pictured below, was a tenant in the 1940s. Tenants in the 1980's were Melody Lane at 532, Rita on Ramona, and Travel Office.

 

   
detail Detail of 536 Ramona as seen over roof of 538 Ramona.
balconies
view from across the street
previous tenant map
Geraldine Beauty Shop, a previous tenant Location map

This structure was built in 1926 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Birge Clark and the builder was  Wells P. Goodenough. The property measures 46 by 100  feet.

Sources:  Birge Clark Commercial Inventory; National Register of Historic Places Nomination form, 1985

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