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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1505 University Avenue

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Inventory photo Photo taken February 24, 2014


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

Physical appearance:   This large, heavily massed Spanish Colonial Revival house with second floor loggia features the tiles, grille-work, and wrought-iron associated with th style, and with the work of its distinguished local architect.

Significance:  This is a well-designed example of the style and of the work of its architect. It was built for Burt L. and Camilla Davis, and it is said that Mrs. Davis was much involved in the styling. Davis was in insurance and was a founder of the Pacific Fire Extinguisher Co. of San Francisco. His son, Burt L. Davis, received his medical training at Stanford and for forty years was a leading physician with the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. He was a city councilman 1954 - 1960, president of various state and county medical societies, and served on numerous commissions in the field of health. The Davis family kept the house until the mid-fifties. They were succeeded by a number of short-term occupants and owners, including Thomas J. Collins (1959-61), Harry L. Browne (1962-63), George Koch (1966-67), and David F. Capellar (1968-73), after which the house was been the home of William and Carmen Clemans. In 2005 there were new owners.

Note: It was on the 2007 PAST Holiday House Tour.


rear detail
side detail
chimney map

This house was built in 1926 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Charles K. Sumner and the builder, Ralph Follmer. The property measures 105 by 150 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories;  Palo Alto Times 8/23/26, 9/25/26; interview 1985 Mrs. Isabella Davis, Alex Davis, William Clemans; dated plans survive.


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