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

860 University Avenue

Peck - Wilson House

inventory photo 860
Inventory photo Photo taken October 15, 2012

 

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

Physical appearance:   A two and one-half story Colonial Revival house notable architecturally for its generous scale, balance, and outstanding detail. The large bay with stained-glass window is especially fine. The frontal veranda wraps partially around both sides (one end has been partly enclosed with glass in a manner sympathetic to the original design). The stable / carriage house in the rear is original

Significance:  This house is a fine example of the adaptation and variation of the Colonial Revival style which, in many versions, appeared extensively in Palo Alto during the first two decades of the 20th century. It was built for Mr. and Mrs. Elbert E. Peck, who previously lived on Cowper Street, but, just prior to the building of the house on University Avenue, sold off their several Cowper-Homer Street lots. He was in the insurance business. The Pecks lived in the house for less than a year, selling to Dr. Carl and Clara (Ede) Wilson, and Mrs. Wilson's mother Catherine Ede. Wilson trained in New York and then came to practice in San Francisco.

The 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed their home, but fortunately they had just previously commissioned the construction of a summer house in Menlo Park, designed by the prominent Bay Area architect, William Knowles (see 1445 Bryant Street). It ... [was thought] possible that the connection to Knowles may relate, as well, to the design of 860 University Avenue [more recently correctly attributed to Frank Delos Wolfe]. While the house was being finished, they lived in the stables. Then, in mid-1907, they purchased the Peck house and it was occupied by them and their descendants until 1975. While in Palo Alto, Dr. Wilson was in private practice and, additionally, served on the staffs of the Palo Alto Hospital and the Veterans administration hospital in Menlo Park.

The house was purchased in 1977 by John Di Cicco.

embellishment stained glass
window door
porch side
side rear map
back side Location map

This house was built in and is a Category 1 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Frank Delos Wolfe and the builder might have been Gustav Laumeister*. [Coved ceilings, extensive (fir?) paneling and treatment of the relation of staircase to hallway resenble features of work done at the same period by Gustav Laumeister, Architect and Engineer IV (No. 3), April 1906, p. 92.] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property measures 125 by 200 feet. It was part of the 2012 PAST Holiday House Tour.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 2/5/1904, 9/17/1906, 1/3/1908, 12/1/1954; Book 324 (Deeds), p. 97-98, 7/24/1907; Book 274 (Deeds), pp. 566, 594, 2/14/1906, Book 306 (Deeds), pp. 8, 106, 3/7/1906 and 6/6/1906 (Santa Clara County Recorder); photos of interior and exterior in the Guy Miller Archieve of the Palo Alto Historical Association, *coved ceilings, extensive (fir?) paneling and treatment of the relation of staircase to hallway resenble features of work done at the same period by Gustav Laumeister, Architect and Engineer IV (No. 3), April 1906, p. 92.

Read more

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.