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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

271 University Avenue

inventory photo 2015 photo
Inventory photo Photo taken May 2, 2015


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

Physical appearance:   

Although its original interior has been completely remodeled and the enclosed area is recessed, this building retains its original facade. Underneath the foliage are the stylistic features of the "zig–zag" moderne, a style that is rare in Palo Alto.


Mrs. Georgina Ostrander (see 228 Byron) razed the old building she owned at this site and commissioned John Carl Warnecke of Miller and Warnecke in Oakland, one of the Bay Area's leading architects, then completing plans in the same "zig–zag moderne" style for the Shell Co. building in San Francisco, to replace it with a structure suitable for a high–style women's clothing store. (The older building had been used for her music store and then partly as a public meeting hall. It was first occupied by Donnell's Women's shop, then, in the 1940s, by J. Magnin and a beauty parlor. In recent years it has been remodeled and occupied by restaurants.

The owner at in 1979 was Thoits Bros., Inc.


HRB photo map
Historic Resources Board photo ca. 1985 Location map

This structure was built in 1929 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was John Carl Warnecke of Miller and Warnecke in Oakland, and the builder was George Peterson. The property measures 25 by 100 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 12/13/09, 11/12/26, 8/13/29, 10/7, 10/14, 29.


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