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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

College Terrace Library

2300 Wellesley

College Terrace

Mayfield Park, end of Wellesley

inventory photo library
Inventory photo Photo taken May 7, 2011


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

Physical appearance:   This competent but not exceptional library and community building has played an important part in the cultural life of the area. There are interesting relief decorative patterns over the entrance loggia. This Spanish Colonial revival representative is a one-story tile and stucco structure.

An extensive restoration/seismic retrofilt was completed in November, 2009.

Significance:  The town of Mayfield including the College Terrace area was annexed to Palo Alto in 1925. The library had been housed in various stores before the annexation. Then the old Mayfield City Hall was used to house the library, the fire department and the Boy scouts. In 1936 funds were voted for a new library which was built as a WPA project.

The cost of the one-story building was $19,000. It consisted of two wings and a central lobby. the library room is 60 feet long and 23 feet wide with an adjoining stack room of 21 feet by 25 feet. The lecture or assembly room was 30 feet by 31 feet with space to hold the Health Department's Well-Baby Clinic.

The architect, Charles Sumner, was paid $576 for his plans, and  $729 if the building was built.

Miss Louise Mahan was the first librarian who served from 1931-1958.

This is a fine example of the Spanish Colonial Revival used for a casually informal public building.


corner shelter
window detail
library map
Location map

This structure was built in 1936 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Charles K. Sumner and the builder was George B. Moore. The property measures 1.14 acre. It was honored with a PAST Prservation Award in 2011 and was on the 2011 PAST Holiday House Tour.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 2/13/36, 5/15/36, 5/18/36, 11/10/36


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