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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1849 Webster Street — Demolished

None available: form was prepared in 1987 after the Inventory was published.
The house was added in 1988 by the City Council.
Inventory photo Location map


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1988:

Physical appearance:   This large, stucco and brick house has a prominent brick wall facing Webster Street from which the chimney rises. The two triangular windows at the top were added to increase the light into the high, open-beamed living room.

It is in the shape of an open-armed "C", set near the back of the lot, which includes two ancient oak trees. The varying textures and colors of brick, stucco, and shake shingles are the simple means of enriching this cleanly ordered structure.

A carport was added in 1981 (not visible from the street). This home is particularly well sited on its lot.

Significance:  This house is one of many built in the 1930s by the well-known Palo Alto brothers, Marcus and James Stedman, in what was then the southern end of the city, between Waverley and Middlefield. Although larger than many other stedman houses in the area, it displays the combinations of brickwork and stucco, simplicity, and "California Modern" styling that characterizes their work.

Mrs. Anna G. Seibert, widow of Frederick J. Seibert, owned the house until 1950; she made her home in Palo Alto which her children attended Stanford University. The Seiberts were  followed by Maynard S. and Jessie F. Corlett. He was a salesman, and administrator for the Town and Country Village shopping center.

It was rented from 1963-1968 to Edward E. and Olga B. Smith, and to David B. and Georgeann L. Kennedy. Armand P. and Lucille Gelpi owned the house and occupied it from 1969 to 1980 when John A. and Elizabeth H. Stern acquired it. Gelpi, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, was connected with the Neighborhood Health Center in East Palo Alto.

Mrs. Stern sold the house which was subsequently demolished.


This house was built in 1937 and was a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Marcus Stedman and the builder was James Stedman. The property measures 100 by 200 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times7/28/37, 5/24,50; interview with Elizabeth H. Stern (1986), Sandborn Fire Insurance Maps. The Sterns possessed the original plans.


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