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Attention researchers! The History Desk and Guy Miller Archives manned by historian Steve Staiger is located in room K-7 at Cubberley, 4000 Middlefield Road. Steve's hours remain are, Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Another expanded research tool temporarily available at the History Desk is the collection of microfilmed local newspapers — the oldest is the Mayfield Enterprise from 1870!
Check out a sample of what's available at
Choose "Browse All". The collection will be moved to the Rinconada Branch of the Palo Alto Library when it reopens.

Currently, full-text digital scans are searchable by keyword, name, place, and publishing year for the following newspapers, but be aware that your search might not be very accurate since the key word dictionary is based on the OCR of the microfilmed text. Many words are not interpreted correctly.:

 Palo Alto Live Oak  (10/28/1896 – 1903)
 Palo Alto Press   (1901 – 1902)
 Palo Altan   (12/1/1905 – 12/28/1906, 1912 – 1914)
 Mayfield Enterprise   (3/5/1870 – 5/3/1871)
 The Palo Alto Times (1893 – )

Important local people taken from a list in the Palo Alto Historical Association's files.

The Palo Alto Inventory of Historic Buildings was initiated in 1979 with the goal of identifying historic or unique buildings. There are four categories ranging from contributing to exceptional. Properties are listed alphabetically with year of construction. If a property is simply identified as "Professorville", that indicates that it is a supporting structure that is not on the Inventory, but is significant because of its location. As more information becomes available, it will be added. Please contact us if you have information to add to our listings.


Palo Alto/Stanford Properties on the National Register of Historic Places

Palo Alto and Stanford University are home to a variety of properties listed on the National Register.

Criteria for Inclusion

Local Listings with pictures



History Links

Researching Your Home by Historian, Steve Staiger

Palo Alto Historical Association website

Exploring the Archives: A selection of short videos on Palo Alto history. Palo Alto Historical Association:

The Terman Family — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Palo Alto Parks — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Palo Alto Floods — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Early Palo Alto Schools — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

John F. Parkinson — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Dr. Russell V. Lee — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Stanford Memorial Church — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Peter Coutts Tower — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Palo Alto Trolleys — Steve Staiger and Molly Cavers

HP Garage — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Palo Alto Art Center — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Tiles on Ramona Street — Tom Wyman and P.A. Moore

Palo Alto Post Office — Gail Woolley and P.A. Moore

Hostess House — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

Eichler Homes — Steve Staiger and Cherie McFadden

Lucie Stern — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

The History of El Palo Alto — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

The Town of Mayfield — Steve Staiger and P.A. Moore

The Palo Alto Weekly On–Line Edition

All About Homer Avenue, Palo Alto's Corridor of History

The Stanford Historical Society

Palo Alto History by Matt Bowling

Los Altos History Museum

Juana Briones Heritage Foundation, Palo Alto's oldest house

California Preservation Foundation

California Office of Historic Preservation

California Historical Society

National Register of Historic Places

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Historic Preservation link on is a source of many other links to helpful and informative articles. Don't overlook this resource!


Other Preservation Organizations

As part of a June 2008 presentation, Tim Cannan, President of, at the Architectural Heritage Center's "Old House Fair" in Portland, Oregon, compiled a comprehensive resource guide for historic and cultural resource preservation. The title of the resource guide is Preservation Resources on the Web.

The comprehensive resource guide presents primary online resources in the field of historic and cultural resource preservation, with an emphasis on resources in Portland and the State of Oregon. Topics include researching your historic home; funding sources and tax credit programs available; utilizing your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO); finding an undergrad/graduate program in historic preservation; historic real estate resources online; preservation event/conference directories; and much more. The presentation cover national resources in depth, so this will be of interest to preservationists and historic homeowners everywhere.


Preservation Action Council of San Jose

Victorian Preservation Association of Santa Clara Valley

San Francisco Architectural Heritage

Heritage Council of Santa Clara County is a networking organization with a mission of promoting local history in Santa Clara County.

The Arts & Crafts Society

The Eichler Network, dedicated to all things Eichler.

DoCoMoMo, celebrating and preserving the architecture of the mid twentieth century worldwide.

The Art Deco Society of California, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness and promoting preservation of the Art Deco era. In 1999 they presented preservation awards to two buildings in our area, the Lucie Stern Sea Scout Base and the Hoover Pavilion.

Since many of Palo Alto's historic buildings have beautiful ceramic tile, you may find the Tile Heritage Foundation of interest!Britain's National Trust and their American affiliate, the Royal Oak Foundation

Royal Oak Foundation membership also includes admission to properties owned by The National Trust for Scotland.

For those interested in gardens, while traveling in the UK you may want to visit the The Museum of Garden History

More Arts and Crafts Preservation

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Resources for Your Old House and Garden

The National Park Service site to help with Caring for Your Historic Building

If you're looking for recycled building materials, check Whole House Building Supply, the only architectural salvage source in the mid-peninsula. Call them at (650) 852-9460 to hear about the current week's demolition sales.

Farther away, there's Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley and Caldwell's (415) 550-6777 in San Francisco.

For Arts & Crafts Wallpaper, try Bradbury and Bradbury. sells light fixture reproductions from every period, plus repro hardware, plus some neat humor.

Arroyo Craftsman features Arts & Crafts inspired lighting designs. Locally, Stanford Electric stocks their line.

Victorian Preservation Association (VPA) has a great source list!

The Eichler Network, dedicated to supporting the lifestyle of the 11,000 Northern Californians who own Eichler homes.

J. J. Burrows & Company historical-design merchants (Check out their Events Page!)

Old House Gardens, a source for antique bulbs!

Natural Home by Natürlich supplies REAL linoleum, appropriate for older houses and wonderful to live with

Traditional Building magazine

Victoriana resources for Victorian Living


Places to visit

Museum of American Heritage: a museum of American invention. Admission is free. They're always looking for volunteers. 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto

Filoli: A local National Trust property

Elizabeth F. Gamble House

New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Rengstorff House in Mountain View's Shoreline Park

Dunsmuir House and Garden

Ardenwood Historic Farm

San Francisco Walking Tour

San Juan Bautista

AOL City Guide - San Francisco and Professorville



Library Books

Many preservation books are available in the Palo Alto libraries. The Rinconada Library has books that were purchased with a PAST Heritage grant on history, architecture, preservation and restoration of homes. And don't forget to check the links to modern architectural books through on the Eichler page. See Advocacy page for the link!

The books listed below were donated to the Palo Alto Public Libraries by PAST Heritage. If they are not available at the library any more, they may still be avaible through other sources.

The Ultimate Frank Lloyd Wright, (CD-Rom), Microsoft.

Anscombe, Isabelle, Arts and Crafts Style, Phaidon Press Ltd., 1996.

Bowman, Leslie Greene, American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design, Bulfinch, 1990.

Calloway, Steven, Elements of Style: a Practical Encyclopedia of Interior Architectural Details from 1485 to the Present, Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Dickinson, Duo, Expressive Details: Materials, Selection, Use, McGraw Hill, 1996.

Dowell, Clifton, Out on the Porch: An Evocation in Words and Pictures, Algonquin, 1992.

Ford, Kristina; James Lopach, Dennis O'Donnell, Planning Small Town America, Planners Press, 1990.

Gere, Charlotte, Nineteenth–Century Decoration: The Art of the Interior, Abrams, 1989.

Golany, Gideon, Ethics and Urban Design, J. Wiley, 1995.

Gross, Steve, Old Houses, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1996.

Guild, Robin, The Victorian House Book, Rizzoli, 1992.

Hoskins, Lesley, ed., The Papered Wall: History, Pattern, Technique, Abrams, 1994.

Jones, Bernie, Neighborhood Planning, Planners Press, 1990.

Massey, James C., House Styles in America: The Old-House Journal Guide to the Architecture of American Houses, Penguin, 1996.

McAlester, Virginia, A Field Guide to American Houses, Knopf, 1984.

Middleton, Andrew, Rugs and Carpets: Techniques, Traditions and Designs, Mitchell Beazley, 1996.

Miller, Judith, Miller's Art Nouveau and Art Deco: A Buyer's Guide, Millers, 1995.

Miller, Judith, Period Fireplaces: A practical Guide to Period-Style Decorating, Reed Books, 1995.

Miller, Judith, Period Kitchens: A Practical Guide to Period-Style Decorating, Antique Collectors Club, 1995.

Moss, Roger W., Lighting for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproductions, Preservation Press, 1989.

Nylander, Jane C., Fabrics for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproduction Fabrics, Preservation Press, 1990.

Poore, Patricia, The Old–House Journal Guide to Restoration, E.P.Dutton, 1992.

Smith, Bruce, The Beautiful Necessity: Decorating with Arts and Crafts, Gibbs Smith, 1996.

Sucher, David, City Comforts, City Comforts Press, 1995.

Van Rosensteil, Helene, Floor Coverings for Historic Buildings, Preservation Press, 1988.

Vogelsong, Diana, ed., Landscape Architecture Sourcebook: A Guide to Resources on the History and Practice of Landscape Architecture, Omnigraphics, 1996.

Wayne, Kathryn, Architecture Sourcebook: A Guide to Resources on the History and Practice of Architecture, Omnigraphics, 1996.

Zingman-Leith, Elan, The Secret Life of Victorian Houses, Elliott & Clark, 1993.

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