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The Spring 2024 PAST News in available here.

1923 plaque
28th Centennial Plaque & Historic Preservation Awards
were presented, on Sunday, May 5.
Palo Alto Stanford Heritage (PAST), in cooperation with the Palo Alto Historical Association (PAHA), held its 28th announcement of centennial homes* to owners of circa 1923 buildings. In 1994, the City of Palo Alto honored owners of buildings built in or before 1894 at an outdoor morning event at the Squire House, 900 University Avenue. In 1996, PAST decided to carry on the tradition by recognizing buildings built in 1895 and 1896. In 1998, we presented the first preservation awards to recognize preservation projects that renovate, rehabilitate, or restore local historic buildings.
A popular feature of our annual program is devoted to significant parts of Palo Alto’s architectural history. This year Steven Eichler, grandson of developer Joseph Eichler, spoke about Eichler homes and the 70th Anniversary of Greenmeadow in south Palo Alto. Designed by the firm of A. Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons, the 243–house tract featured a central recreation area with a park and swimming pool. The street design allowed for many cul–de–sacs to provide privacy and a family–friendly atmosphere.
This year's Preservation Award honored the recent work done at Palo Alto High School. Additionally, Amy French and Michael Makinen received Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to preserving the history of Palo Alto.
PAST's mission is to promote the importance of preserving the historic architecture, neighborhoods, and character of greater Palo Alto and Stanford areas. This event is celebrated every May during the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Month. The theme for 2024 is "People Saving Places."

The presentation is now available for viewing on Vimeo: 28th Preservation Month Celebration

* If you think your house was built in 1923 and you would like a centennial plaque, please let us know! and we will order one for you. Act fast, because the order deadline for plaques is May 30. The cost is $145 each. PAST will deliver and install the plaque for you.

Watch Bo Crane's public service announcement video about PAST that he made at MidPen Media!

Find past PAST Newsletters here!

Please consider becoming a member of PAST or making a donation. Here's a
FORM you can complete and send us with a check! Thanks so much!

The Master Index to Houses continues to grow! Mid–Century Modern has arrived!

Greenmeadow community center  951 Oregon  806 Rorke

27th Centennial Houses / Historic Preservation Program
Dan Garber
PAST and the Palo Alto Historic Association celebrated Birge Clark on the 100th anniversary of the founding of his architectural practice on May 7, 2023.

Our featured speaker was Architect Daniel Garber, FAIA, partner at Fergus Garber Architects. Dan's topic was Birge Clark ; The Early Years, His Time and Influences; 1922 to 1933.

Birge Clark's long career was almost solely conducted in Palo Alto. It was varied enough to include single and multiple family residences, commercial structures, and prominent institutional buildings.
This program is part of PAST Heritage's mission to promote the importance of preserving the historic architecture, neighborhoods, and character of the greater Palo Alto and Stanford areas.

Preservation awards were presented to the Graduate Palo Alto Hotel and the Birge Clark designed home at 242 Coleridge Avenue.

Book cover

Have you seen our latest book? Birge Clark Selected Projects, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opening of local architect Birge Clark's first office in 1922. Our fall walking tour schedule focused on his architecture and we were pleased to offer four walks that highlighted some of his most memorable projects. Books can be purchased for $20 at the Palo Alto Historical Association Archive in Room K7 at the Cubberley Community Center at 4000 Middlefield Road on Tuesdays between 4 and 8 p.m. and on Thursdays between 1 and 5 p.m. Books can also be purchased at Bells Book Store, 536 Emerson Avenue in Palo Alto. 

26th Centennial Houses / Historic Preservation Program 2022

Here is the link to the video of our webinar
featuring 1921 centennial houses, and a presentation on Preserving the Roth Building. Speakers were Rich Green, Palo Alto Museum President, and Michael Garavaglia of Garavaglia Architecture. The October 2 in-person program of the Palo Alto Historical Association tied in nicely with its presentation of the History of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic which was established at the Birge Clark designed Roth Building.

Attention researchers! The History Desk and Archives manned by historians Steve Staiger and Darla Secor is located in room K–7 at Cubberley, 4000 Middlefield Road. Either Steve or Darla is available on Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Most of the old photos used by PAST are from the Palo Alto Historical Association's archives. If you ave an old photo you would like to share, please contact us at

Looking for something? Explore these links:

Playing on Heritage: Recollections: Palo Alto at Midcentury. A trip down Palo Alto's memory lane with Roxy Rapp and Wyn Wachhorst. Palo Alto native, retailer and developer Rapp and author Wachhorst share stories about the people and places that made mid-century Palo Alto unique. Check the Midpen Media Center web site for dates and times under Heritage.

Note: Heritage programs are streamed at the same times on the Media Center web site,

If you don't have access to cable, you can also watch on your computer at the same times on the Midpen Media Center web page or at any time on Vimeo.

Architectural Styles

Queen Anne  Palo Alto homes and commercial buildings feature a rich variety of architectural styles. Discover more Palo Alto styles and see more sketches.

Links to videos from the Palo Alto Historical Association's Exploring the Archives . . . National Register Properties in Palo Alto . . . Places to Visit . . . and more are on our Resources page.

Was your house built in 1923 or earlier?

There was a building boom in 1923! Maybe your house was one of them. Construction dates are difficult to determine. In December, The Palo Alto Times used to publish a list of building permits issued that year, but the actual construction date might have actually been in next year. Another situation is that perhaps a house was built on spec, and was not occupied for still another year. Therefore, our centennial plaques say "circa". So, if your house is circa 1923 oe earlier, let us know so we can explore it's origin! Next year, we will honor houses built in 1924, so if that sounds like your house, please tell us now!
Circa 1920:   112 Kingsley

Circa 1919:   353 Lowell


Did you know that buildings on the Historic Inventory are selected because of their importance in one of the following areas: 
Architecture, Arts & Leisure, Economic/Industrial, Exploration/Settlement, Government, Military, Religion, or Social/Education?


A sampling of homes from Evergreen Park, (otherwise know as the California Avenue area.)
2053 Park

2053 Park Boulevard
2065 Park

2065 Park Boulevard
2110 Park
2110 Park Boulevard
423 Oxford

423 Oxford Avenue
390 Oxford

390 Oxford Avenue
304 Oxford

304 Oxford Avenue

Have you checked these links?
Read about architectural styles found in Palo Alto and where examples can be found.

A newly discovered listing of important local people from the Palo Alto Historical Association's files which also provides an outline of Palo Alto's early history and links to many historic photographs!

Margaret Feuer's articles that first appeared in the Palo Alto Daily News.

Residents of the Los Arboles Eichler neighborhood gathered together to restore their sign and the clean up the overgrowth at Middlefield and Ames Avenue. See how the work progressed!

Then and Now... the windows on the tower are the clue to the identity of this 1895 house at 446 Forest Avenue.

446 Forest Avenue today. 433 Forest Avenue. John Moss photo 446 Forest side view


Sunday, April 28, 2019 was when the contents of the first time capsule from 1994 were displayed. The capsule was stored in an unused elevator shaft in the City Hall Basement along with 3 more capsules scheduled for opening on the 150th, 175th, and 200th anniversaries of Palo Alto's founding. Viewers were asked to suggest what might be put into the emplied capsule before it is re-sealed for opening 75 years from now on the 200th anniversary!

Demolitions. . . Always a concern. . . .

Homes by prominent Palo Alto architects are being demolished, but remember, "the greenest house is almost always the one already built". (Spring 2012, Preservation Magazine)

Have you seen this man?  

He was locked in the University Arts store on Hamilton Avenue.
Is he still there now that the restored building is open again?


NO...he escaped!

(Photo taken May 8, 2016 before renovation.)

261 Hamilton

Take a look... at the master index of houses on this Website! There are links to houses all over town. If you have a photo of your house to add, please contact us! It could be an older photo, a more recent one, or even better, historic!

Continuing local tid-bits not to be missed!  Even though the Palo Alto Daily News is no longer publishing history articles in the Friday real estate section, you can find most of them right here!


Palo Alto Remembered: Stories from a City's Past published by the Palo Alto Historical Association. Find out more...


Palo Alto native and Stanford graduate Bo Crane's newest book, Ticket to Rock, is available now! The book chronicles many remarkable musicians who either had their start or performed in our community during the 60s and 70s. The focus is on their homes and neighborhoods and the backdrop to a counter culture than began musically right here!

Bo's other books of local interest include Birge Clark: Selected Projects, Palo Alto Glory, The Life and Times of Dennis Martin and The Streets of Menlo Park.

Books are available at Bells Books, 536 Emerson Street, Palo Alto.

Do you recognize anything in these photos? Do you know where they were taken?

University Ave. 1941
University Avenue, 1941
Nortree Hall
Nortree Hall, not rebuilt after 1906 earthquake
318 Middlefield
318 Middlefield
Byxbee Real Estate
Byxbee Real Estate Office
Russell Lee and Birge Clark
Dr. Russell Lee and Birge Clark
Escondite Cottage on Stanford University Campus
Stanford cottage. Do you know who lived here?
BOD Bank of Palo Alto
Board of Directors of the Bank of Palo Alto

Do you have an old photo to share?
Please contact us!


Find it fast

Architects and builders who worked in Palo Alto into the 1960's.
Preservation Awards by Year
Birge Clark
Early Palo Altans
Photos of houses by address
Daily News Articles
Edgewood Plaza
Hangar One
History Links
Charles Hodges
Juana Briones
Los Arboles
National Register Properties at Stanford and Palo Alto
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More easy links:

Not that far from home. . .

Nevada City residents are struggling with the realities of maintaining two art deco treasures. Read the National Trust for Historic Preservation's story about this historic Gold Rush town.


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