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1989 Holiday House Tour: Professorville

The second Holiday House Tour was held Sunday, December 17, 1989 in Professorville. The houses on the tour were:

      425 Embarcadero            222 Kingsley                   329 Lincoln            1221 Waverley        

425 Embarcadero Road — 1907

425 Embarcadero     425 Embarcadero

Robert Brandeis photos.

Your hosts, the Nerrie family have owned this former "student rental" since 1977. Bob, an architect who manages Stanford University Projects, and Elaine, breeder of Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers, have devoted much of the last decade to restoring the main west wing. The east wing unit, now the home of the Connolly family, is also open for the holiday tour.

Built for $6000 in the fall of 1907 for Mrs. Gustavus Ross Alder (Isabella) and her son, Dr. Raymond MacDonald Alder. She and her husband, a retired minister, lived in the larger west wing. Mrs. Alder wrote 125 published novel and children's books under the pen name Pansy. Her son was a member of the original Stanford faculty and Chairman of the English Department. He and his wife, Barbara, and their five children lived in the smaller East wing.

The house was designed by A.W. Smith, an Oakland architect and built by George Mosher a Palo Alto builder. The home is a prototypical Bay Area Shingle Style with its sleeping porches, small balconies, Alpine details and decorative cornice and roof brackets. The interior has fine, dark redwood moldings and paneling.


222 Kingsley Avenue — 1904

222 Kingsley

Photo taken in April 2010.

Eastern Shingle Cottage

The house is typical of many built in the area for Stanford staff. The steeply pitched roof, inviting porch and garden setting remind us of the English countryside. The picket fence replicates one that graced the property until last year when it gave way to gravity. The simple single–story guest cottage on the rear of the property, facing Embarcadero Road, dates back to the 1890's.

At this point, little is known about the original occupants. However, according to the Palo Alto City Directory of 1919, the home was occupied at that time by Mrs. N. M. Thygson and her three children Elling, Philip and "Miss" Ruth. Building records show that the family entered the automobile age in 1924 when the garage was built.

The recent restoration and addition was designed to maintain the character of the original home. The entire rear section including the kitchen and the bedroom above were added this year.

329 Lincoln Avenue — 1899


This photo was taken in April 2010.

Robert and Lora Textor have made this wonderful cottage their home since 1968. Bob is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Stanford; Lora is a counselor and designer. The community owes a great deal to the Textors. In 1969, they initiated, researched and recruited the support which eventually created the "Professorville Historic District." The home was originally the "mother-in-law cottage" for 331 Linclon, home of Wilbur Wilson Thoburn, an important Stanford professor—an early ecologist and campus spiritual leader. Professor Thoburn died unexpectedly in 1899. In 1900 the cottage was moved to its present location and Harriet Woods Thoburn and the children joined her mother in the small cottage.

The former cottage has had at least three major additions including the 1973 addition of its own "electronic" cottage, which serves as the study and office for Professor Textor. The beautifully landscaped front yard, detailing and obvious care of the home continue to make it an important part of the Professorville neighborhood.


1221 Waverley Street — 1902

1221 Waverley in 2010.

This picture was taken in 2010 after extensive additions were made to the front of the house.

In 1989, the Dorosin family had lived in this 1902 home for the past 21 years.

The original owners were Perry Roberts, his wife Enola and their son Perry, Jr. According to the City Directory of 1908, Miss Smirthwait visited. In the 1904 City Directory Mr. Roberts is described as a "capitalist." By 1910, he had obviously prospered and describes his profession as "Buildings and Loans."

Architect A. W. Smith designed the home which was built by Gus Laumeister, a local builder responsible for several Professorville homes. Capitalist Perry Roberts paid $5,000 for his new home in 1902.

The shingle home has undergone several major additions. The Folsom family added a garage in 1921 and expanded the home in 1922. Other major changes were made in 1941 and 1945, probably when the porch was enclosed and the north wing added.

One of the most significant changes was apparently made in the 1920's when the hardwood floor with its intricately detailed border was added. The staircase and unusual banister further accentuate the beauty of the large entrance hallway.



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