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1992 Holiday House Tour: Professorville

The 5th Annual Holiday House Tour was held on December 13, 1992 and featured five Professorville homes. The homes represented early 20th century styles favored by Stanford professors. Styles included were the Shingle Style, Colonial Revival, Georgian/Colonial Revival and California Mission revival. On a historical note, one was the home of the author of the Stanford Hymn.

1992 ticket          

Homes on tour:

1055 Cowper Street 1910

This superb example of Mission Revival architecture was built in 1910. It is one of the finest and earliest examples of this style in Palo Alto. The house was originally built for Margaret Detels. The builder is thought to be George W. Mosher who built several homes in Professorville. Judge Jackson H. Ralston, an internationally renowned lawyer, was a long–time owner. Major remodeling was done to the front of the house when the open porch was enclosed.

Bill and Susan Beall both grew up on the East Coast and were familiar with older style homes. However, the uniqueness of the Mission Revival style house on Cowper Street so attracted them that they purchased the house in 1975. The Bealls have remodeled the front porch again as well as the kitchen.

          1055 Cowper

334 Kingsley 1903

Here is a fine example of formal, symmetrical Georgian/Colonial Revival stylearchitecture. It has considerable presence and dignity. The builder was George W.Mosher, a well known builder in Professorville. The home was built for a young physiology professor, James Rollin Slonaker. The president of Stanford, David Starr Jordan, invited Professor Slonaker to leave the University of Chicago and join the Stanford faculty. The house remained in the Slonaker family until 1964.

The Fife family purchased the home in 1978. They are only the third family to live in this house. All the wood paneling is original. The bookcases in the back parlor were added by the Fifes. The sunporch in the rear of the house has been remodeled as well as the kitchen.

          334 Kingsley

1103 Ramona Street — 1902

"Seale Cottage" was the name the neighbors called this charming, two-story redwood shingle house. Alfred Seale brought his bride to live here in 1902. Alfred's uncles, Thomas and Henry Seale, sold Timothy Hopkins most of the land for the original townsite of Palo Alto. Gustav Laumeister, a well-known builder in the town, built the house.

There is a unique hearth tucked under the stairs. The living room and dining room have the original redwood paneling.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Gopen purchased the house in 1978. They have recently remodeled the kitchen and done extensive remodeling of the landscaping. The front porch was enclosed in the 1920s and a gravity furnace installed which still heats the house.

          1103 Ramona Street


1106 Ramona Street — 1904

When Samuel and Isobel Charles married at the beginning of the twentieth century, they asked their next door neighbor, Andrew Browne, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford, to design a house for the newlyweds. The builder was Albert Cook.

The kitchen was remodeled in the 1960s. This unusual kitchen remodel was done by the owners' son as part of an apprentice course in architecture.

Susan and Bob Wolfe purchased the house in 1987. During remodeling, the Wolfes discovered the original fireplace in the living room that had been covered up by a wall. When the Wolfes bought the house, the front of the house was one huge room. They have now divided this space into a living room, dining room and foyer/hall. The columns were added at this time.

          1106 Ramona

1146 Waverley Street — 1893

This two–story house has an unusual halftimber pattern facade on the gable. The squaredshaped bay is also a striking architectural feature.

The house was designed by Charles Hodges, a Stanford architect who was one of the designers of the Holland tunnel and the George Washington Bridge in New York City. Field and Ledyard were the builders.

The house was built for Professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Professor Mary Roberts Smith, both of Stanford. He was chairman of the mechanical engineering department and she was associate professor of social sciences and sociology. Together they wrote the Stanford hymn, Hail, Stanford, Hail.

In 1926, Edwin and Patricia Sherwood, grand–daughter of Professor Charles Marx, bought the house and it has remained in their family until now. The house is currently for sale.

          1146 Waverley Street



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