PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Home Architects & Builders  HOLIDAY HOUSE TOURS Newsletters Walking Tours
About PAST Centennial Houses Inventory Preservation Awards Contact PAST
Advocacy History and Architecture Articles   Master Index to Houses Resources   Join / Donate

1995 Holiday House Tour

1995 ticket          

Homes on tour:


1145 Forest Avenue—1889

"The Ashby House"

This simple Victorian cottage with finely detailed Eastlake window facings was originally located at 1033–1035 Forest, on the side of the Forest Avenue "island." It was moved to its present site around 1910. The property was purchased by Delmar and Ella Ashby in 1890 who hoped to build a cannery on it. Financial reverses forced the Ashbys to subdivide the land which was annexed to Palo Alto in 1919 and known as the Ashby Addition. Other owners/occupants include James Cooley, river boat captain; W. L. Cooley, master mariner; and Mildred and Daniel Mendelowitz, artist and Stanford Professor.

          1145 Forest


567 Hale —1904

"The Tobey House"

This Classical Revival house was built at 1001 Hamilton Avenue for Walter Danforth and Mary Lincoln Tobey (of Box 193: The Tobey Letters, in the Palo Alto Historical Association). The architect of the house, William Danforth Bliss, was nephew to Mr. Tobey. Because of a lot subdivision in 1966, the original side entrance on Hale became the front entry. The present owners (1995) added new front steps and lions on pedestals. The interior has much varied wood due to Mr. Tobey's Nevada lumber business fortune. Examples are the redwood in the reception hall and the white cypress trim in the living room. The upstairs servants' quarters and family rooms show an interesting contrast. (Read more.)

          567 Hale, taken in 2011


951 Hamilton Avenue—1908

Craftsman details enhance this shingled house, one of several houses built in Palo Alto by local contractors Pittman and Upham. Charles T. Morrison, president and manager of Morrison Lumber Company, his wife Caroline B. Morrison, and his widowed mother Mary E. Morrison were the original occupants of the house. The interior of the house has identically–patterned leaded glass in the front hall sidelights, the dining room cupboard, and the living room bookcases. The present owner (1995) made the matching leaded glass in the rear hall door. Cofferred ceilings add an interesting detail to the downstairs rooms.

          951 Hamilton, photo taken 2009


38 Hamilton Court—1959

Architect William Wurster built this home for the widow Nellie Swall Wright, the third home he had been commissioned to build for the Wright family. The house was designed to retain the wisteria and arbor on land which was originally the garden of a house on Chaucer. The low ceiling entry leads into a spacious wood–paneled living room with a ten–foot ceiling. A typical Wurster design, this deceptively simply house has an enclosed courtyard and living quarters with pleasing proportion and scale. An exhibit, "An Everyday Modernism: The Houses of William Wurster," was currently showing at the San Francisco Museum of Modem Art.


Photo not available at this time.


900 University Avenue —1904

"The Squire House"

Built by George W. Mosher at a cost of approximately $18,000, this formal Classici Revival house was designed by San Francisco architect T. Paterson Ross. Its California Historical Landmark No. 857 designation was celebrated on January 27, 1973 as part of a successful effort to rescue this house from demolition. Public interest in historic preservation kindled in this rescue campaign led to the city's 1979 Preservation Ordinance. The present owners (1995) have lovingly and expertly restored the home, after years of previous owners' "updating." The house was built for John Adams Squire and his wife Georgiana—the second home they built in Palo Alto. The Squires had moved to University Park (as the town was then known) from San Jose when he enrolled at Stanford in 1891. When their three daughters were young, and then later students at Stanford, the house was a buzz of social activity.

          Squire House



FaceBook f

E-mail us at either or

PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage—Dedicated to the preservation of Palo Alto's historic buildings.