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Pattern and Style

PASTís latest member event on February 20, 2016 was a major success. The goal was to provide background information about the architectural character of Palo Alto. Since our mission is to promote the preservation of Palo Altoís architecture and neighborhood character we decided to ask Michael Garavaglia, Garavaglia Architecture, Inc., Dan Garber, Fergus Garber Young Architects, and Mary Wadden, Silicon Valley Commercial Brokerage, Inc., to address the importance of preserving the areaís diverse pattern and style. Michael presented an illustrated talk about what makes a property historic.

name tag table Brian

Historic context, Significance, Character Defining Features, and Integrity are all part of the considerations in the decision of whether or not a property is historic. The accompanying slides provided good examples related to the criteria.

Dan Garberís talk covered local architects and their contributions to Palo Altoís architectural character. Buildings designed by Pedro de Lemos, Charles Sumner, Birge Clark, and Joseph Eichler are significant examples of local architectural styles that are part of the Palo Alto character. Danís creative timeline slides provided insight into the growth of neighborhood architecture.

Mary Waddenís presentation helped the audience appreciate how Silicon Valley grew from the early days of Lee de Forest, Frederick Terman and Hewlett and Packard through Shockley Semiconductor, Fairchild and Apple to todayís Stanford Research Park and the areaís recognition as a place to create the future.

We thank Michael, Dan, and Mary for sharing their expertise. PAST is planning on more member events so check out our website,, for dates and locations.

book poster audience
Steve Staiger & Michael Garavaglia members

Share your thoughts. . .

A Community Workshop for the Professorville Historic Design Guidelines  was held on February 23, 2016. It was a lively, interactive session led by Matthew Weintraub from the City of Palo Alto, and Page & Turnbull representatives Ruth Todd and Jonathan Rusch. Two more community meetings are scheduled for later this spring.

PAST supports many local preservation and historic projects from the current support that preserved a wall from the Juana Briones house in the Palo Alto foothills, to supporting the Museum of American History (MOAH) at their Williams House location at 351 Homer Avenue ( where PAST has office space), to the development of the future Palo Alto History Museum and $5,000 to the Palo Alto Historical Association's (PAHA) digitization project of their photograph collection.

PAST had a representative on the committee to create design guidelines for Professorville. Links to the committee website and reading list are on PAST's Inventory page.

Recent projects included door repair and painting of the Water Pump Station on Palo Alto Avenue at Hale Street. Don't miss seeing how beautiful the wisteria on the restorated Los Arboles sign is!

pump house

A very successful renovation of the College Terrace Library earned the City of Palo Alto a Preservation Award in 2011. Other recent happy endings were the Palo Alto High School Haymarket Theater and the Children's Library.



Pump House Banner


Work began on Monday, April 27, 2015 and the finishing touches were made on May 5. It's beautiful! The building was completely repainted to its original color and the windows, grille work and door were stripped and repainted to their original colors.

finished pump house

PAST initiated this project to protect one of our city's charming buildings.

old photo

Juana Briones House —

Read and see more photographs about the Juana Briones house.


Sea Scout Building

Sea Scout Building

Located in the Baylands, the Sea Scout building was dedicated on May 30, 1941 and had suffered water damage over the years. In 2011 the building was restored for use by the Environmental Volunteers. Read more.


Palo Alto History Museum

See a short video (Public Service Announcement from the Palo Alto Historical Association's archives).

Read about the current status of the museum.

One of the murals

The murals in the courtyard of this National Trust eligible property will be saved!

A peek from inside at what is difficult to see today.

Murals from inside

Before being protected:


A better back wall

tower roof line

The beautiful tile roof!

Roof tiles


Edgewood Plaza

Edgewood Plaza

Read the Alan Hess column in the Sunday, September 7, 2008 San Jose Mercury News regarding this threatened Palo Alto treasure, Two architectural treasures—Neutra house and a shopping center. For some background on this issue, check PAST's page Edgewood Plaza page.


NASA photo

Hangar One — The news in 2014 was good! Google will restore and use Hangar One!  Read what the National Trust said when Hangar One was placed on the most threatened list and the background of this on-going challenge. Or, read more at the official Save Hangar One website. See more historic photos.


The Changing Face of Palo Alto — Four homes on Bryant Street near Waverley Oaks have recently been demolished to make room for ONE new house. Waverley Oaks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed and built by Pedro deLemos as his home while he was on the Stanford University faculty. More houses are threatened. These aerial photos give a bird's-eye view of the construction activity in August 2008. In March 20009, a building permit was applied for on the consolidated properties. Waverley Oaks is safe.


PAST and the California Preservation Foundation

PAST and the California Preservation Foundation partnered a workshop on the Use and Application of the California Historical Building Code  at the Palo Alto Woman's Club.

The Palo Alto Woman's Club was designed by Charles Hodges in 1916. To read more about him and see other examples of his work, link here, or on the Inventory page.

Woman's Club


College Terrace Library— The College Terrace is open after renovations. PAST is monitoring the progress of work being done to assure that the historical integrity of the Charles Sumner structure remains true to his intent. A similar relationship with the City of Palo Alto occurred with the work on the Children's Library.

The renovation of the College Terrace Library were so successful that the City and architectural and construction team were awarded a preservation award from PAST in May 2011. Photo Gallery before renovation. The award-winning College Terrace Library was one of the stops on the 2011 Holiday House Tour. See pictures of the new interior!


Children's Library  After

Children's Library —  PAST took a new step in its work to encourage preservation of our historic resources by working with the City of Palo Alto to monitor the retrofitting and addition to the beloved Children's Library. The project was closely monitored and the end result is a delight for both children and their parents!


Haymarket Theater at Palo Alto High School

aerial view

Palo Alto High School as seen on Google. Find our more about the Paly master planning process and its impact on the Haymarket Theater.


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