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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

433 Melville Avenue

inventory photo robert Brandeis photo
Inventory photo Robert Brandeis photo


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1984:

Physical appearance:   An amply proportioned 2-1/2 story Queen Anne/Shingle Style house which gains considerable from its well-landscaped setting. Various wood textures are used in horizontal bands to unify the form. There is a large wrap-around verandah supported by columns of classical derivation. The street-facing gable has a projection in its upper portion which is interrupted by a tripartite window of Palladian configuration.

Significance:  A very fine example of the style and an example of the work of Professor A. B. Clark of Stanford, an important local designer and father of the architect Birge Clark. It was the home of Charles H. and Julia R. Gilbert, originally. Gilbert (1859-1928) was one of the first faculty members of Stanford, a zoologist emphasizing the life cycle of fish. His research and advice was of national commercial significance in marine biology. Julia Gilbert was a founder of Palo Alto's library in 1898.

After the Gilbert's tenure, the house was occupied by a sculptor, A. P. Proctor (1920-23); Jay E. Lawshe (1924-1940); the Reverend Edward H. and Mrs. Molony (1941-1964). John and Mary Pogue bought the house in 1967.

The recent restoration included moving the house forward resulting in the elimination of the circular drive.


2010 photo detail
Before restoration, July 31, 2010 Shingle detail

location map
August 15, 2012 restoration in progress Location map

The following is from the Centennial Buildings Tour, prepared by The City of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board for the Centennial Building Celebration, April 16, 1994. The houses included on the tour were all identified as at least 100 years old:

This Queen Anne/Shingle Style house was designed by A.B. Clark (an important local designer and father of architect Birge Clark) and built by E.A. Hettinger. It was the originally home to J.H. Gilbert, an ichthyologist and one of Stanford's first faculty members. His wife Julia was a founder of Palo Alto's library.

This house was built in 1894 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was A. B. Clark and the builder was E. A. Hettinger. The property measures 100 by 150 feet. The house was restored beginning in 2012.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 2/27/94, 4/21/28; Palo Alto Live Oak, 1/1/00 (early photo); AAUW, ...Gone Tomorrow?, p. 52;


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