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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1305 Middlefield Road
Lucie Stern Community Center

inventory photo theater
Inventory photo Photo taken February 2007


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1981:

Physical appearance:   The Lucie Stern Community Center is a complex of buildings designed by Birge Clark, an important local architect.

The complex combines several one and two story Spanish Colonial Revival structures in a planning scheme that utilizes an entry patio, decorative circular fountain, and wooden bench seating.

Significance:    The series of buildings were designed by Birge Clark, prominent local architect, in 1932, to be used as a Community Center. The buildings were made possible by the donations of Mrs. Lucie Stern, for whom Clark also designed two other houses, 1950 Cowper Street and 1990 Cowper Street. [See also 1928 Cowper Street and Lucie Stern Home article.]

The community Center is carefully composed and serves as a visual and social focal point for the surrounding area, utilizing a design mode important to the character of Palo Alto.

The adult theater was built in 1932. The balance was added from time to time up until 1940, all in accordance with the master plan as originally conceived.

courtyard plaque
Children's Theater wing Plaque on ballroom wing
planter theater
bench roof detail
Location map

The Community Center was built in 1932 and is a Category 1 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. Birge Clark was the architect and Wells P. Goodenough, the builder. The size of the property is 18.45 acres.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 10/27/33, 3/14/34; Palo Alto Historical Association Community Center file; Birge Clark


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