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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

449 Seneca Street
(also identified as 909 University Avenue)

inventory photo yard
Inventory photo Photo taken May 6, 2013


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1985:

Physical appearance:   This four–square Georgian Revival house was originally set in extensive landscaped grounds and was entered from University Avenue.

The delicate carved ornamentation is standard for buildings of the type, but there are deviations from expected form in some window shapes and the rear porch. Under the wide bracketed eaves is a decorative frieze, which is repeated above the windows. The main entrance, now on the side, has a columned portico and opens into an extravagantly large reception hall.

The interior echos the classical style. The one–story wing to the left of the entry is a later addition.

Significance:  The house is an excellent example of the formality and dignity of the Georgian Revival, one of the first in Palo Alto executed in one of the several styles which were about to replace the Queen Anne and comparable Victorian types. It originally had a sweeping lawn and palm–lined drive.

J. A. and Mrs. Dyan were the first owners. He was an officer of the Southern Pacific Railroad; she participated vigorously in the development of the new town, taking charge of the landscaping of University Avenue and Alma Street, while he arranged for graveling the streets.

From 1916, when the Dayans left the house, to 1953, it was owned by Mrs. Frances E. Corey, and from 1955 to 1969, by Russell J. and Katherine M. Sheridan. Sheridan was an engineer with Pacific Telephone.

Read about the people who lived here.

entry window detail
corner plaque
chimneywindow plaque

This house was built in 1895 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was William Campbell. The property measures 66 by 145 feet. It was named a Landmark Residence by the Historic Resources Board.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times: 6/19/95, 6/28/95, 7/12/95, 7/19/95, 10/4/95, 1/2/96;  AAUW, . . .Gone Tomorrow?, p. 18–19.


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