PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Home Architects & Builders  Holiday House Tour Newsletters Walking Tours
About PAST Centennial Houses INVENTORY Preservation Awards Contact PAST
Advocacy History and Architecture Articles   Master Index to Houses Resources Join / Donate

Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1215 Stanford Avenue
(early address, 811 Stanford Avenue)

College Terrace

inventory photo 2015 photo
Inventory photo Photo taken May 13, 2015

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1986:

Physical appearance:   This restrained one-story Queen Anne cottage with its porch, bay window, and bands of patterned shingles shows the vernacular interpretation of a standard nineteenth century form. It is a near twin of 1229 Stanford Avenue.

Significance:  A good example of a standard type. In 1889, Peter Grimley bought the entire Stanford Avenue frontage of the block on which the house stands and six years later deeded the lots to his wife, Mary. It is thought that the house (with its next-door twin) was built about 1905, perhaps by Grimley's son John, then in construction work. It was used as rental property, since the Grimley's lived on El Camino Real, where they conducted a hotel and livery business.

By 1910 the house was occupied by Daniel and Margaret Harrington and their children; they purchased the property in 1920. Harrington was a section foreman for the Southern pacific railroad.

In 1932 the Harrington deeded the house to their daughter Anne, retaining a life interest in it. Mrs. Harrington moved to San Francisco to live with Anne after her husband's death in 1940. The house then was rented until 1950 to John H. and Doris Moon; Moon was a butcher for Liddicoat's Market and for Purity Stores.

From 1954–65 the tenant was Charles K. Hurtig, a carpenter working for the Schmaling and Stenbit firm of contractors. Anne Harrington sold the property in 1963 to David H. L. and Hsaio Lan-Lee Tseng, who passed it on to Walter E. and Patricia A. Sonnenstuhl two years later. It was their home until 1973, when Richard and Jennifer Mohr acquired it.

Harvard side 2015 photo
address map
May 13, 2015 photos Location map

This house was built circa 1905 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder is unknown. The property measures 45 by 125 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; U.S. Census 1910, ED 75; AAUW notes for ...Gone Tomorrow?;  Palo Alto Times 11/24/25, 6/21/40, 6/1/48, 10/23/51, 7/24/71; Book 121 (Deeds), p. 386, 11/11/89; Book 187 (Deeds), p. 127, 8/7/95; Book 519 (Deeds), p. 347, 9/21/20; book 519 (Deeds), p. 449, 10/19/20' Book 2316 (Off. Rec.) p. 369, 9/13/32; Book 6099 (Off. Rec.), p. 682-5, 5/29/63; Book 7183 (Off. Rec.) p. 573-4, 11/19/65 (Santa Clara Co. Recorder)


FaceBook f

E-mail us at either or

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