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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

525 Alma Street

inventory photo 525
Inventory photo Photo taken May 6, 2007

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

Physical appearance:  The one-story brick buildings at 525 and 529 Alma are composed of tripartite façade modules above which rise false-front parapets. Vertical brick piers decorate the otherwise flat façade surface. Both were resurfaced to present a more"modern" appearance in the late 'twenties, but in the 'seventies were rehabilitated, with some alterations to accommodate current uses.

Sigificance:   The earliest building on this site was a livery barn built by M. P. Madison in 1895 for J.W. Paulsen's University Stables. The Vandervoort family took over the stable in 1901. In 1914, Thomas N. Fuller, who came to Palo Alto in 1895 and married Dora Vandervoort, formed a partnership with W. S. Vandervoort and established a Ford agency at the location, the first of a long series of automobile establishments on the site. The old building was razed in 1917 and replaced by the present brick structure. At the same time it was joined to the adjacent building and to the 1905 brick building at 542 High Street. Ownership of the auto agencies changed from time to time, W. G. Bernthal taking over from Fuller in 1919.

The property remains in the Vandervoort family.

door HRB photo
HRB photo ca. 1986
sidewalk clestory windows
sign map
Location map

This building was built in 1917 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. In 2007, the Vandervoort family was honored with a Commercial Preservation Award for this building.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times


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