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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1044 Bryant Street

Varian Home

Professorville Historic District

1044 Bryant 2015 photo
Inventory photo taken in 1978. Photo taken June 14, 2015.

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

Physical appearance:   This small house has a single dormer in its pyramidal second story, with a square bay on the ground floor.

Significance:  This typical modest house is significant on historical rather than architectural grounds. It was originally the home of John 0. and Agnes D. Varian; Varian was a nephew of John Osborne, who lived at 1052 Bryant Street. His many literary and philosophic interests made the downstairs parlor into an informal neighborhood school. His sons Russell, who became a physicist, and Sigurd, an airplane pilot, collaborated in the 1930s with William W. Hanson, of Stanford, to invent the klystron tube, the key element of the radar air–defense system of World War II. In 1948, with Hanson, the Varians established the electronics firm which bears their name. They were also inspired by their father with a love of the outdoors, which may account for their having been instrumental in the establishment of Castle Rock State Park. It is said that on the night of the 1906 earthquake, John and his sons were camping in the backyard and woke to see many a modest lady running down the street in her nightie. After the Varians left the house, about 1914, it was often vacant or occupied only by short–term tenants. David C. M. and Pearl Lin were the owner–occurants for the longest period (1962–1972),

Robert Brandeis photo undated
Robert Brandeis Photo Undated photo from Guy Miller Archives
2010 photo entry
January 16, 2010 photos
August 1, 2010 photo

Augus 1, 2010
location sketch map


This house was built in 1902 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory because of its Economic/Industrial importance. The architect and/or builder are not identified. The property measures 35 by 105 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 3/22/06, reports a lecture given at the Varian house by John Osborne, "socialist"; AAUW, ...Gone Tomorrow?.


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