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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

533 Bryant Street (originally 535)
Byxbee House

535 Bryant Bixby house 2015
Photo taken in 1978. Photo taken October 1, 2015

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

Physical appearance:   An almost undecorated box, the house is enlivened by a minimal square corner bay tower and some Queen Anne porch detailing which may have been added. The stairs are slightly altered and other alterations may have occurred when the building was moved from its original site closer to the street. There is a fine stained glass window near the entrance.
Note: The house is now part of a group of rental units and is identified as No. 5. There is an apartment in the rear and the others are at the rear of the front building which now is identified as 535 Bryant.

Significance:  An interesting survivor of the late nineteenth century, now in the midst of a downtown commercial block. The corner tower and rather unusual form of the house provide particular interest to this vernacular version of the Queen Anne mode. In the mid–twenties, it housed a home–operated pleating company, and, subsequently, valet service, clothes cleaning service, and other commercial activities. It was built for the John F. Byxbee family and ownership remains in the family. Its earliest occupant (1897–1914) was Mrs. Anita L. Corbert, who brought her daughters to Palo Alto so that they could attend Stanford. She was a charter member of the Woman's Club of Palo Alto, a strong advocate of woman's suffrage, and a co-founder of a public reading room that evolved into the city library. Her daughter, Anita, earned her degrees at Stanford (A.B. 1896, M.A. 1903), and married John F. Byxbee (Jr.). After completing the A.B. degree at Stanford in 1902, he started work with the city and in 1906 was appointed City Engineer, a position he held until 1945. Palo Alto's Baylands Recreation Area is named for Byxbee.

The owner in 1983 was Robert W. Byxbee.

front alley
tower 533
HRB photo 535 location map
HRB ca. 1985 Location map

This wooden house was built in 1897 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. It was built by George W. Mosher and has been moved from its original site.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 11/11/96, 11/20/96, 1/1/97, 11/29/15, 3/1/22; interview 1983, Robert W. Byxbee; Sandborn Insurance Map; John Northway; Guy C. Miller, Palo Alto Community Book (P. A., 1952), p. 244; Dallas E. Wood, History of Palo Alto (P. A., 1939), p. 306.


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