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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

263 Churchill Avenue

inventory photo 263
Photo taken in 1978. Photo taken April 3, 2011

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

Physical appearance:   A two–story single gambrel–roofed house with some classical detailing. alterations have made the original appearance difficult to ascertain, but the resultant form is complex and intriguing.

Significance:  A design illustrating the power of formal accretions over time. Porches have been added and enclosed.

Built for G. M. and James Young, who occupied it until 1912. for the next decade (1913–1923) it was the residence of Alger French, a Minneapolis dentist who retired in 1905 and moved first to Los Gatos and then to Palo Alto.

Other occupants of relatively long duration (prior to the present owner, Constance Hillis (1979)) included J. J. and Mrs. E. V. Smith (1933–1939), and Daniel E. and Jessie M. Newell (1946–1969). Newell's father, Edward, was, for many years, the buyer of Oriental artwork and furnishings, then the manager of the interior decorating department of Gump's of San Francisco.

263 Churchill map

This house was built in 1904 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was LeBaron Olive. The property measures 52 by 150 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 7/19/1904, 12/30/1904, 1/5/1906, 5/21/1913, 8/2/1934; Carol green Wilson, Gump's Treasure Trade (N.Y., Thomas y. Crowell Co., 1949), 55–60, 79–104, and passim; interview 1984, Constance Hillis


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