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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

489-497 Lytton Avenue / 360 Cowper Street

Palo Alto's First Hospital

Inventory photo Cowper view
Inventory photo Photo taken May 25, 2015


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1984:

Physical appearance:   This much altered, asbestos sheathed building, which probably once had Colonial Revival features, was the location of Palo Alto's first hospital.

Significance:  The significance of this building is historical, for numerous alterations and additions now make the original building unidentifiable. It housed the first hospital in the community. Professor William F. Snow of Stanford in the late 1908s was alarmed at the absence of medical facilities and proposed a small assessment of students and faculty to establish a hospital. The typhoid fever epidemic of 1903 sharpened the sense of need and led to the acquisition of space for the Students guild Hospital, which served the community and university for a decade until the City built a major hospital at Embarcadero and Cowper. Thereafter, the building accommodated the families of L. A. Eddy and W. J. Hoskins. It was known as the Lytton Apartments beginning in 1929. Thence to the present it has been used for apartments and, on the Lytton frontage, various commercial establishments. Caroline Lincoln Guild ( died 11/23/1915) was one of the  earliest physicians associated with the hospital.

The owners in 1978 were Don J. and Gay L. Avila.


360 Cowper HRB photo
Photo taken 1986
first Hospital plaque
stairs map
Location map

This house was built in 1902 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect and builder are unknown. The property measures 100 by 93 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 7/16/1902, 10/10/1902, 12/30/1904, 7/6/1905, 1/5/1915, 11/23/1915; Palo Alto Historical Association files


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