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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1145 Forest Avenue

(earlier, 1033–1035 Forest)

Ashby House

inventory photo 1145
Inventory photo Photo taken December 8, 2002


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

Physical appearance:   Finely detailed Eastlake window facings (perhaps added later) adorn this otherwise austere vernacular house.

Significance:  The Ashby House is a simple Victorian cottage built in 1889. the porch is an early addition. The tall, narrow windows are topped with jagged mill work framed by an entablature supported by brackets.

It was originally located on the side of the "island" which divides the 1000 block of Forest Avenue and was moved to its present site about 1910. At the former location there was a well with a tank house from which the residents of the Ashby Addition obtained their water. Delmar and Ella Ashby purchased the property in 1890 from Anna and Samuel Boyce, who had acquired the land in 1883 and who lived at 955 Channing Avenue. Ashby, described as an orchardist, hoped to build a cannery; it never was built. but the land was subdivided as the Ashbys were J. Lester and Jessie Martin (1915 – 1920), associated with the Altomont Dairy; James, H. G. and w. L. Cooley (James Cooley had been a river boat captain), 1922 – 1932; James E. Bragg (1953 – 1964); and Vincent V. and Robin W. Ruble (1948 – 1952, 1965).


award window
2002 Spirit of Place Award Rear window
sketch     map
Richard Elmore sketch Location map

The following is from the Centennial Buildings Tour, prepared by The City of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board for the Centennial Building Celebration, April 16, 1994. The houses included on the tour were all identified as at least 100 years old:

Ashby House is a simple Victorian era cottage, whose finely detailed Eastlake window facings were added later; perhaps when the house was moved from the current street island about 1910. th eland was purchased in 1890 by Ella and Delmar Ashby, who hoped to build a cannery. It was subdivided as the Ashby Addition and annexed to the city in 1919.

This house was built in 1889 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. It was awarded the 2002 PAST Heritage Spirit of Place award. The architect and builder are unknown. The property measures 66.5 by 113.9 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 3/1/95, 1/2/96, 8/30/19; Palo Alto AAUW,  . . . Gone Tomorrow?, 1971


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