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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

Medico–Dental Building

261 Hamilton Avenue

Ramona Street Architectural District

inventory photo May 8, 2016 photo
Inventory photo Photos taken May 8, 2016


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

Physical appearance:   This massively-scaled corner building is an important anchor for the Spanish Colonial Revival commercial row along Ramona street. The elegant ironwork of the period embroiders the rather severe massing.

Some alterations to accommodate shops has occurred at street level.

A major restoration was completed in January 2016.

Significance:  A prominent visual landmark which performs major urban design functions, this building was planned by the important local architect, Birge Clark, for the owner, the Palo Alto Improvement Co. On the Ramona street frontage, a definite effort was made to make it appear as though it consisted of several buildings built at different periods of time.

The first story of the northern portion on Hamilton Avenue housed the post office, 1928 – 1933, and the city's first drive-in auto parking area was in the basement. Prior to purchase by T. N. Fuller for the Improvement Co., the site had been owned by E. A. Hettinger, prominent local contractor, and was occupied by two houses.

The owner in 2016 is Hamilton Ramona Partners.

Note: This commercial building was honored with a Palo Alto Stanford Heritage Commercial Rehabilitation Award in 2016.


original tiles revealed

Original mosiac revealed during restoration
detail stair detail
greg Brown mural

This Greg Brown lobby mural did not survive the renovation.

This structure was built in 1927 and rehabilitated in 2016. It is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Birge Clark and the builder was Wells P. Goodenough. The property measures 100 by 100 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 9/11/26, 7/9/27, 10/22/27, 8/3/28, Birge Clark Commercial Inventory


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