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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

790 High Street

inventory photo 790
Inventory photo Photo taken May 2012


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

Physical appearance:   This fine small streamline–design building is notable for the round tower and tall display windows. The canopy at the entrance originally covered gasoline pumps. A service shop flanked the building on its Homer Avenue side and one–story utility structures extended along High Street.

Significance:  This is a fine example of the Streamline Moderne, a style not common in Palo Alto nor typical of the architects' earlier work. Its original occupant and lessee was Durlin B. Hackett, soon succeeded by C. B. Weltner; both were General Motors automobile dealers.

From its construction to the 1960s, it housed auto sales, rental, and repair firms—appropriately, since the style of the building had been closely associated with the "modernistic" designs of the automobile, locomotive, and airplane. It was converted to other uses in the 1970s, including a theater, offices, and a shoe sales and repair center.

The owner in 1985 was Eleanore Cameron and the space was used as the Athletic Shoe Factory. Previous uses were auto sales and service, auto repair and the Commedia Theatre. It is currently a real estate office.


790 circa 1986 photo
Photo take circa 1986
PAHA Archive PAHA Archive
tower at right map
The tower is visible at the right rear. Location map

This structure was built in 1936 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architects were Birge and David Clark and the builder was Wells P. Goodenough. The property measures 200 by 105 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 4/18/36, 5/14/36, 8/13/36, 4/30/38, 5/23/38 (illustrated); interviews 1985, Birge M. Clark, Edward Ames


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