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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

Exclusive French Laundry / Watercourse Way

165 Channing Avenue / 865–875 High Street

HRB photo 165 Channing
Inventory photo Photo taken June 22, 2016

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1986:

Physical appearance:   A single-story building with exterior walls constructed of hollow clay tile. Tile has a grooved pattern in its face created during manufacturing. Partial roof of clay tile with built-up roof over remainder. Window detail consists of plaster/ concrete lintel over openings. Original exterior finish has been removed to expose hollow clay tile.

Significance:  This building, originally consisting of laundry facilities and living quarters, was constructed for Jacques Salabert, a native of France who came to Palo Alto in 1927.

On the day of his marriage in July, 1928, he and his wife opened their Exclusive French Laundry and in 1931 moved it to the present bulding. They continued in business at the location until the mid-1970s.

Sundry small businesses occupied the premises for short periods before it was remodeled in 1984 for Watercourse Way. Exterior of hollow clay tile presents a facade unique in Palo Alto. Lintel detail and clay tile roof add character and interest.


Watercourse Way map

This building was built in 1931 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was Black and Campbell. The property measures 100 by 112.5 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 2/26/31, 2/27/31, 6/2/78


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