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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

433 Kingsley Avenue

Professorville Historic District

Hutchinson House

Inventory photo 433
Inventory photo Photo taken July 31, 2010


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

Physical appearance:   This shingle, gambrel-roofed Colonial Revival house features an ample semi-circular porch form topped with turned finials. Interior alterations and rearrangements have been carried, out from time to time since the 1920s. The new house in front was built in the 1970s. Interior redecoration occurred in 1984 when the Hutchinson-Stein house served as a Designers' Showcase.


This is an exceptionally elegant fusion of 19th century forms and motifs: gambrel roof of Dutch Colonial origin, corner tower from Queen Anne style, semi-circular portico from Colonial Revival forms. It was originally approached along a palm tree-lined drive, and was supported by a carriage house and tennis court.

The house was built for Joseph and Katherine Kellogg Hutchinson. Hutchinson was an enthusiastic commuter and a prime advocate of Palo Alto as a commuter's suburb of San Francisco. He was the first president of the Palo Alto Improvement Club organized in 1892 "to look after the interests of said Town and promote its proper improvement and development." From its efforts came plank sidewalks, graveled streets, and, in time, schools, water works, sewerage, electricity, a street railway, and town incorporation. The town government arose from the Improvement Club and Hutchinson was first chairman of the Board of Trustees. Hutchinson Avenue is named after him. Mrs. Hutchinson, who grew up near Redwood City, was a charter member of the Palo Alto Woman's Club, Fortnightly Music Club, and Presbyterian Church, where at one time she played the organ.

In 1923–1932 the house belonged to A.W. Johnson, and, 1935-1949, Michael D. and Sarah S. Stein. Stein was the brother of the famous author Gertrude Stein, who visited him in 1935 when at Stanford to lecture. He had retired in 1904 from management of the S.F, Street Car Co., went to France, and became a recognized art patron and critic.

The owners from 1954 to 1970 were Albert L. and Agnes Robinson. Mrs. Robinson was a member of the city school board and served on the State Community College Board of Trustees.

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:

The Hutchinson House shows an elegant fusion of 19th century forms and motifs: Dutch Colonial gambrel roof, Queen Anne corner tower, and Colonial Revival portico. It originally had a palm-lined drive, carriage house, and tennis court, and was built for Joseph Hutchinson, after whom Hutchinson Street was named. He was first president of the Palo Alto Improvement Club, and first chairman of the Board of Trustees.


historic photo 433
roof line Robert Brandeis photo
ceiling 433
433 map
Location map

This house was built in 1891-92 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. Gustav Laumeister did the $5,000 1903 remodeling. The property measured 40 + 100 feet by 100 feet before the property was subdivided for 425 Kingsley.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 9/8/03, 9/2/10, 1/3/21, 9/12/38, 6/11/43, 7/28, 46, 9/14,71, 3/2/84; San Jose Mercury News Extra 2/1/84; Palo Alto AAUW, ...Gone Tomorrow?, p. 42; Book 137 (Deeds), p. 379-381, 5/8/88; Book 137 (Deeds), p. 388-90, 7/10/91 (Santa Clara Co. Recorder); see Palo Alto Live Oak, 1/1/00, and Palo Alto Times 5/2/06 for early photos, the latter showing the palm tree-lined entrance.


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