PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Home Architects & Builders  Holiday House Tour Newsletters Walking Tours
About PAST Centennial Houses INVENTORY Preservation Awards Contact PAST
Advocacy History and Architecture Articles   Master Index to Houses Resources Join / Donate

Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

421–423 Kipling Street

405 Kipling Group

Inventory photo 421
Inventory photo Photo taken June 2, 2015


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

Physical appearance:   This two-story design is composed of a series of colliding gable forms whose imagery derives from the Queen Anne and Classical Revival styles. Tuscan porch columns and a staggered attic window pattern animate the façade. One of the group of early Palo Alto houses surviving in the commercial zone.

Significance:  An unusually sculptured approach to composition has resulted in a powerful and memorable design. the house was built as residence and undertaking parlor for Josiah W. Roller, whose mortuary was established in 1899. His father was a mason from Scotland who worked on the Stanford University construction. Roller, with his son Arthur, joined with Frank Hapgood in 1912 to form the mortuary firm of Roller and Hapgood, which was active into the 21th century as Roller, Hapgood and Tinney.

In 1924 the house was briefly occupied by the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. Then, for a decade, it was the home of Mrs. Catherine Goin and her daughter Maybelle, a San Mateo teacher..

Mrs. M. I. (Irene) Williams occupied the house from 1939–1954, after which it was given over to commercial uses, most notable the dental office for the Samuel D. Orwitz firm.


Lucy Spaziano photo 2015 photo
Dr. Orwitz office map
1985 HRB photo Dr. Orwitz Dentist Location map

This house was built in 1900 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect/builder was H. L. Upham. The property measures 50 by 112.5 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/4/01, 12/31/09, 4/19/22, 4/3/36, 11/18/52, 1/10/75; Guy C. Miller, Palo Alto Community Book, (P.A., 1952), p. 207–209; interview 1984, Robert Roller


FaceBook f

E-mail us at either or

PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage—Dedicated to the preservation of Palo Alto's historic buildings.