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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

528 - 530 Ramona Street

Gotham Shop

Ramona Street Architectural District

inventory photo 530
Inventory photo 1985 photo

The following is from the the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form dated May 21, 1985 and the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1985:

Physical appearance:   The structure is a two-story Monterey/Spanish Colonial Revival commercial building with arcaded ground floor and wooden gallery at the second floor. Minor alterations in recent years avoid distorting the original design.

Significance:  Of lesser design quality than others in its group, but as part of the street face, this building is a very important structure in an urban design sense. Designed by Birge Clark as an expansion of the Gotham Shop at what is now 520 Ramona, Wells Goodenough was the the builder for banker Philip M. Lansdale and Edward C. Thoits, a Palo Alto councilman for forty years. The entrances of the new and old sections of the Gotham Shop shared a common courtyard. Large irregularly shaped stone pavers help to unify the entrances.

The first floor façade consists of three large arched bays. At the second level, five pairs of French doors open to the wooden gallery which extends across the entire façade. The owners and designers intended it to harmonize with the other structures then being placed on Ramona Street in the 500 block. Over the years, the interior alterations have included second floor deck (1971), fireplace restoration (1972), enclosed balcony (1973) and a glass enclosure (1981).

In 1980 tenants were Edmond Mansoor Antiques & Jewelry (now Mansoor and Gore) on the right, Las Bovedas in the center and Chantilly Restaurant Francais on left.

Chantilly rear entrance
  Courtyard entrance to Chantilly
side entrance to Chantilly Las bovedas
lighting fountain
planter map

This structure was built in 1926 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Birge Clark and the builder was Wells P. Goodenough. The property measures 46 by 100 feet.

Sources: National Register of Historic Places Nomination papers, 1985; Birge Clark Commercial Inventory


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