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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

819 Ramona Street

inventory photo AME Zion building
Inventory photo Photo taken 2009


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

Physical appearance:   This simple church structure is essentially Classical Revival in style, with minimal detailing. It is possible that the original surface was not stucco.

Significance:  Formerly, the A.M.E. Zion (African Methodist Episcopal) church, which, since 1964, has been located at 3549 Middlefield Road. This was the first black church in Palo Alto, begun in 1919 and holding services at Fraternal Hall.

Then with 22 members and funds raised in part throughout the town, the new building was planned in 1923 and dedicated April 5, 1925. During the Depression, appeals to assist in payment of building and mortgage expenses were generously met by contributions from other churches and from private individuals, Kathleen Norris, Frank, Crist, and Fred Tinney, among others.

The A.M.E. Zion Church was sold to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in 1964 when the congregation relocated to Middlefield Road.

Note: This building was deemed National Register eligible in 1996. It was honored with a PAST Commercial Preservation Award in 2011 and is once again a vital part of the neighborhood.

Read more.


insiide view
AME Zion photo detail
window window/ramp
plaque window
logo map
Location map

This structure was built in 1924 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect and builder are unknown. Restoration to transform the space for commercial use was completed in 2009 after decades of neglect. The property measures 50 by 112.50  feet.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 4/4/25, 4/27/35, 8/2/35, 7/9/71, 12/7/74; Guy Miller, Palo Alto Community Book


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