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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

851 University Avenue

inventory photo 851 University
Inventory photo Photo taken April 29, 2012


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

Physical appearance:   This symmetrical, formal two-story Georgian Revival house has an unusually placed Palladian window as its visual centerpiece.

Significance:  This structure is an elegant example of a formal style. the house was built for Willard M. and Anna R. Sheldon, who came to the city from Los Angeles in 1901. He was engaged in banking and real estate. their sons, Edwin and Willard, and daughter, Katherine, all graduated from Stanford. the sons went into business and investment careers. katherine married William A. Mudgett, an insurance executive, and was an active member of the local historical association. The Sheldon-Mudgett families remained in the house until after World War II.

From 1950 to 1973 it was occupied by J. W. Young, chiropractor, and for a year or two afterward was used to accommodate the city's drug abuse board. Arlen and Ellen Haffner acquired it for their residence in 1975.


hedge map
Photo taken October 15, 2012 Location map

This house was built in 1903 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was Gustav Laumeister. The property measures 75 by 200 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 6/19/1903, 1/1/1904, 10/15/1913, 3/5/1935, 3/8/1948,' San Francisco chronicle 3/7/1974, interivew 1984 with Ellen Haffner


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