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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

251 University Avenue
Bank of America Building

inventory photo Pay 2, 2015
Inventory photo Photo taken May 2, 2015


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

Physical appearance:   This two-story Spanish tile and stucco building with its classical pilasters and roundels of sailing ships is a typical Bank of America Branch of the period.

Remodeled and expanded several times through the years, it is no longer the original design of San Francisco architect William Henry Weeks.

Significance:  The quake /fire-proof building was erected immediately after the Great Quake and was instigated by C. E, Childs, president of the Cooperative Land and Trust company of Palo Alto. It was part of a modern business block of ornamental brick and stone buildings which wee to house stores of the ground floor and office rooms on the second.

The corner building was originally occupied by the First National Bank of Palo Alto. C. E. Childs was also the president of this bank. it was considered a most handsome and substantial structure on the peninsula.

First National Bank merged with the Bank of Italy (Bank of America) in 1928 and remained in the building until 1976 when Bank of America moved to new facilities on Lytton Avenue. That same year Doran May, president of Bank Planning in Sausalito acquired ownership of the building.


University side detail
Cerandall photo from PAHA Archieve
HRB photo map
Historic Resources Board photo ca. 1985 Location map

This house was built in 1906 and is a Category 3 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Willaim Henry Weeks and the builder was F. W. Fox. The 1928 work was made by the Minton Co.. The property measures 75 by 100 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 8/25, 8/28/06; 9/4/06; 11/19/06; 1/3/08; 17/14, 19, 21/28 (illustrated); 11/23/32, 12/19/33
Palo alto Historical Assn. files, Banks
Betty Lewis, W. H. Weeks, (Panorama Books, Fresno, 1985)


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