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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

436 - 452 University Avenue

inventory photo street scape
Inventory photo Photo taken May 2, 2015


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

Physical appearance:   Spanish Colonial Revival. Alterations have occurred at street level and signs have been added.

The structure, with 460-476 University, is an important and deliberate background building for the Varsity Theater at 456 University Avenue.

This simple commercial/office structure, broken up into picturesque compositional segments, is an important part of the coherent University Avenue streetscape. Birge Clark was the architect.

Significance:  This commercial structure is a good example of the style and an important part of the streetscape. Buildings were designed by an important local architect.

These 10 stores (436-452 and 460-476) were built for Dr. Charles H. Strub, D.D.S., to flank the Varsity Theater which he had acquired. Although they appear as 10 separate buildings, they are separated only by stud partitions which could be removed.

Note:  The owners in 1978 / 1985 were Robert F. and Martha P. Swain. [Swain's House of Music was across the street at 451 University Avenue.]


452 & 448 street scene
HRB photo
HRB photo ca. 1985 Location map (not drawn to scale)

This house was built in 1927 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Birge Clark and the builder was Wells P. Goodenoough. The property measures 75 by 75 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto Times 5/21/27 (illustrated), 6/28/27, 7/29/27; Birge Clark Commercial Inventory, Revised in 1981 by Birge Clark.


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