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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

2310 Yale Street

College Terrace

Kee House

inventory photo 2310 Yale
Inventory photo Photo taken July, 2014

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

Physical appearance:   This two-story Eastlake-style house with squared bay, paired brackets and scroll work detail  is less ornate than many of its era, but was considered on of the "grand" houses of its time and locale. The exterior, when compared with an illustration in an 1890 promotion map, appears unaltered.

Significance:  Robert Norton Kee bought land as soon as College Terrace was subdivided in 1888 (6/8/ 88, lots 15 & 16, Block 45, Book 109, p. 65).

In 1889 this house was built for him, and it is the oldest surviving house in the Terrace (Mayfield Palo Alto, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 19, 1890: "Kee $3,500" appears in a list of "amount of money spent in building last year"). Kee had a transfer business and in 1890 built a two-story barn near his house for his draft horses.*

In 1893, he bought the building housing the grocery of G. Bracchi on Lincoln (now California) Avenue in Mayfield.

About 1910 he moved and the next owner was Mrs. Fannie Ferroli (1910–13), followed by William Johnson (1913–17), and Henry and Dora Bentley (1917–25). From then to the 1970s, it was the property of Anthony and Adelaide Mohr, their adopted daughter, Mrs. Helen Shaffer, and by remarriage of Mrs. Mohr, Charles and Adelaide Shirey.

During the '60s it was divided into apartments; since 1975, the present owner [1981], Emile G. McAnany, has carried out some interior restoration with the aim of eventually returning it to one-family usage.

* The barn when razed in 1938 was the last surviving barn of the 19th century in Mayfield; it had been the first barn built in College Terrace: P. A. Times 9/26/38.

The following is from the Centennial Buildings Tour, prepared by The City of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board for the Centennial Building Celebration, April 16, 1994. The houses included on the tour were all identified as at least 100 years old:

This two story Eastlake house has a squared bay, paired brackets and scroll work detail, and was considered one of the grand houses of its day. Built for $3,500 for Robert Norton Kee, it is the oldest surviving house in College Terrace. Kee had a transfer business and in 1890 built College Terrace's first barn nearby.

Note: According to Perry Jasper, there was also a barn at 984 California Avenue when his family purchased the property in 1943. Because of their saggy condition, the walls were removed, but the wood floor served to surface part of their yard. (See 984 California Avenue.)

side side
Robert Brandeis photo 2310 Yale
Photo taken January, 2020
porch map

This house was built in 1889 and is a Category 2 on the Historic Buildings Inventory and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architect was and the builder was. The property measures 84.5 by 125 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto and Mayfield City Directories; San Jose Mercury, 1892, Promotion Edition, Mayfield Palo Alto, 4/18/1890; Palo Alto Times 1/12/1883, 6/22/1894, Book 109 (Deeds). p. 65,  May 1888; Book 113 (Deeds), p. 304, November 1888 (Santa Clara Co, Recorder)


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