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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

1400 Webster Street

Originally 578 Kellogg Avenue

inventory photo 2018 photo
Inventory photo Photo taken April 17, 2018


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

Physical appearance:   This one-and-one-half story Colonial Revival shingle house has a wide eave across the front and a multi-window dormer. clever shutter cutouts contribute to an Early American folk image.

Significance:  This is a letter-perfect interpretation of its period revival mode. The first owner, Douglas Watson II, a geologist and author, was the father of Mrs. Herbert Hoover, Jr. He and his wife Mai occupied the house until 1924 and were followed by Harley L. and Rachel Lutz. Lutz was an economics professor at Stanford, 1923-1928; moving to Princeton University, he was an internationally recognized expert on public finance, serving on numerous foreign and domestic comissions and consultanships.

From 1938-47 the occupant was L.V. Parmalee, and from 1948-61, Melville H. Devoto, manager of The Emporium. The next owners were Neal A. Hammond (1962-68), associated with Ford Motor Co., and Stanford professor Hugh O. McDevitt, (1969-77). Victor and Janet L. Schahcter acquired the property in 1978.

From the 2018 Centennial Plaque Presentation:  Originally numbered as 578 Kellogg Street, this house was built by S. Douglas Watson II and his wife, Mai. Watson was a geologist and author. His daughter, Margaret Ava, was married to Herbert Hoover II. In 1924, the house was sold to Harley L and Rachel Lutz; he was an economics professor at Stanford. Later occupants included L.V. Parmalee and Melville H. Devoto, manager of The Emporium department store. The present owners, Claire and Ed Lauing, acceped a centennial plaque.


presentation Claire Lauing accepting a centennial plaque May 6, 2018.
1400 side view
street view map

This house was built in 1918 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect and builder are not known. The property measures 88 by 112.7 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/2/19, 9/3/28, 12/17/49; interview 1985, Janet Schachter


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