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Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014
City of Palo Alto Historic Inventory
The City of Palo Alto's Historic Inventory lists noteworthy examples of the work of important individual designers and architectural eras and traditions as well as structures whose background is associated with important events in the history of the city, state, or nation. The Inventory is organized under the following four Categories:
• Category 1: An "Exceptional Building" of pre-eminent national or state importance. These buildings are meritorious works of the best architects, outstanding examples of a specific architectural style, or illustrate stylistic development of architecture in the United States. These buildings have had either no exterior modifications or such minor ones that the overall appearance of the building is in its original character.
• Category 2: A "Major Building" of regional importance. These buildings are meritorious works of the best architects, outstanding examples of an architectural style, or illustrate stylistic development of architecture in the state or region. A major building may have some exterior modifications, but the original character is retained.
• Category 3 or 4: A "Contributing Building" which is a good local example of an architectural style and relates to the character of a neighborhood grouping in scale, materials, proportion or other factors. A contributing building may have had extensive or permanent changes made to the original design, such as inappropriate additions, extensive removal of architectural details, or wooden facades resurfaced in asbestos or stucco.
The Historic Resources Board (HRB) was created by the City Council to assist in the protection and enhancement of Palo Alto's historic structures, properties and districts. The Board is composed of seven members appointed by the City Council, at least three of whom are architects, landscape architects, building designers or other design professionals and at least one member shall possess academic education or practical experience in history or a related field. Regular meetings are at 8:00 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of every month and are cablecast live on Government Channel 26.
The City of Palo Alto has begun the process of preparing design guidelines for the Professorville Historic District. The guidelines are intended to identify compatibility parameters for new construction in Professorville. Over the next several months, staff will be working with a committee comprised of community representatives and two Historic Resources Board members to develop draft guidelines that will be discussed with the community later this year.