Professorville Design Guidelines


Updated August 15, 2016


The Professorville Historic District Design Guidelines are now available for public review.  Please click here to view or download the guidelines.  If you have questions and/or would like to provide comments on the  guidelines, please contact Amy French, Chief Planning Official , at (650) 329-2336 or

The City is in the process of developing architectural design guidelines for the Professorville historic district, including compatibility criteria for remodels, additions and new construction within the district.  The illustrated guidelines will provide advice and direction for undertaking work in ways that retain the architectural character and historic integrity of the district, consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  The guidelines will address common scopes of work such as new building additions, façade changes, moving/lifting buildings on lots, and new construction on developable sites.

Community input is important during the development of the Professorville design guidelines.  There will be several opportunities for homeowners, residents, and the general public to provide input during the preparation of the draft guidelines, including at community workshops, through online review, and at public hearings of the Historic Resources Board (HRB).  The proposed guidelines will be subject to a minimum 60-day public review period before being considered for adoption.  The following is a tentative project schedule (subject to change)

Community Workshop #1 (See below for Workshop Materials)

Display Boards for Interactive Activities


February 23, 2016

Draft Guidelines Available for Public Review


May 2, 2016

Community Workshop #2 (See below for Workshop Materials)

Display Boards for Interactive Activities


May 26, 2016

HRB Public Hearing - Informational Presentation

       Staff Report
       Staff Presentation

June 9, 2016

HRB Public Hearing - Recommendation to City Council

      Staff Report
      Staff Presentation

July 28, 2016

City Council Public Hearing - Adoption of Guidelines                                       

September 12, 2016


Project Background

The multi-year effort to develop the Professorville design guidelines was initiated by the City Council in 2011.  The Council directed staff and the HRB to work with the community to develop the guidelines.  Between 2011 and 2013, an advisory panel comprised of HRB members, Professorville property owners, and staff prepared draft materials and presented information at public workshops and Board meetings.  In 2015, the City was awarded a federal grant by the California Office of Historic Preservation to complete the guidelines.  The City has contracted with the historic architecture firm of Page & Turnbull to prepare the final guidelines for public review and adoption in 2016.

 The Professorville historic district is formally designated at the local, State, and federal levels.  In addition to displaying historic architecture and development patterns that are exemplary of the early-twentieth-century suburb in California, Professorville is historically significant as the home of Stanford University’s first generation of instructors, who were influential in shaping the physical and cultural development of Palo Alto.

 For more information, please contact Amy French, Chief Planning Official,  at (650) 329-2336 or







Last Updated: Oct 3, 2017