Ramona Street Architectural District


Ramona Street

Period of Significance: 1924 - 1938

Notable Architects: Pedro de Lemos, Birge Clark, William H. Weeks

Styles:  Monterey Colonial, Spanish Colonial Revival

Features: stucco walls, tile roofs, arches, balconies, wrought iron, decorative glazed tiles, Craftsman style woodworking, integration with nature

Contributing Resources: 8


Ramona Street Architectural District is Palo Alto’s second oldest historic district after Professorville. It is located near the historic core of Palo Alto and is an integral part of the downtown. It is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and Palo Alto’s Historic Inventory. The eight contributing structures in the district were all planned and built from 1924 to 1938. The building and construction of the Ramona Street Architectural District was carried out by designer Pedro de Lemos, a prominent regional designer, and Birge Clark and William H. Weeks, well-known local architects. The district was central in the 1920s and 30s expansion of Palo Alto’s downtown commercial district and its location addressed concerns that the town center was growing too laterally along University. As it is a commercial block, various retail businesses and services have occupied the buildings over the years including the famous Gotham Shop and Cardinal Hotel. 

The district is significant due to its well-intact and unaltered examples of Monterey Colonial and Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, reminiscent of a small Spanish village. Furthermore, Ramona Street is unique in that it represents an architecturally unified area of buildings which were built during a particular period. The eight contributing buildings form a cohesive commercial block in both use and design and the informal, often whimsical, the architecture allows for moments of discovery. The buildings generally all have common materials, building features, details and interior courts which provide protected open space and give Ramona Street its human-scale feel.  

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