National Register

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places serves as the Federal government’s official list of those properties deemed worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.  Listing on the National Register is primarily a tool to encourage preservation, recognition, and rehabilitation of our national landmarks. It is a strong reminder that the preservation and re-use of historic properties may also be economically feasible. Please visit the National Park Service's website on the National Register of Historic Places for more information.

Benefits of Listing on the National Register

There are several Federal incentives available for individually listed National Register landmarks and contributing structures of historic districts. These include:

  • Eligibility to apply for Federal planning and renovation grants, when funds are available
  • Profitable renovation of commercial properties by means of Federal tax credits for approved rehabilitation
  • Assurance that the property will not be altered or demolished by federally funded or licensed projects
  • Recognition in national publications and listings and display of a bronze National Register plaque
  • Generally higher sales value because of listed benefits

Criteria for Listing

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity (see below) and that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Criterion A: Association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history
  • Criterion B: Association with the lives of significant persons in our past
  • Criterion C: Embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic values or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction
  • Criterion D: Have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in history or prehistory

Aspects of Integrity

Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its significance.  To be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a property must not only be shown to be significant under the National Register criteria, but it also must have integrity. The evaluation of integrity is sometimes a subjective judgment, but it must always be grounded in an understanding of a property's physical features and how they relate to its significance.

Historic properties either retain integrity (this is, convey their significance) or they do not. Within the concept of integrity, the National Register criteria recognize seven aspects or qualities that, in various combinations, define integrity.

To retain historic integrity a property will always possess several, and usually most, of the aspects. The retention of specific aspects of integrity is paramount for property to convey its significance. Determining which of these aspects are most important to a particular property requires knowing why, where, and when the property is significant. The following sections define the seven aspects and explain how they combine to produce integrity.

  • Location
  • Design
  • Setting
  • Materials
  • Workmanship
  • Feeling
  • Association

National Register Properties and Districts in Palo Alto

There are 16 properties individually listed on the National Register and 4 National Historic Districts, with hundreds of contributing properties.  Click on our Historic Districts and Surveys page for more information our districts and click on the nomination button below to read each nomination:

Dunker House

420 Maple St

Built: 1926

Architect: Birge M. Clark

Listed: Feb. 19, 1982


Pettigrew House

1336 Cowper St

Built: 1925

Architect: G. W. Smith  

Listed: Nov. 25, 1980



Fraternal Hall

140 University Ave

Built: 1898

Architect: S. Newsom

Listed: February 9, 1990


T. B. Downing House

706 Cowper St

Built: 1894

Builder: W. Matlock Campbell

Listed: October 30, 1973



HP House and Garage

367 Addison Ave

Built: 1905

Architect: Unknown

Listed: April 20, 2007


Theo. Allen House

601 Melville Ave

Built: 1905

Architect: Alfred W. Smith

Listed: May 20, 1999



Hostess House

25-27 University Ave

Built: 1918

Architect: Julia Morgan

Listed: July 30, 1976


U.S. Post Office

380 Hamilton Ave

Built: 1931-1933

Architect: Birge M. Clark

Listed: April 5, 1981



J. A. Squire House

900 University Ave

Built: 1904-1905

Architect: T. P. Ross

Listed: March 6, 1972


Wilson House

860 University Ave

Built: 1906

Architect: F. Delos Wolfe

Listed: January 2, 1980



Kee House

2310 Yale St

Built: 1889

Architect: Unknown

Listed: April 11, 1985


Woman's Club

475 Homer Ave

Built: 1916

Architect: C. E. Hodges

Listed: January 17, 2015



Norris House

1247 Cowper St

Built: 1928

Architect: Birge M. Clark

Listed: July 24, 1980


Green Gables
Historic District

Period of Significance:

Listed: July 28, 2005



PA Medical Clinic

300 Homer Ave

Built: 1932

Architect: Birge Clark

Listed: June 21, 2010


Historic District

Period of Significance: 

Listed: July 28, 2005



SPRR Depot

95 University Ave

Built: 1940

Architect: J. H. Christie

Listed: April 18, 1996


Historic District

Period of Significance: 

Listed: October 3, 1980



de Lemos House

100-110 Waverley Oaks

Built: 1931-1941

Architect: P. de Lemos

Listed: January 10, 1980


Ramona Street
Architectural District

Period of Significance:

Listed: March 27, 1986