Victorian Architecture Walking Tour in Downtown Menlo Park

Click here to get the full guide (PDF)

Summary of the Menlo Park Victorian Architecture Walking Tour

Published in September 2023 by the Menlo Park Historical Association and produced by Bo Crane, Sandy Pachaud, and Pete Zivkov, this 60-90 minute, 1.5-mile walking tour showcases some of the oldest Victorian-style homes in downtown Menlo Park. The tour focuses on the history and architecture of these beautifully crafted homes, delving into the stories of the people and families who built and lived in them.

Starting and ending at the Menlo Park Railroad Station, the tour is self-paced and designed for mobile devices, featuring web links for additional information. Participants are advised to be cautious when crossing streets and railroad tracks, with the best time for the tour being daylight hours.

The tour includes several stops, each highlighting a different aspect of Victorian architecture:

  1. Railroad Station Depot: The oldest operating train station in San Mateo County, showcasing Victorian-era ornamentation added in the 1890s.
  2. McEvoy/Sullivan House: A residence with Victorian features, including decorative brackets and Ionic columns, previously owned by significant local figures like Patrick Henry McEvoy and John H. Sullivan.
  3. Feeley House: Known as "The Jewel" of Oak Grove, built entirely of redwood in 1902 and owned by William Feeley, featuring two-story bay windows and decorative details.
  4. MacBain Homes: Two houses built by John MacBain, showcasing different architectural styles and serving as examples of the varied Victorian designs.
  5. McLoughlin House: A Queen Anne cottage with Eastlake decor, previously owned by Edward McLoughlin, an Irish immigrant.
  6. Joan Baez Home: An apartment building significant for its association with folk musician Joan Baez.
  7. Gale House: A Queen Anne style home with Eastlake features, built by Aaron Gale, a master carpenter.
  8. Doughty House: A Queen Anne style Craftsman Cottage built by the Weeden Brothers, later owned by Harry Doughty.
  9. Martens House: A home named after Ernest and Lulu Martens, showcasing Craftsman influences with a square bay window and Ionic columns.
  10. Bruce/Fredrick House: A modest Queen Anne cottage built by Scottish immigrants James and Elizabeth Bruce.
  11. Bright Eagle: A 21-room Italianate mansion with a rich history, serving various purposes over the years including a military academy and antique store.
  12. The Gatehouse: The oldest home in Menlo Park, originally part of a large estate owned by several prominent figures, including William Barron and Milton Latham.
  13. Menlo Park Gate: A replica of the iconic gate that gave Menlo Park its name, reflecting the area's rich history from its Native American roots to its current status as a hub for technology and innovation.

The tour aims to educate participants about Victorian-era styles and specific architectural features, enriching their understanding of Menlo Park's architectural heritage. The Menlo Park Historical Association encourages feedback and participation in their efforts to preserve local history.

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