One of the most awe-inspiring homes in the beautiful Crescent Park area of Palo Alto is listed in category 2 of “Master List of Structures on Local Inventory''. This is a designation given to major buildings of regional importance or meritorious works of the best architects. It is located on a spectacular parcel totaling over 16,000± sq. ft. and a few short blocks from downtown Palo Alto. This compound with its rich history features a main residence and a guesthouse atop the detached garage with its own private garden. It is all surrounded by native specimen trees, meandering paths, and a long private drive. The centerpiece of this rare offering is the twenty-first century version of the Walter Bliss original. Built in 1904, it is a design like no other. Breathtaking architecture has a timeless elegance that will be admired for generations. It boasts walls made with concrete (not stucco) over outsized beams. Framing is of old growth redwood, known for its resiliency and strength. Completing the strong statement is the home’s handsome exterior which is symmetrical, with oversized windows and otherwise unadorned except for the dentil and brackets under the eaves. The home was built for lumber baron, Walter Tobey, so it is natural for the home’s interiors to be constructed with some of the most beautiful timber in America. There are four levels. The main level features the public rooms with ten feet tall ceilings, including the lavish entry, a library with museum quality millwork made of white cypress,, a massive open kitchen with a center island, and a living room with redwood with extensive pilaster columns lining walls that creates luxurious open spaces perfect for warm family gatherings or elegant entertaining, a powder room and a solarium. The second level includes three bedrooms, three baths and a large family room that could serve as the fourth bedroom. The lower level spans almost the entire footprint of the building; it includes a wine cellar, abundant storage and mechanical room. There is abundant room for a theater, gym, or other possibilities. The fourth level is an open space loft that is currently used for indoor recreation. It includes a full bath.
Walter Bliss accumulated a fortune in the Nevada lumber business. This is the reason the interior of 567 Hale displays a large volume of wood in exceptionally rare variety. The library is trimmed in white cypress with acanthus leaves carved around the fireplace mantle, and old growth redwood pilasters line the reception hall/living room. Square columns frame the dramatic staircase, and the three leaded windows on the side of the house rise with the steps. The sun shining through the amber glass casts radiant rays in the reception hall.
The house was designed by Walter Bliss of Bliss and Faville in the classic revival style. The technically advanced two-story structure is made of poured concrete reinforced with outsized wooden beams. The house is unadorned except for dentil and brackets under the eaves and symmetrically placed oversized windows throughout. The classic revival was favored by Mr. Bliss and used in some of his other works including the, St. Francis Hotel (1904), the corinthian-columned Bank of California at 400 Sansome Street, the Geary Theater and Annex, Security Pacific Bank, the Metropolitan Club, the Southern Pacific headquarters, the Bank of Italy and many notable residences in the Bay Area, making them one of the most prolific partnerships in San Francisco history. This one-of-a-kind home in the Crescent Park neighborhood of Palo Alto is listed by the historic resources Board as owner of a select group of remaining homes of regional importance, meritorious for its work by one of the best architects, and as an outstanding example of architectural style.