Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House

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Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House
The Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House, located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, is the former house of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, and his wife Lou Henry Hoover, who designed it. It is now the official home of the president of Stanford.

Prior to the end of World War I, the Hoovers had commissioned architect Louis Mulgardt to design their Stanford Home; however, Mulgardt publicized his appointment prior to the end of the war, angering the Hoovers, who felt that it was an inopportune time in the waning months of a terrible conflict to announce the construction of a large home. Mulgardt was summarily dismissed. After several consultations the Hoovers convinced Arthur B. Clark, a Stanford art professor who practiced freelance architecture during the summer, to be their architect. Clark agreed on the condition that Mrs. Hoover design the house and that Clark, aided by architectural draftsman Charles Davus and Clark's architect son, Birge, would serve in an advisory capacity. Mrs. Hoover sketched ideas, watching construction, but when anyone told her that any of her architectural ideas weren't done, she responded, "Well, it's time someone did." The exterior of the house appears much smaller than would be suggested by its interior. This is achieved thanks to the hillside site with the house disappearing into the slope of San Juan Hill and hence appearing much smaller. The irregularly shaped house was built on a reinforced concrete slab foundation and rises two stories in the front and three stories in the rear. Resembling early International style homes, it was the opinion of the architects that Mrs. Hoover's designs were modeled after North African Algerian homes she had seen. Elements of Mission Revival Style architecture can also be found in its design. Herbert Hoover's contribution was to order that the home be fireproof, and the walls were constructed of hollow tiles. Built from 1919 to 1920, the house was the couple's first and only permanent residence. The Hoovers lived there only a short time before Herbert was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Warren G. Harding in 1921, a role he continued under President Calvin Coolidge. It was here that Hoover awaited the Presidential election returns in 1928, when he won against Alfred E. Smith, and 1932, when he lost the election to Franklin D. Roosevelt. During Hoover's presidency (1929-32), the Hoover family only made brief visits to their Stanford home. They returned to this house after 1932, while maintaining a New York apartment as a second residence. After Lou's death in 1944, her husband deeded the house to Stanford University to serve as a home for university professors. It now serves as the official residence of the university president and is not open to the public.


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  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com