Paul Shoup House

The Paul Shoup House, also known as the Shoup House, is a historic residence in Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California, United States. It was built as an American Craftsman– and Shingle-style home in 1910 for railroad executive Paul Shoup. In 2011 it was designated a historic site by the National Register of Historic Places; the first such designation in Los Altos.

United States historic place
Paul Shoup House
Los Altos Designated Historic Landmark[1]

Paul Shoup House circa 1920

Location 500 University Avenue, Los Altos, California


Area 0.6 acres (0.24 ha)
Built 1910[2]
Architect Charles McKenzie[2][3]
Architectural style American Craftsman
NRHP reference No. 11000696[4]
Significant dates
Additions Circa 1925, 1990
Lot subdivided 1980, 2000
Rehabilitated November 2010
Added to NRHP September 23, 2011

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Future site of Paul Shoup House on Winchester Ranch (1906 Mountain View map)

The house is a two-story Craftsman residence completed in 1910,[2] on a multi-acre lot within the Los Altos Land Company’s holding, acquired from Sarah Winchester in 1907.[5]

The wood shingle-clad building originally occupied a trapezoidal lot that crossed Adobe Creek. The building now sits on reduced acreage that retains its relationship with the creek, surrounded by denser residential development.

A century after its construction, the house retains many original wooden windows and wooden decorative features such as brackets, bell eaves, decorative vents, and a dramatic overall form. Hardscape features including the concrete retaining wall and a stone grotto were still in place.[6]

The original front door, antique Venetian light, Douglas fir floors, paneling, beams, fireplace mantels, door and window trim, brass hardware, and antique glazing are intact in the foyer, dining and living rooms. The Douglas fir door trim throughout the house is six inches wide with a curved radius: a transitional design bridging the Victorian and American Craftsman styles.

Paul Shoup (1874–1946) was president and later vice-chairman of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1920s and 1930s,[7][8] a founding board member of the Stanford University School of Business,[9] and founder of the community of Los Altos.[10]

Shoup’s son Carl Sumner Shoup lived in the home in his youth, riding his horse to school.[11] Carl was a Columbia University economist considered the intellectual father of the value-added tax (VAT).[12] At the request of General Douglas MacArthur, Carl led the Shoup Mission that recommended the tax policy adopted by the Diet of Japan in 1950 during the economic reconstruction of Japan after World War II.[11][13]

Living with Shoup garden caretaker Shoichi Kagawa on the property was his eldest son Bunichi Kagawa.[14] Influenced by Los Altan and Stanford professor Yvor Winters,[15]issei Bunichi Kagawa[16] became a writer penning poetry in both his native Japanese and in English, collected in the 1930 volume Hidden Flame.[15]

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. . . Paul Shoup House . . .

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