Local artist Darryl Dieckman, a woodworker in the Cubberley Artist Studio Program, is fascinated by the wide variety of architectural styles found in the homes of Palo Alto and has spent much of the past year contemplating the isolation of the stay-at-home lives of the community. Spring has finally sprung, and the community is slowly beginning to emerge from isolation, to re-engage with their neighbors, and to re-learn the art of flying in a post-pandemic world.

This ArtLift Microgrant reinterprets iconic Palo Alto architecture as a series of birdhouses built by the community and local artists. Over the summer, community members will construct birdhouses using Palo Alto themed kits during in-person workshops at Cubberley Community Center and at virtual workshops in the Palo Alto Library’s Wacky Wednesday series.

Completed birdhouses will be exhibited at the Town and Country Shopping Center and Mitchell Park Library in August. It has been a long year and the community needs to strengthen its wings as it prepares to take flight and return to the skies.

Like birds of a feather, we are in this together.

Birdhouse Building Events

Cubberley Workshops

Family-oriented kid-friendly (ages 7-12) in-person workshops on July 17 and July 18 at Cubberley Community Center .  Workshops are no-cost, pre-registered, one family per table. Additional kits are available for purchase during registration.

Reservations are required.

Make your reservation on Eventbrite

Palo Alto Library Workshops

The Palo Alto Library Summer Reading Program will offer a virtual workshop in their Wacky Wednesday series on Wednesday, August 11th. The virtual workshop is offered at no-cost, with birdhouse kit pick up the preceding weekend.

Pre-registration is required.

Sign-up for Wacky Wednesdays

Palo Alto Architecture

Palo Alto homes and commercial buildings feature a rich variety of architectural styles. The birdhouses created in this project are colorful and playful reinterpretations of these iconic styles. Learn more about Palo Alto Architectural styles by visiting the Palo Alto Stanford Heritage website.


Several builders dominated in the late 1940s, 50s and 60s as developments sprung up to fill the need for housing. Coastwise, Mackay, Joseph Eichler, and Stern and Price added to the available housing stock throughout town, but primarily south of Colorado Avenue, the city limit in 1946.

Streamline Moderne

A style focused upon the combining of simple curved and rectangular building forms, designed and ornamented to express the motion and speed of transportation modes that inspired its evolution.

Tudor Revival

A Period Revival style that reflects and reinterprets the English Tudor architectural mode, in a twentieth century expression.

Mission Revival

The Mission Revival style is a combination of exterior and interior features which varied as the style developed. Inspired by the romantic turn of the century California rediscovery of an Hispanic past, the Mission Revival style combined varied exterior and interior features that changed somewhat as the style developed. Normally characterized by arches, hipped red tile roofs, shaped curvilinear parapets or gabled ends, and white stucco walls. Ogee arches and quatrefoil windows are typical details.

Queen Anne

Originally an English style formulated by Richard Norman Shaw in the 1860’s, which bore little relation to the architecture of the time of Queen Anne. It went through many transformations before it arrived in California about 1885. Less formal than earlier Victorian styles, it sought to be picturesque with an asymmetrical plan, complex roof line, corner tower, and gables. Frequently displaying a variety of textures and colors in bands of different siding materials including brick, clapboard, and shingles. Having bay windows of various shapes, porches, and balconies, and a variety of predominantly classical ornamental details.

Spanish Colonial

The style is characterized by red-tiled roofs of low pitch, flat roofs surrounded by tiles parapets, occasionally by arched forms, and stucco or plaster walls. There may be carved or cast ornament of considerable elaboration, usually concentrated around the openings. Doorways may be flanked by columns or pilasters. Balconies, with railings of wrought iron or wood, are common features. So are window grilles, rejas, of wood with turned spindles or of iron. Windows often very much in size in a single elevation, when they are asymmetrically disposed with broad expanses of wall between. Structures are oriented inwardly to garden patios with pergolas, arcades, etc., rather than toward the street.

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