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Architect’s Mediterranean-style Palo Alto mansion asks $6.5 million

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Old Palo Alto retreat hasn’t sold in more than 20 years

Courtesy Deborah Greenberg, Keller Williams Palo Alto

The last time 161 Lowell Avenue in Palo Alto sold it was 1995, and the price was $1.18 million.

For years afterwards the five bed, four bath, 4,000 square foot Mediterranean-style home was the California office of Beckstrom Architecture, designer of many large, gabled houses on the East Coast.

With the 1987 home’s new $6.5 million listing today the general public can finally peak behind its hedges and see some of how the other half lives.

The tiled courtyard with fountain is quite a looker, and because this is the peninsula it of course features a sizable backyard with enormous pool and palm trees.

Despite that showiness, there is some character to be found in things like the many segmental arches, or the way that the curve of the sweeping banister on the main staircase is barely noticeable at first but increases exponentially as it nears the bottom of the steps.

But perhaps it’s most fascinating just to compare how a designer of solidly New England-style homes on the other side of the country opts for the outsize California-ness of a property like 161 Lowell when on the West Coast.