Yesterday, I mentioned trying to find one of the homes that Leon Bean built in Palo Alto, California. After all, for my upcoming visit to the Santa Clara County area, it would be nice to see some of Leon's handiwork.
Unfortunately, when I’ve taken the addresses given on the various newspaper articles I mentioned yesterday and entered them into Google™ Maps, then converted that to Street View, it appears the buildings showing at those locations are far too new to be Leon’s work.
I’ll keep looking, of course, as it is apparent that he was quite busy during the tenure of his business.
That, of course, makes me wish there were a Historic Street View archives on the Google™ Maps program—perhaps something future generations of genealogists may benefit from, but, unfortunately, not something I can pull up on any databases this year.
There was, however, something I found among the historic newspaper archives that gave me insight on what else kept L. S. Bean, Builder, busy when he wasn’t building houses.
An article in the July 8, 1907, San Francisco Call alerted me to the commercial side of Leon’s business. Of course, I’ve already mentioned that I was aware that Leon was the contractor for the Carnegie library Palo Alto was to receive just a few years prior to this. It didn’t occur to me, though, to pursue such building ventures as a major portion of Leon’s work.
On page eight of that particular issue of the Call, it became evident that commercial property might have been what made Leon’s business so successful, and that I should pursue research in this area, too.
PALO ALTO IS TO HAVE
HANDSOME NEW CHURCH
Cornerstone of the Edifice
Is Laid With
Building Will Cost $33,000
and Will Be Completed
Special Dispatch to The Call
PALO ALTO, July 7—The cornerstone of what will be one of the largest and most handsome houses of worship in Palo Alto was laid with impressive services this afternoon by the congregation of the First Presbyterian church. Under the picturesque oaks surrounding the site of the new edifice in Waverly street at Forrest avenue the members of the congregation, augmented by church people of all denominations of this town and invited clergymen from other peninsular congregations, gathered while the tablet which will mark the cornerstone of the new building was swung into place.
Dr. Walter Hays, pastor of the church, officiated and led the services.
The main tower of the church will be 76 feet in height. The church will have a frontage of 96 feet and a depth of 116 feet. There will be two entrances, one on the corner and one on the avenue. The auditorium will be 52 feet square and the choir platform, which is large, will be arranged for a pipe organ. There will be a main gallery 14x40 feet in size, a Sunday school room, 50x36 feet, and two class rooms, 20x36 feet. In addition there will be rooms for the pastor and various cloak apartments. The building will cost $33,000. L. S. Bean is the builder and architect. The church will be finished before the wet weather sets in.