HP Garage in Palo Alto

Thursday Doors: HP Garage

I play chamber music with a couple of different groups. One of them, whom I met through my daughter’s viola teacher last year, meets in one or the other of two nice historic houses in Palo Alto (either the violist’s or the cellist’s place). Google Maps informed me that this area of Palo Alto is also known as “Professorville,” and indeed both of them and/or their spouses have some connection to Stanford. 

We rehearsed this morning, and I was happy to note that the quartet that we are playing now (and sounding decent on, if I do say so myself), Beethoven Op. 18 No. 4, is the one that I referred to in my previous blog as a big stretch for this group. “In our dreams,” I wrote. So now that dream is coming true :-). It just took a year or so. For your listening pleasure, here is that quartet played by pros who are taking it at a much faster tempo than we dare. And as the first violinist in our group, I admit to especially liking the first violinist’s facial expressions in this video (along with the cellist’s hair):

After rehearsal I went out to find a geocache, and also to find this door: the HP Garage at 367 Addison Ave. I read about it by chance this morning when my Googler pointed out to me that the San Jose Mercury News published an article last weekend about the “Geekiest Hot Spots” in Silicon Valley and we’d just been to two of them.

Well, here was one I hadn’t been to (yet) but the article gave the address, and it is located just around the corner from where I was going to be playing that morning. The weather has gotten beautiful again, and I was easily able to snap the photo. This is as close as you can get, however, due to the locked gate and everything:


So what’s so special about this garage with these green doors?

In the 1930’s, Stanford Professor Fred Terman started encouraging students to stay in CA and start their own tech businesses, rather than going back east after graduating. Two Stanford students, David Packard and Bill Hewlett, decided to do this, and they started building audio oscillators in the Packards’ garage at this address. According to Wikipedia, Hewlett was living in a shed on the property as well. Their company of course became Hewlett-Packard (HP), and the garage is now Historical Landmark No. 976 and considered the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” On another personal note, one of the orchestras I play with, the South Bay Philharmonic, had its origins as the HP Symphony.


This post is for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. 

9 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: HP Garage”

    1. I’m not sure if anyone’s going to record this one or not. We’re talking about a venue and not sure if the recital that we played in last year is happening this year or not. But I will be playing Schubert No. 14 with a different group in May and that one will definitely be recorded and posted on YouTube after the concert.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So that’s where all the geeky stuff started.
    That is a very important door indeed, especially considering I’m commenting on this post using an HP computer 😀
    I love the Beethoven piece too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s good to know how Silicon Valley got its start. I’ve got a friend in mind to tell the story to — it’s exactly the short of trivia that she loves. Thanks for sharing that.

    I love that color of green, too.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s