AKA: Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church, Portola Valley, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Miller and de Colmesnil, Architects (firm); James Rupert Miller (architect); Timothy Ludwig Pflueger (architect); George Taylor de Colmesnil (architect)

Dates: constructed 1912-1913

1 story

930 Portola Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028-7209

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San Mateo County

This small Catholic Church received some of its construction funding from the Family, an interdenominational mens' club whose rural retreat, "The Family Farm," was located nearby in Woodside, CA. Architect James Rupert Miller (1869-1946) was a member of the Family, as Our Lady of the Wayside Church Project Architect Timothy Pflueger (1892-1946) came to be later in his life.

Architect Timothy Pflueger, a San Francisco native, patterned the design of Our Lady of the Wayside, on the iconic Mission San Francisco de Asís (otherwise known as "Mission Dolores"). Like the mission, the Portola Valley building had a gable-front composition, with its eaves supported by protruding purlins. Spanish tile covered the roofs of both churches. Three bells niches were placed on the main facade, the central being the highest close to the gable's peak. Our Lady of the Wayside's stucco skin also mirrored the mission, although the 1912 design utilized a reinforced concrete frame underneath rather than the traditional adobe. The mission's awkward, stacked composition of engaged Doric columns was not repeated; rather, Pflueger made an over-sized, Baroque, broken pediment above the main entry its primary ornamental flourish. This use of the oversized broken pediment recalled the contemporary work of San Francisco architect Willis Polk (1867-1924).

Our Lady of the Wayside Church sustained significant damage during the 10/17/1989. While some called for its razing, members of this well-heeled congregation collected the necessary $600,000 to repair the Mission Revival Style building. This area of the northern Santa Clara County/southern San Mateo Coutny, nearby to Stanford University, received heavy damage from this temblor.

California Historical Landmark: 909

PCAD id: 9320