Design and construction for the Stanford Mansion and its surrounding grounds represents a delicate balance between historic preservation, re-creation and rehabilitation for adaptive use. The goal is to reflect the look and feel of the Mansion as it was at the time when the Stanford’s lived and worked here and to add those features needed to support top-level protocol activities, as well as an active public tour program.

The photographs taken at the request of the Stanford’s by Eadweard Muybridge in 1872 continue to provide a vivid record of the interiors of key rooms in the Mansion. Local newspaper and other photographs from the period depict the Mansion’s exterior and gardens. 

The interior design team for the rehabilitation used the Muybridge photos as a guide and was given the flexibility to adjust the placement of furniture, as well as the inclusion, exclusion and placement of various pieces in each room to maximize support for protocol and tour activities.

By contrast, three rooms in the Mansion were set aside for more exact recreations for viewing only. Those rooms include Jane Stanford’s Bedroom, which also is the birth room of Leland Jr., namesake of Stanford University; Leland Jr.’s toy room; and a room representing the two major eras of the Stanford Home for Children — the period managed first by the Sisters of Mercy and then by the Sisters of Social Service.

The design for the surrounding grounds included the recreation of the original semi-formal gardens from the time of the Stanford’s and a larger multi-purpose outdoor event area suitable for tented events, speakers and other activities. The barn, which was recreated at its original location close to the main Mansion structure, serves as the Visitor Center, which includes the Mansion Gift Store, the Audio-Visual Center and the Interpretive Display Area.


The primary design, construction and special services teams for the Mansion included:

  • Architect: Page & Turnbull, Jay Turnbull, Steve Stark, Anath Ranon
  • General Construction: Reyman Brothers Construction Company
  • Interior Design:Historic research and special features renovation: California Parks historic sites team and ——-• A host of outstanding crafts people, construction workers and supervisors