Birge Malcolm Clark (April 16, 1893 – April 30, 1989) was an American architect, called “Palo Alto's best-loved architect” by the Palo Alto Weekly; he worked largely in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Clark was born April 16, 1893, in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, California, though his birth certificate was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake. He was the son of Arthur B. Clark, a professor of art and architecture at Stanford and the first mayor of Mayfield, California, later part of Palo Alto. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1910, and from Stanford University in 1914. He served as an observation balloon pilot in World War I; he was shot down by a German pilot and won the Silver Star for gallantry.
His principal architectural works at Stanford are the Lou Henry Hoover House (assisting his father), now the residence of the university President, the three John Stauffer laboratories (1960’s), and the Seeley G. Mudd Chemistry Building (1977). His principal works in Palo Alto include the old police and fire station (now the senior citizen’s center), the Lucie Stern Community Center, the President Hotel, the Palo Alto Post Office, the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, and much of the 500 block of Ramona Street.
He was married to the former Lucile Townley, daughter of Stanford mathematician and astronomer Sidney Dean Townley for sixty-three years, until her death in 1986.
They had four sons:
Richard Townley Clark, Dean Townley Clark, Birge Gaylord Clark, and Malcolm Mallory Clark
along with 18 grandchildren.
- Birge Clark (1982). An Architect Grows Up in Palo Alto: Memoirs of Birge M. Clark, F.A.I.A. Privately published. p. 158pp.
- “The Daring Young Men in the Tethered Balloons,” article by Frederic O. Glover, in “Sandstone and Tile,” journal of the Stanford Historical Society, Spring 1986 pp. 3–7; reprinted in An Architect Grows Up in Palo Alto,.
- “Birge: After the war,” article by Frederic O. Glover, ibid. pp. 8–9; reprinted in An Architect Grows Up in Palo Alto,.
- Birge Clark (1971). World War I Memoirs. Unknown publisher. p. 176pp. ASIN B00072VNZ2.
- Birge Clark (1969). Memoir About Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Hoover, with Particular Emphasis on the Planning and Building of Their Home on San Juan Hill. Privately published.
- Stanford Historical Society, photographs by Carolyn Caddes; et al. (1982). Historic Houses III: San Juan Neighborhood, Stanford University (PDF).
- Article in Palo Alto Weekly.
- Shorter article in the Palo Alto Weekly.
- Guide to the Birge Malcolm Clark, Lou Henry Hoover House Papers, 1921- 1949, Online Archive of California
- XML catalog of correspondence with Herbert Hoover.
- Photographs at the Palo Alto Historical Association
- Article at the Palo Alto History Project
- Birge Malcolm Clark Papers, 1914-1985 (5 linear ft.) are housed in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford University Libraries