Our Lady of the Wayside Church

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Our Lady of the Wayside Church
1975 photograph documentation by Jack E. Boucher of Historic American Buildings Survey
General information
Architectural styleMission Revival
Town or cityPortola Valley, California
CountryUnited States
Coordinates37°23′02″N 122°14′02″W / 37.3839°N 122.2338°W / 37.3839; -122.2338Coordinates: 37°23′02″N 122°14′02″W / 37.3839°N 122.2338°W / 37.3839; -122.2338
Construction started1912
Design and construction
ArchitectTimothy L. Pflueger
Reference no.77000338[1]
Reference no.909[2]

Our Lady of the Wayside Church is a modest church built in 1912 for the then-growing Catholic parish of Portola Valley by a combined effort of Jewish, Protestant and Catholic members of The Family, a San Francisco men's club that owns a nearby rural retreat.

The building itself was constructed of steel-reinforced concrete with stucco finish in the Mission Revival style, with the added Georgian element of the main doorway with its scrolled pediment. Mission Revival features include the tiled gable roof with exposed rafter ends, round-arched windows and buttressed side walls.[3]

James Rupert Miller, an architect and a member of The Family, gave the assignment of designing the church to a rising young draftsman at his firm: Timothy L. Pflueger. The building was 19-year-old Pflueger's first commission. Pflueger drew on his familiarity with Mission San Francisco de Asís in his native San Francisco for inspiration.[4]

In 1977, a plaque was placed proclaiming the building as California Registered Historical Landmark number 909.[2][5] The church was also added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1977.[1]

The historic church suffered extensive damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and was recommended for demolition by structural experts. Instead, it was repaired by its congregation at a cost of US$600,000.[6]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b "Our Lady of the Wayside Church". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  3. ^ Library of Congress. Historic American Buildings Survey. Our Lady of the Wayside Roman Catholic Church, 930 Portola Road, Portola Valley, San Mateo County, CA. Data pages.
  4. ^ Poletti, Therese; Tom Paiva (2008). Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-756-0.
  5. ^ NoeHill Travels in California. California Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County. California Landmark 909. Our Lady of the Wayside
  6. ^ St. Denis Parish. History

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