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Stanford Memorial Church

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Stanford Memorial Church


Structure in General

existing [completed]
romanesque revival




  • The 1906 Bay Area earthquake caused the original church tower and 80-foot spire to fall through the roof of the church; as a result, the mosaic-covered front façade was forced outward and completely destroyed.
  • The 1989 Bay Area earthquake once again damaged the church; although the structural integrity of the building was not compromised, damage to some of the interior and exterior mosaics prompted new repairs that required the church to remain closed until 1993.
  • The Church was commissioned by Jane Lathrop Stanford as a memorial to her husband, Leland Stanford, who died in 1893.
  • The most prominent and famous feature of the church is the front façade, which is covered with a massive tile (tesserae) mosaic measuring 84 feet at the base and 30 feet in height; it was the largest such mosaic to be built in America at that time.
  • The front façade's mosaic was made from 20,000 different shades (colors) of tesserae and countless individual pieces.
  • Following the 1906 earthquake, the original clock tower and spire were never rebuilt, but the clock and chimes were restored and now reside in a clock tower located at the southeast corner of the University's Quad.
  • Following the 1906 earthquake, work began to painstakingly recreate the original front mosaic from new tiles; the restoration project was fully completed in 1917.

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300 Serra Street
300 Serra Street

Technical Data

190.00 ft
150.00 ft

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