Built from 1901 to 1905 by Oregon native, J. Gilbert Smith, this craftsman-style farm house typifies the early orchard homes of the local area. Originally situated on 14+ acres of prize-winning apricot orchards, the Smith's lived in the home from 1901 until 1973. In 1954 the City of Los Altos purchased the property, including the house and the 10.44 acres of apricot orchards as the site for the Civic Center with the Smith's retaining lifetime residency of the house and a surrounding acre. Upon Mrs. Smith's death in 1973, the home and one acre reverted to the City.
The house is decorated in 1930s period furnishings that rekindle memories of a simpler time. It was designated a local Historical Landmark and a California State Point of Historical Interest in 1987.
The J. Gilbert Smith House and its gallery require a docent guide.
Smith House Gallery
Upstairs in the Smith House, a small room was repurposed for a gallery. It has been used for a variety of exhibits, including Annie Knapp Fitz paintings, antique game boards, holiday folk art paintings, J. Gilbert Smith’s personal photographs, Marg and Tom Green’s interior photographs of the Smith House, tintype photography, and early photos of Los Altos and its surroundings.View Smith House Exhibits
Exhibit HighlightsClick on the images below to view larger.
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