Historic Shoup House Sold to Los Altos Residents

Owners Bill and Tricia Jennings, who restored the home over three years, say they are pleased to pass on the house to the capable stewardship of Brian and Mary Heffernan.


The home of Paul and Rose Shoup, which is the first and only Los Altos home on the National Register of Historic Places, has been sold to local residents, Bill and Patricia (Tricia) Jennings announced Saturday.

Paul Shoup, the former Southern Pacific Railway executive who is widely called the "father of Los Altos," completed the home on University Avenue in 1910.

The Jennings sold the house to , who own three family-oriented businesses in downtown Los Altos.

The Jennings family spent 2009-10 renovating the Craftsman-era home to return it to its original appearance, painstakigly stripping away and repairing or replacing more than 70 years' worth of alterations and "improvements" were not in keeping with the original architectural design or materials. It was preceded by years of planning and preparation, including permits.

In November 2010, the Jennings hosted a  . The event brought together many of the Shoup descendents, as well as Isamu and Tadashi Kagawa, who grew up on the Shoup property as sons of chief gardener Shoichi Kagawa, until the family was sent to internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyo. during World War II. The Shoups, as well as the Kagawas, said it was the first time they had been to the home in decades.

In 2011, they received word from the National Park Service that they had successfully completed challenging work to , making it the first building in Los Altos accorded that distinction. The program identifies places and structures that are considered important national historic or archeological resources worthy of preservation. Paul Shoup is credited for his role in the expansion of the Southern Pacific Railway throughout California and the Western United States, his promotion of California through Sunset Magazine, and as one of four founders of Los Altos in 1907, among many other accomplishments.

Below is the letter that the Tricia Jennings sent to Patch, the , the Adobe Creek Home Owners Association, and the Alley Neighbors group Saturday afternoon. 

It is with great pleasure that Bill and I announce that our home, The Paul Shoup House now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been sold to Brian and Mary Heffernan, also of Los Altos.

Brian and Mary Heffernan bring their own strong love of history to the home and will be capable stewards of this local treasure. Brian and Mary are already very involved and beloved members of our local neighborhood and community. Either or both of them can often be found strolling downtown with their three lovely children (soon to be four) to check in on the three family-oriented businesses they started downtown in the past year: , PLAY Los Altos, and Area 151. Their strong personal ties to this area as well as the significant business contributions they are making to our local economy should ensure that they will remain stewards of the Paul Shoup House for many years to come. We wish them very many happy years together in their new home.

Bill and I would like to thank all the neighbors and community members who have extended their friendship to us during our 10 years in Los Altos, especially during the 2009-2010 renovation process, and now look forward to the next adventure that life has in store for us. We are especially grateful to the Staff, Board, and volunteers at the Los Altos History Museum who were unwavering in their support of the renovation project and who have also now become dear friends through our common interest in local history. Best wishes for your continued success in keeping Los Altos history alive for future generations.

Thank you to the many descendants of Rose and Paul Shoup who visited with us at our home, shared their family stories, and have become a part of our family history as well. Special love to Mr. and Mrs. Kagawa who have become "extra" grandparents to our children. And to Don McDonald, Los Altos Historian Extraordinaire, thank you for everything, especially your confidence in me.


Tricia Jennings


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