Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community


Renovated Hoover Pavilion a 'flagship' for primary care

Construction crews prepare the finial for the top of the renovated Hoover Pavilion.


After more than half a century, the rooftop of the Hoover Pavilion is once again graced with a finial, an architectural ornament akin to the cherry on a sundae.

On a cold and overcast morning last fall, a crane hoisted the 500-pound aluminum sculpture more than 105 feet off the ground. It was then lowered onto a cube-shaped concrete stack, sheathed in copper, atop the pavilion’s tower and bolted into place by construction workers.The undertaking capped a 14-month, $50-
million renovation of the Art Deco building, which stands at the corner of Quarry and Palo roads on the Stanford campus.

Building’s new role

The building now serves as headquarters for several Stanford primary-care clinics: coordinated care, internal medicine, family medicine and senior care. “Hoover Pavilion is the flagship site for Stanford’s new primary care system,” said Sang-ick Chang, MD, MPH, assistant dean for clinical affairs, referring to Stanford Medicine’s initiative to expand and strengthen its primary care services.

The pavilion also houses the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, an extension of the dermatology clinic, the neurology clinic, a medical pharmacy, the offices of about a half-dozen community physicians, a station for drawing blood samples and a café.

The main branch of the Stanford Health Library, which provides free scientifically based medical information to help people make informed decisions about their health and health care, is located on the second floor.

Many community residents were born in the building, which originally opened in 1931 as the Palo Alto Hospital. “Hoover Pavilion has always played an important role in our community’s health, and we’re excited about its new role as a destination for leading-edge and coordinated primary care,” said Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics.
Renovations and repairs

The Pavilion is a local Art Deco landmark. Designed in the style of a ziggurat—a terraced pyramid built by denizens of ancient Mesopotamia—its south wing and east wing, added in 1939, are each four stories and connect to a five-story tower, atop of which sits a sixth-story penthouse.

“This was Palo Alto’s skyscraper in 1931,” said Laura Jones, PhD, director of heritage services and university archeologist at Stanford. However, the edifice became dilapidated over the decades. Before renovation work began in 2011, the façade was faded and dirty, with air-conditioning units protruding from windows.

And while the original, decorative terra-cotta paneling that covers portions of the building’s facade remained in remarkably good shape, the same couldn’t be said of the steel-reinforced concrete making up the building’s floors, said Rachel DeGuzman, a senior project manager at Stanford Hospital & Clinics who oversaw the renovation project. Decades of remodeling required extensive patching of the slabs, she said.

Some repair work also needed to be made to the exterior walls and relief panels, said Erin Ouborg, a designer and materials conservation specialist at Page & Turnbull, the architectural firm in charge of restoring the building’s historic façade. In addition, the clay tiles on the sloping roof of the tower were replaced.

The final touch

Now the roughly 82,000-square-foot building has been restored to its former glory on the outside and refurbished to accommodate modern medicine on the inside.

As for the finial that once stood atop the tower of the old hospital? The original adornment, made of iron, consisted of a spherical object—a cross between a gyroscope and an armillary sundial—on a pole supported by a four-prong base. But it was removed, possibly for use as scrap metal during World War II. Nobody knows for sure. The new finial is an exact replica, except that it is made of aluminum.

“Fortunately we had significant documentation to show what it originally looked like,” Ouborg said. “We had the original construction drawings with all the details.”

“It’s an interesting building without the finial,” Jones added. “But with the finial, it’s just superb.”

For more information about the Hoover Pavilion renovation, visit

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