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Museum of American Heritage receives County grant

SAN JOSE – Today, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a Historical Heritage Grant for the Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) in Palo Alto’s Williams House and Ruth Bell Lane Gardens.

Simitian noted that, “While the grant is a relatively small amount ($12,270), it will literally allow the Museum to keep the roof on and the rain out – no small thing.”

In voting for the County grant, Simitian recalled that years ago he served on the Palo Alto City Council when the Council voted to approve the original lease that gave MOAH its current home in the Williams House. That lease has since been renewed until 2043.

MOAH’s mission is to show the evolution, influence, and relevance of historic innovations to the technologies and society of the past and present. The curiosity of Frank Livermore led to the collection, preservation and display of historic objects and inventions that illustrate the effects and influence of innovation. The County’s Historical Heritage Grant will allow MOAH to replace its flat roof system and add 15 years of life to the structure.

The Williams House, built in 1906 by architect Ernest Coxhead, is a designated historic property and its Tudor Revival House is one of only two remaining Coxhead designs in Palo Alto. The house was gifted to the City of Palo Alto in 1989 with the provision that the house and gardens be maintained as a center for cultural purposes in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Williams. In 1990, the museum opened to the public, showcasing past inventions and replicas, while also offering a glimpse into the home and gardens.

MOAH re-opened in March 2021.  General admission is free and open to the public during regular hours.