Secret Agent Man With Bird on Hat
Greater Bay Trust Co.
400 Emerson St.
at Lytton Ave.
Pelican with Money
Greater Bay Trust Co.
400 Emerson St.
at Lytton Ave.
Alien Saucer Crash
Comerica Bank
250 Lytton Ave.
Two Aliens Climbing Stairway
Gelato Classico
436 Emerson St.
Spiro Agnew Pushing Alien in Stroller
Restoration Hardware
280 University Ave.
at Bryant St.

Nun with Toy Airplane
Second Story Above
Site For Sore Eyes
436 University Ave.

Bird on Lady's
Garden Hose
Office Building Foyer
499 Hamilton Ave.
Buckethead Man with
Toy Airplane

Office Building Foyer
499 Hamilton Ave.
Buckethead Man with

Office Building Foyer
499 Hamilton Ave.
Buckethead Man with

Office Building Foyer
499 Hamilton Ave.
Boy with Fishing Pole Stuck on Window Grate
Hamilton Station
Post Office
380 Hamilton Ave.
at Bryant St.
Bank Robbers Mishap
Washington Mutual Bank
300 Hamilton Ave.
at Bryant St.
Man in Window
Sawing Elevator Cables
Office Building Foyer
261 Hamilton Ave.
Garbage Man
With Alien

Building at
136 Hamilton Ave.
at High St.
Polar Bear on Crutch
Consulting With Doctor
in Inset Archway

Health Library
Stanford Shopping Ctr.
Building G East Corner
Next to Bloomingdales

Aliens, Bucketheads, and Polar Bears

A Walking Tour of Greg Brown's Trompe-l'Oeil Murals
in Palo Alto, California

Click on the images at left to see the murals enlarged    Printable Map and Addresses

One the charming aspects of downtown Palo Alto are the numerous whimsical trompe-l'oeil murals painted by artist Greg Brown on the sides of various buildings. The murals started appearing in the 1970s. By the mid-1990s it was looking like a number were going to be lost. Fortunately, while a few originals have disappeared over the years, he's painted or repainted a few when buildings were remodeled.

The map above shows the location of each of eight murals as black lines next to the marker number.

In addition to those located in downtown and publicly accessible, there are a few others in the area. The Palo Alto Housing Corporation Board had Brown paint this mural, "Pipe Dreams" on the wall of their new conference room at 725 Alma Street. And the UCSF Stanford Health Care's new Health Library at nearby Stanford Shopping Center has one of Brown's murals painted on one of its outside walls - a Polar Bear on a crutch consulting a grandmotherly doctor.

Residents of and visitors to Palo Alto may enjoy following the map above (here's a printable map with addresses) on a walking tour to see the paintings. All are easily within a few blocks walking distance of the Palo Alto Caltrans Train Station. Those who can drive, or are up for a slightly longer walk, can go over to nearby Stanford Shopping Center to see the Polar Bear painting, which is one of Brown's most impressive works.

Over the years I've heard so many people express their fondness of these works. A longtime fan myself, I decided to create this online guide to celebrate these beloved Palo Alto treasures and share them with our community and the world at large.


Jim Leftwich
Palo Alto - 2001