Bucketheads, and Polar Bears
Walking Tour of Greg Brown's Trompe-l'Oeil Murals
Palo Alto, California
on the images at left to see the murals enlarged Printable
Map and Addresses
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.
map above shows the location of each of eight murals as black
lines next to the marker number.
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.
of and visitors to Palo Alto may enjoy following the map above
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.
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.
Palo Alto - 2001