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Hoover Tower, Palo Alto

4.4
#2 of 6 in Museums in Palo Alto
Observation Deck · History Museum
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Hoover Tower is a 285 feet (87 m) structure on the campus of Stanford University in Stanford, California. The tower houses the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, an archive collection founded by Herbert Hoover before he became President of the United States. Hoover had amassed a large collection of materials related to early 20th century history; he donated them to Stanford, his alma mater, to found a "library of war, revolution and peace". Hoover Tower also houses the Hoover Institution research center and think tank.

Hoover Tower, inspired by the tower at the New Cathedral of Salamanca, was finished in 1941, the year of Stanford's 50th anniversary. It was designed by architect Arthur Brown, Jr.
The first nine floors of the tower are library stacks and the next three floors are used for offices. Exiled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived on the 11th floor for some time upon invitation by Stanford University before he moved in 1976.

Hoover Tower receives approximately 200 visitors per day, and a nominal fee is charged for non-students or non-faculty. The observation deck platform is 250 feet (76 m) above the ground, and provides an expansive view of the Stanford University campus and surrounding area. On clear days it is possible to see all the way to the distant skyline of San Francisco. The tower's observation deck is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but closed during academic breaks and finals.

In December 1970, Hoover Tower was struck by lightning, causing a 300-pound ornamental concrete ball to fall from the top of the tower onto a parking lot. In August 2020 the concrete ball at the tower's tip was struck down by an electric storm again, shattering into multiple pieces.
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Hoover Tower reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
280 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • I was lucky enough to be able to get to the top. The weather was perfect and the views amazing. Great stop of history lovers and not only. 
    I was lucky enough to be able to get to the top. The weather was perfect and the views amazing. Great stop of history lovers and not only.  more »
  • You only can go to the top if you have a Stanford uni card :P But it was nice to know more about Herbet and Lou Hoover. 
    You only can go to the top if you have a Stanford uni card :P But it was nice to know more about Herbet and Lou Hoover.  more »
Google
  • Lovely area. Attended the Hoover Institution Education Summit 2022. Great work being done by HESI and CREDO to improve the lives of children by way of High Quality Education. The research they offer on K-12 Education modes & policies are great to know and use.
  • Amazing view of a beautiful campus. Bring your coat to the top cause it gets windy up there. Be aware that you can't take any large bags to the top, and there are no lockers or anything there. So your large camera bags and such may be an issue. Staff was really cool and knowledgable. Was a bit bummed to not be allowed to take photos inside because it's really cool in there, not sure why they are like that, kind of a silly rule. Overall though I am glad we went up to the top!

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