Hewlett-Packard garage given U.S. historical designation

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Silicon Valley garage that spawned Hewlett-Packard has become a national historic landmark, the company said.

The site where co-founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard lived and set up shop in 1938 was listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.

The property consists of a two-story house, garage and shed at 367 Addison Ave. in Palo Alto. It was there that Hewlett and Packard developed their first product, an audio oscillator, which Walt Disney Co. used to improve sound quality in its 1940 animated movie "Fantasia."

"The significance of the garage and the house is more associated with the entrepreneurial spirit in which it was developed," said Paul Lusignan, a historian with the National Register.

The garage was designated a California historic landmark in 1987.

HP purchased the property in 2000 for $1.7 million and embarked on a campaign to restore the house and garage to its late-1930s state.

The designation, however, won't mean it will be open to tourists. Out of respect for the residential neighborhood, HP opens the property to visitors only on certain occasions.