Lasting Memories

Bjarne Dahl
1930-May 10, 2009
Los Altos, California

Bjarne "Barney" Dahl, longtime owner of the historic Cardinal Hotel in downtown Palo Alto, who was responsible for its restoration, died May 10, 2009, after a six-week illness.

Dahl was born in 1930 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and moved to the mainland shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. He was evacuated to California in 1942 as part of a military convoy, while his parents remained in Hawaii. He was taken in by a family friend, noted architect Julia Morgan, for a short time in San Francisco before an aunt and uncle moved to the mainland and located in Los Altos, where he resided at the time of his death.

Dahl served with the U.S. Army, stationed at Ford Ord, Calif., from 1950 to 1952. He met his future wife, Marianne, while on a motorcycle trip through Scandinavia, and they were wed in 1959. They moved to the United States where they raised their three children, Eva Maria, Ester and Stephan.

In addition to his work to restore the Cardinal Hotel in its historic condition, Dahl was widely known as a restorer of harpsichords and antique pianos. He was a member of the Piano Technicians Guild and several early-music societies. His craftsmanship showed in the restoration of the Cardinal, which he supervised on a daily basis.

In addition to his wife and three children, Dahl is survived by four grandchildren: Anders, Marcus, Nicholas and Anna. The family prefers memorials be donations in Dahl's name to Disabled Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars or a charity of the donor's choice.