6.2 out of 10

Charleston Gardens

37.4200313403242 -122.105604767122
Great for
  • Schools
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
Not great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Childcare
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Retirees

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
May 11, 2012

"Too small, too ordinary"

Framed by East Charleston Road, Middlefield Road and San Antonio Road, Charleston Gardens is a small, flat and modest residential space in the heart of Palo Alto. There’s not much to know about this community, except for its middle-class roots which include an old residential aesthetic with wide, orderly roads and underwhelming homes. It is, however, convenient to a lot of things, including US Route 101, Costco and the many schools that make up the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Charleston Gardens is an all residential neighborhood fitted within three residential streets. In fact, its one of the smallest neighborhoods (if you can even call it that) in all of Palo Alto. While the community can be a bit off-putting for some (as if it was still stuck in the 1950’s), most homes are small and try to retain the character and charm of its mid-century past. But as a result, many of these homes can require an enormous amount of maintenance and upkeep. Properties are nothing glamorous too. There can be a bit of a raggedy feel for some, but most lots have manicured lawns and keep their spaces tidy. For numbers sake, the typical house listing is within the $900,000 to $1.5 million range while median prices for a condominium are a reasonable $700,000.

Charleston Gardens’ most desirable characteristic lies within its public school system--the Palo Alto Unified School District. The school system holds a top-tier educational program for its young families and has been routinely recognized as one of the best along the San Francisco peninsula. These schools include Herbert Hoover Elementary School, Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School. And with the University of Stanford just up the way, its no wonder these schools maintain such high academic esteem. For commuters, the district is convenient to local transportation as bus routes run through Middlefield Road and East Charleston Road. Elsewhere there is a small shopping plaza that lies adjacent to the neighborhood’s limits. The small neighborhood plaza includes an ice cream shack, a small market, a hair salon and a coffee shop.
Pros
  • Accessible to 101
  • Close to Google
  • Good for running errands
  • Nice Eichlers
Cons
  • High traffic
  • No culture
  • Ugly condos.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Feb 21, 2012

"Eichlers, Condos, and Auto Repair Shops"

The residential section of this neighborhood is filled with a bunch of Eichler style variations which I really dig. You would recognize it if you saw it. The flat roofs, the recessed front door, the side garage that lets right into one wing of the house. It reminds me a lot of the neighborhood where I grew up in that had a lot of these kinds of homes. One of my friends in the program grew up in this neighborhood so we came here for a little trip down amnesia lane the other day.

Oh and you are also just a hop skip and a jump from the Google campus, if you happen to

On the eastern end of the neighborhood there are lots of bland condominiums (the kind that were popular for divorcees in the 1980’s). You know the kind: first floor garages facing inward, metal stairwells, stucco walls, generally two stories and with a bit of ivy, a couple of green spaces and a pool—but pretty sterile in feel.

There is a little strip mall over there too, with auto repair shops, caterers, and CPA/dentists/podiatrists offices. (In other words, it’s kind of ugly on the eastern end, but every city needs an area that provides these services.)

One of the my favorite parts of this neighborhood though is this one house on Maplewood that has a painting of the moon and stars on the garage door and on the bench just outside. It is very cool in a very California sort of way.
Pros
  • Nice Eichlers
  • Close to Google
  • Accessible to 101
Cons
  • Ugly condos.
  • High traffic
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
Mar 06, 2011

"Condos and Auto Repair"

Every town needs a Charleston Gardens. You know, that area right off the highway where people go to get their cars fixed, new businesses buy up empty buildings, and real estate developers build a new condominium complex in order to to create some more "affordable" housing options?

The problem is, nobody wants to live in their proverbial Charleston Gardens. There is nothing *wrong* per se, it just lacks the charm that other areas hold - the fun, young scene, the small mom-and-pop shops, the tree-lined sidewalks where kids can ride their bikes. But even Palo Alto needs a Charleston Gardens (in addition to a Mountain View), where people can run their errands.

Perhaps the best part of the area is Dave's Auto Repair. It is not often that one can find a trustworthy auto mechanic, but Dave and his team go well above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their customers get the best value on their car repairs, every time. This shop alone makes the area worthwhile.
Pros
  • Great auto repair shop
  • Good for running errands
  • Accessible to 101
Cons
  • Noisy
  • High traffic
  • No culture

Unranked Streets in Charleston Gardens

"Busy Industrial Street"
37.4207399627142 -122.108143111809