8.1 out of 10

Old Palo Alto

37.4352039417323 -122.141867123996
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Schools
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Singles
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"The updated Old Palo Alto"

Situated just off Stanford’s northeast campus, Old Palo Alto is a somewhat affluent, pedestrian-friendly Palo Alto community. It is bounded by Alma Street, Oregon Expressway, Middlefield Road and Embarcadero Road, extending about 0.7 square miles of quiet residential terrain. The area is mostly filled with owner-occupied residents and young professions who feed into the San Jose job market. Demographically speaking, the area is a pretty dense and largely white community (over 80%) with a population of around 3,500.

Old Palo Alto’s residential terrain spans from the middle-class to the upper-class. As a result, the neighborhood has a wide range of house sizes and architectural styles. Its wealthier homes are typically situated within the center of the community. They offer some beautiful homes which attract young professionals and young families with deep pockets. These homes can exceed 4,000 square feet of living space, which can sometimes barely fit on its designated lot. Other homes, which tend to occupy the fringe of the neighborhood, are rather old, built during the post World War II era. Many of these homes maintain its architectural integrity and traditional (or dated?) look. As a whole, median house prices are closing in on a wealthy $1.8 million, but can reach up to $6 million. Many of these residents can afford it though, raking a yearly household income of $200,000/year.

Old Palo Alto as a whole has much larger properties than its neighbors. Lots usually afford manicured lawns and front gardens with lush green foliage elegantly placed within the yard. These properties usually yield long, wide and orderly streets with trees shading the sidewalks. The area also doesn’t get much through traffic, which harbors a safe environment for young children playing in their yards.

One of the district’s main perks is that it is so convenient to Stanford University. In fact, the neighborhood is known for housing a couple faculty members and old Stanford students. As a result, the neighborhood tends to share the same spirit and liveliness during big events and game days. Other perks include the district’s school system. Students usually attend Palo Alto High School, which has garnered high praise and rivals the high scoring Gunn High School on the other part of town. Also, California Avenue Caltrain skirts the southern end of the neighborhood and provides access to both San Francisco and San Jose.
Pros
  • Beautiful Old Manors
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet Streets
Cons
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Good Old Manors"

As the name indicates, Old Palo Alto is the historic neighborhood in Palo Alto. The homes here date largely from the 1920’s and 30’s, but they are mostly not the bungalow styles you might associate with this early 20th Century era in American residential styles. Rather these are large manors of the kind that were usually reserved for the upper class during the first half of the previous century—which is pretty much who they are still reserved for now.

These are the kinds of homes with horseshoe shaped driveways and large double doors at their centers. You know those symmetrical two story deals that offer an unmistakable signal of wealth. These are the kinds of homes that have large back yards with pools, gardens and guest houses.

Put simply, you really don’t feel as if you are in California in this neighborhood. English manor, Tudor styles, even some
Romanesque style deals are here. Gambrel roofs, thatched roofs with round dormers sticking out, red-tiled Mediterranean styles; high hedges, iron-wrought gates, shaped topiary; stonework, brickwork, adobe walls—they are all here to admire. A great place for a walk—like taking a stroll through an encyclopedia of historic mansion styles.

Living here?

Most of us can’t even afford it in our dreams.
Pros
  • Beautiful Old Manors
  • Quiet Streets
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Very, Very Expensive
  • Old House Problems
  • Probably Pretty Snobby
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish

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