Charming, friendly, and quaint -- that's how Michelle Hayes describes Lloyden Park.
The area was once owned by Joseph B. Coryell, who bought his home in 1902 for $30,000. His estate was subdivided in 1927, and most of the development took place in the 1940's, dividing the land into mostly one-third acre lots.
Home styles run the gamut from a Streamlined Moderne built for the 1939 World's Fair, to traditional, complete with picket fence. Tear-downs are rare in this part of town, but remodeling is common.
There is less of a rural and a more neighborhood feel to Lloyden Park. The neighborhood is zoned for smaller lots than the rest of Atherton. Sidewalks and underground utilities, eschewed elsewhere in Atherton, encourage walking and socializing.
"It's not what people normally think of Atherton. It's a family neighborhood," David Barca says. He moved to the neighborhood in 1982, to a home his grandparents built in 1953.
Most of the residents send their children to private schools. Lloyden Park is part of the Redwood City school system, whereas the rest of Atherton has access to the Menlo Park school system.
When he moved to the neighborhood with his wife and two small children, they were not planning to stay long because of the schools. But Mr. Barca and his wife lived the neighborhood so much that they stayed and sent their kids to private school, he says.
Michelle Hayes and her husband Steve were well aware of the discrepancy when they moved to Lloyden Park 26 years ago. However, they wanted to provide their four children with the same kind of wholesome childhood they had growing up in the Midwest.
Ms. Hayes fondly remembers the neighborhood Christmas caroling, where one of the residents always played Santa; Fourth of July plays, bicycle parades, Easter egg hunts and other group activities. "We're within easy walking distance to Holbrook-Palmer Park and the library," she adds.
Mr. Barca, president of the Lloyden Park Homeowners' Association, says the small neighborhood of about 84 homes gets together when the need arises.
In the past, neighbors successfully encouraged Caltrans to re-route traffic away from the area for the sake of children and the elderly.
The neighborhood is the best of all possible worlds because it is close, yet private, he says. A potential high-speed rail system is currently causing concern among homeowners who fear it could affect property values, he says. This issue has been the main focus of the homeowners' association for the past few years.
The homeowners association is also responsible for planning social events which bring Lloyden Park residents together, residents say.
"Atherton has this image of being the parochial home on big properties, but this is the more affordable part of Atherton. This is the neighborhood for people who want to be neighborly," he says.
-- Susan Golovin
==BFIRE STATION:== 32 Almendral Ave., Atherton
==BLOCATION:== Wilburn Avenue and Lloyden Drive, and El Camino Real and Southern Pacific Railroad tracks
==BNEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION:== Lloyden Park Homeowners' Association, David Barca, president, 650-368-1427
==BPARK:== Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton
==BPUBLIC SCHOOLS:==Redwood City School District Selby Lane School, 170 Selby Lane, Atherton; Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Ave., Redwood City; plus magnet schools
Sequoia Union High School District Menlo Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
==BSHOPPING:== Downtown Menlo Park
==BMEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE:== $2,169,000 ($1,210,000-$3,210,000)
==BHOMES SOLD:== 6