|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 11:44 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 1:39 PM
Esther Clark Park
|Large oak trees, wild animals and uninterrupted landscapes define Esther Clark Park, an open 21-acre plot of land located in the Palo Alto hills.
Rich Spanish villas, old-style ranch houses and wide Mediterranean-style mansions run down the three main roads of the neighborhood by the same name. Old Adobe Road, Old Trace Road and Manuela Avenue branch off from Arastradero Road to wind around the park. All houses receive a stellar view of the park, regardless of where they are located.
The park was sold to the city in 1965 by Esther Clark, the first female pediatrician and founder of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic and the Children's Health Council.
Adrienne Oliff's ranch-style house on Old Trace Road has been a staple of the neighborhood since 1973. She likes how the area manages to be secluded from the downtown areas and yet is convenient enough for her to get what she needs in nearby Los Altos.
"It's been such a wonderful neighborhood," she said.
Dating back to the '80s, she hosted a number of neighborhood meetings in her house. Members of the neighborhood fought together to keep the area's rural aesthetic intact, even taking their issues to the mayor and the Los Altos town council. Votes against streetlights, new roads and more developed park areas have helped to make Esther Clark what it is today.
"Though the neighbors are one acre away from one another, they still watched out for each other," she said.
Robert Creasey has a history with the neighborhood that dates back to 1956. He has lived on Old Adobe Road even before it received its name from Juana Briones' 1844 adobe ranch house. The many oak trees that surround the park are also due to the generosity of his father, who planted them more than 30 years ago.
"As I walk outside, I see these trees 30 feet high," he said.
Beautiful hawks, redtails, blue herons and other birds make their home in the park. Other animals such as deer, gophers and rabbits have been sighted both in and around the park.
"I've seen coyotes go through my yard," Creasey said.
Marilyn Stocker has lived on Mockingbird Lane since her house was first built in 1973. As one of the original four neighbors on the street, her wooden-framed ranch-style home has overlooked the neighborhood on its hill for years.
"We are the lowest lot that can see the Bay," she said.
Many families were drawn to the neighborhood's close proximity to Nixon Elementary School. Getting to school was literally a walk through the park. While the children's departure from the area has left a number of empty nesters in its wake, the friendly nature of the neighbors still remains.
"On Mockingbird Lane, we're very friendly and supportive of everyone else," she said.
Over time Esther Clark Park also paid host to a number of noteworthy people. According to Oliff, Democratic Senator Alan Cranston's sister Eleanor Fowle once made her home in the hills. In addition, actress Marjorie Eaton also lived in the neighborhood.
"She was a very colorful neighbor," Oliff said.
Oliff said the many years she has lived in the neighborhood have been an enjoyable experience.
"The neighbors call it a tranquil paradise," she said.
-- Casey Scheld
FIRE STATION: No. 5, 600 Arastradero Road
LIBRARY: Mitchell Park branch, 3700 Middlefield Road (after summer 2012)
LOCATION: from Old Adobe Road to Manuela Avenue, off Arastradero Road, including Old Trace Road
PARK: Esther Clark Park, Old Trace Road
POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Nixon Elementary School, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School
SHOPPING: El Camino Real, Downtown Los Altos
MEDIAN 2011 HOME PRICE: $2,650,000 ($2,607,000-$3,575,000)
HOMES SOLD: 3
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Posted by aqdrianna currie, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm
why don't you put animals on here