|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Monday, February 1, 2010, 11:47 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 2:04 PM
|The Willows, bordered by Willow Road, Highway 101 and East O'Keefe Street, Middlefield Road and San Francisquito Creek, was known as North Palo Alto following the Depression. Developer Si Simon built a series of "Simon Built" homes along Central Avenue.
In 1953, after the incorporation of Menlo Park, and with its contemporary borders, the area was given its present name.
Residents say there's no tract feeling in most of the area -- but many mature trees and rambling, twisty roads.
Gary Smith has lived on O'Connor Street since 1981. This December he celebrates the 21st anniversary of his Willows business, Menalto Cleaners, which is located in the same mini-strip as La Hacienda Market, Caffe Zoe, at the corner of Menalto and Gilbert.
Mr. Smith remembers the floods brought on by El Nino in 1997-98, and says that the neighbors dealt with the damage the same way they have dealt with other crises.
"Our neighborhood comes together to discuss and resolve. This neighborhood does not mess around."
Although he's not aware of a neighborhood association, he says that there is an earthquake preparedness committee, a Willows traffic group and several Yahoo groups, as well as a moms and babies group.
The neighborhood is served by the Menlo Park School District, which annexed it from Ravenswood in 1982
When asked if there's anything he doesn't like, Mr. Smith pauses. "There's a disregard for littering." Since he feels that the neighborhood is "aesthetically beautiful," it pains him to see the amount of debris, he says.
Gentrification has taken place due to the influx of professionals in the popular neighborhood. He contributed to the trend by remodeling his own home in 1999, he adds.
The neighborhood is an accepting one, Mr. Smith notes.
"It's a wonderful place. It's warm, friendly, and diverse -- racially and culturally."
-- Susan Golovin
300 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Willows_neighborhood@yahoogroups.com
PARK: Willow Oaks Park, Willow Road near Gilbert Avenue, Menlo Park
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: German-American School of San Francisco, 275 Elliott Drive, Menlo Park
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District --
Laurel School, 95 Edge Road, Atherton; Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave., Menlo Hillview Middle School, 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park
Sequoia Union High School District -- Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
SHOPPING: Willow Road
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $1,150,000 ($562,000-$2,300,000)
HOMES SOLD: 42
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