WORLD'S 'TOP CHOICE' SCHOOL? ... Stanford University hit a milestone of sorts in 2005, when the number of undergraduate applications surpassed 20,000 for the first time. That, however, is nothing by today's standards. This year, that number of applications was nearly double, with 38,828 applications. Only 2,210 students were admitted. "Stanford has become a top choice for undergraduates worldwide," university President John Hennessy told alumni in the July/August issue of Stanford Magazine. Recognizing a "dramatic increase in qualified applicants" and feeling the "responsibility and ability" to educate more students, Hennessy said he hopes to slowly increase undergraduate enrollment from 6,590 to about 8,000 over 10 to 15 years.
A GROWING TERRACE ... Change has long been the norm in Palo Alto's College Terrace neighborhood, whose close proximity to Stanford University, Stanford Research Park and the California Avenue Business District make it particularly vulnerable to the effects of new developments. But the latest building project to make its way toward College Terrace would effectively transform and expand the neighborhood. Under the "Mayfield Development Agreement" that the city and Stanford University signed in 2005, the university is allowed to build 180 units of housing at 1601 California Ave., which would include 68 single-family homes and two four-story apartment buildings with 112 units. On Thursday, the city's Architectural Review Board discussed the project and made some suggestions about the architecture and road designs (it didn't take any action). In designing the housing, the goal was to "make this project a natural organic extension of the College Terrace neighborhood," landscape architect Paul Laterri of Guzzardo Partnership told the board. Brent Barker, president of the College Terrace Neighborhood Association, agreed and said he hopes the new development is "not set up to be an island tethered to College Terrace but an integral part of College Terrace."
THE ORIGINAL TESLA ... To Palo Alto resident Dorrian Porter, Nikola Tesla may be the most fitting representative for the city. It's not just because the technology based on his inventions represents the foundations (and fortunes) of some of the city's greatest innovators, including his namesake company, Tesla Motors, whose cars use an alternating-current induction motor like the one originally invented by Tesla. Porter, who started a successful Kickstarter campaign to build a statue of Tesla in Palo Alto, also wanted to "pay respect to the person who used his brilliance to advance society, not for personal wealth." The project raised $127,260 from 722 backers, more than $5,000 above its target, to build a life-size bronze-cast statue of Tesla near Harold Hohbach's recently approved "Park Plaza" development at 195 Page Mill Road. Porter wrote on the Kickstarter site that he hopes to inspire entrepreneurs to think with a selflessness similar to Tesla's in business ventures. Fittingly, the statue of the turn-of-the-century technology innovator will be a wireless hotspot and have a time capsule to be opened in 2043.