Small enough that one could run laps around it, the Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood is marked by four distinct streets: Middle Avenue on the north, San Francisquito Creek to the south and Allied Arts Guild on Arbor Road to the west. With its old-town charm, Allied Arts/Stanford Park seems a world away from the hustle of El Camino Real to its east, and the promise of new high-tech concerns such as Tesla Motors. The cutting-edge electric-car company hosts a show room of sports cars just across El Camino.
But tucked inside the neighborhood, a country feel remains. A lack of sidewalks results in a perfect place for strolling among 1925 bungalow homes, attractive flower gardens and fruit trees on roads named after colleges — Yale Road, Cambridge Avenue, Princeton Road, Cornell Road and Harvard Avenue.
Lamp-topped pillars mark the entrance to the neighborhood. And old and shady trees grace the streets.
Allied Arts Guild is a centerpiece of the neighborhood and a main attraction. The Spanish-Colonial designed complex came into existence in 1929 and developed as an artisan's workspace of studios and shops.
James Hill owned a candle shop and a gourmet cookware shop called "Batterie de Cuisine" in the guild from 1963 to 2002. He moved to Allied Arts in 1972 with his wife Elaine and the couple live in a 1935 Tudor-style house that allowed him to be "living over the store, so to speak," he says.
Stephanie Brown moved in 30 years ago, when she started working at Stanford University. The "sense of distinctive, autonomous, individual design of the homes creates a sense of individuality," she says. That individuality has allowed the neighborhood to keep its identity over the years as it has matured, she says.
A local meeting spot for residents is "The O" — The Oasis Beer Garden. It's a burger and pizza bar located in a WWI building that had peanut shells on the floor and was one of the first places with a big-screen television, Betty Lee says.
Ms. Lee has lived in the neighborhood for 54 years. She and her husband raised a child there.
"When we first moved in, Cambridge Avenue was very quiet, you could almost hear a pin drop," she says. One of her primary reasons for moving to Allied Arts was that its access to just about anything she needs. Draeger's Market, Stanford University and Stanford Shopping Center and downtown Menlo Park are all within walkable distance, she says.
But an inevitable result of time means things change, according to Mr. Hill, the former candle-shop owner. Mr. Hill has noticed younger families moving in. And Ms. Lee says many homes have been renovated.
But one characteristic has stayed constant: The "caring and kind people in the neighborhood," Ms. Brown says.
But one characteristic has stayed constant: The "caring and kind people in the neighborhood," she says.
CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Menlo-Atherton Cooperative Nursery School, 802 Middle Ave.
FIRE STATION: 700 Oak Grove Ave.
PARK: Nealon Park, 800 Middle Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Menlo Park City Elementary School District — Oak Knoll School; Hillview Middle School;
Sequoia Union High School District — Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park, Stanford Shopping Center
MEDIAN 2013 HOME PRICE: $1,700,000 ($$1,138,000-$3,547,500)
HOMES SOLD: 27