"Lloyden Park doesn't change much," Rosemary Maulbetsch says. She knows her neighborhood well. She and her husband John have lived in this neighborhood of 86 neatly manicured homes for 32 years.
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. "If you have dogs or kids then you know everyone in short order," Ms. Maulbetsch says.
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.
Michelle Hayes and her husband Steve were well aware of the discrepancy when they moved to Lloyden Park 22 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.
Lloyden Park was quieter when Ms. Maulbetsch first moved there. She lives across the street from a property that abuts the train tracks. "When I first moved here, there were 44 trains a day. Now there are 96. I used to like the sound of the train when it was serving Atherton. But now they only stop here on weekends," she says.
Caltrain may affect the neighborhood in other ways. Ms. Maulbetsch is a member of the Atherton Rail Committee, which meets once a month. They have been discussing such issues as restoring daily service, electrification, and High-Speed Rail service.
"About 80 trees would have to be cut down in Atherton to make way for overhead wires if diesel were replaced," she says. The construction of raised tracks for High-Speed Rail service could also seriously impact the community, she adds, so the committee is looking into alternatives.
Ms. Hayes describes the neighborhood as "charming, friendly, and quaint. I know that doesn't sound original, but it's accurate."
FIRE STATION: 32 Almendral Ave., Atherton
PARK: Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Lloyden Park Homeowners' Association, David Barca, president, 650-368-1427
PUBLIC 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
SHOPPING: Downtown Menlo Park
MEDIAN 2008 HOME PRICE: $2,175,000 ($1,450,000-$2,550,000)
HOMES SOLD: 4