"Welcome to Loyola Corners" reads the painted brick sign in front of the Shell gas station on Fremont and Dolores avenues, greeting cars as they pull into town from Foothill Expressway. Like much of the downtown, it harkens back to a time before the expressway was even built, when Loyola Corners was a key train station down the Peninsula.
"Back then, this was all summer homes for families who would come down from San Francisco," said Norman Shapiro, who has lived in Loyola Corners for more than 40 years. The train station has always served as a hub for the community, he said.
Framing the neighborhood from the south, a cluster of small shops and restaurants filling up with customers at lunchtime remains where the station used to be. The rest of the neighborhood is mostly residential, apart from a row of dental and medical practices along Altos Oaks Road.
Below, the winding residential streets of Loyola Corners still resemble the country roads that ran through its orchards. The streets bend under low-hanging trees and dead-end in various cul-de-sacs, so few cars pass through.
That makes it great for people with kids, said Shapiro, because they can let them play outside safely. One of the most popular cul-de-sacs, he said, is at the end of Clinton Road and leads to the playgrounds and tennis courts of McKenzie Park.
On the other side of Clinton lies Heritage Oaks Park, adding another large green space to the area. With Loyola Elementary and Saint Francis nearby, he said, it's a neighborhood very friendly to families.
That's what attracted Shapiro to the neighborhood in the first place. In those days, he said, he and his wife were one of the youngest couples on the block.
"Now we've got lots of couples that are about a generation ahead of me," he said. "We've had a lot of young couples come in the last 10 to 12 years. And it's become one of the more popular neighborhoods."
Barbara Baney always wanted a neighborhood like the one she grew up in in Poland, where everybody knew one another and was very friendly. She found this replica on Clinton Road.
"It's a very close neighborhood. On weekends, people stroll in the street to talk to each other," she said.
After renting in Los Altos for some time, Baney and her husband moved to their neighborhood because they liked the nearby McKenzie Park and the fact that their children could walk to school. Even when they first moved into their current home around Valentine's Day in 1995, the neighbors were friendly.
"A neighbor stopped by with flowers and balloons, and cookies," she said.
The neighborhood celebrates all sorts of holidays and celebrations together, including Boxing Day because some people are from Canada. On the Fourth of July, the entire street heads down to the park to celebrate. Baney is "very happy here" and thinks it is very important to have this kind of neighborhood for her children.
-- Cyrus Hedayati and Lisa Kellman
FIRE STATION: No. 16, 765 Fremont Ave.
LIBRARY: Los Altos, 13 S. San Antonio Road; Woodland, 1975 Grant Road
LOCATION: a triangle roughly bounded by Fremont Avenue, Miramonte Avenue and Clinton Road
PARKS: McKenzie Park, 707 Fremont Ave.; Heritage Oaks Park, Portland and Miramonte avenues
POST OFFICE: Loyola Corners, 1525 Miramonte Ave.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): Canterbury Christian School, 101 N. El Monte Ave.; Los Altos Christian School, 625 Magdalena Ave.; Pinewood School, 327 & 477 Fremont Ave.; Saint Francis High School, 1885 Miramonte Ave., Mtn. View
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Los Altos School District -- Loyola Elementary School, Blach Intermediate School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Mountain View High School
SHOPPING: Loyola Corners, Rancho Shopping Center
MEDIAN 2013 HOME PRICE: $1,130,000; nearby: $1,810,000
HOMES SOLD: 1; nearby: 1
MEDIAN 2013 CONDO PRICE: $640,000
CONDOS SOLD: 1