Real Estate



The only time Paul Machado did not live in Mayfield was his four years in college.

"This is home. This is where I grew up," Machado said.

Why does he stay? The neighbors. "Neighbors make a neighborhood," he said.

Terry Holzemer and his wife Patricia Hernandez also have stayed in Mayfield, choosing to live there nearly 25 years ago.

"We chose this area on purpose because it was very close to many of the local retail services that we wanted and still use now grocery stores (Mollie Stone's and Country Sun), the post office, restaurants and walkable Stanford events and facilities. We also wanted to be close to the Cal Avenue CalTrain station so we could go to San Francisco, San Jose on occasion for special events and visits."

Both teachers, the couple values being able to walk to essential services.

But Holzemer said the variety of retail services has greatly diminished over the years, with "far too many" restaurants, not enough real service places like a hardware store or a movie theater, things that used to exist when they first moved to Mayfield.

"I think too often, the overall city view of the Mayfield area is that we are a 'business/commercial office zone that has few residents,'" he said.

"That's simply not true. We are a residential neighborhood too, just like other parts of city, where hundreds of folks, young and old, live. We need to be treated with the same level of respect that other residential neighborhoods get and be better understood by City Hall," Holzemer said.

Mayfield is located between College Avenue and Oregon Expressway on the north and south and Park Boulevard and El Camino Real on the east and west.

He and his neighbors' concerns center on office growth in the Mayfield area and not enough parking. Parking outside their Palo Alto Central condominium complex has always been an issue and a challenge.

Holzemer, an association board member at his condo complex (Palo Alto Central), said the complex holds an annual holiday party for residents. He said he and his wife consider the Sunday morning farmers market on California Avenue to be one of their "special places" for community gatherings.

There is an annual picnic usually held in June on College Avenue because one end is already blocked to cars so it makes it easy to have a block party, Machado said. The only issue he sees is that there is an exodus of the "native Californians," as he calls them, those older residents who may live in apartments who leave because the rent becomes unaffordable.

In the future, Holzemer said he hopes to start a Mayfield Neighborhood Association. "Because I believe our neighborhood has a very unique and special place in Palo Alto history. In fact, it was the only town close by when Stanford University began. Too much of Mayfield's history is now largely ignored or forgotten."

Elizabeth Lorenz is the former Home and Real Estate Editor at the Weekly. Send comments, tips or story ideas to Associate Editor Linda Taaffe at


CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Casa dei Bambini Montessori School, 463 and 457 College Ave.; Escondido Kids' Club, 890 Escondido Road

FIRE STATION: No. 2, 2675 Hanover St.

LIBRARY: College Terrace, 2300 Wellesley St.

LOCATION: Between Oregon Expressway and College Avenue, Park Boulevard and El Camino Real

PARKS: Sarah Wallis Park, 202 Ash St.

POST OFFICE: Cambridge, 265 Cambridge Ave.

PRIVATE SCHOOL: The Living Wisdom School, 456 College Ave.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Escondido Elementary School, 890 Escondido Road, Stanford; Greene Middle School, 750 N. California Ave.; Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road

SHOPPING: California Avenue

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Palo Alto, rejoice. Mike's Cafe is back.
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 2,279 views

Premarital and Couples: Musings on Life
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,632 views

Why we are Warming
By Sherry Listgarten | 30 comments | 1,562 views

Cap On? Cap Off? The Cities Respond
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,290 views

List for a new baby
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 409 views