Palo Alto Weekly 25th Anniversary

The 3900 to 4000 block of El Cerrito Road

A barking dog just past midnight drew two neighbors from opposite ends of a J-shaped street. In some areas, residents would have called the police to complain about the noise. On El Cerrito Road, they walked over to check it out.

When they rang the doorbell, there was no response so they started to walk away. Suddenly the dog ran through a dog door and beckoned them to an unlocked side door. Inside, they found a young man collapsed on the floor, and quickly called 9-1-1.

It was just another day in the neighborhood -- where people care.

In the mid-'50s, El Cerrito Road was a very homogeneous neighborhood, with almost every house filled with a 30-something Caucasian couple and children. Today, the block is multi-generational, and there are rarely more than a dozen children playing in the quiet cul de sacs.

Recently a home across the street sold for $1.2 million, and a tear-down is on the market for $4.29 million.

Over the years, people have added on to their single-story ranch-style homes, but only four of the 23 houses have a second story. Many of the odd-shaped lots on the curving street back onto Stanford land, with a fence separating them from the bike path at the edge of Gunn High School's playing fields.

Most of the back fences have gates -- or ladders -- to expedite getting to school on time.

El Cerrito Road is filled with stay-at-home moms, who volunteer in the community while raising the kids.

The newest family on the block, Sammy and Melanie Oh, looked for a year and a half before they found the new, large house on a 15,000-square-foot lot. They needed space for raising their three sons under the age of 5, as well as an office.


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25th Anniversary • 1979-2004




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