homes in Atherton

“The borough of West Atherton from El Camino to Alameda, with its expansive lots, traditional homes and leafy lanes, is an incomparable instance of high-end”

Sometimes referred to as Central Atherton, West Atherton from El Camino to Alameda (MLS #291) is at the very heart of the town in many ways. Its original development began here and where the town founders, Thomas Selby and Faxton Atherton, built their estates. It is here among Atherton’s legendary greenery that many discerning homebuyers with substantial budgets choose to reside.

This area counts Menlo College, the Silicon Valley’s Business School, the state-of-the-art equestrian facility, Menlo Circus Club, and the college-prep Menlo School among its notable landmarks.

Whether 3,000 square foot 1950’s ranch homes or spacious 10,000 square foot custom homes, all inhabit large lots that are an acre at the minimum. The iconic forested avenues, lanes and quiet cul-de-sacs are resplendent with a mélange of architectural styles-ranch, Arts and Crafts, Mediterranean, French Chateau and English cottage to name but a few.

Atherton is served by three school districts, which directly impact the home values. Las Lomitas and Menlo Park districts are highly ranked with Redwood City schools lesser so. Properties served by this district generally sell for less than homes in the Las Lomitas and Menlo Park districts.

Wherever you go in this, the ‘heart of Atherton’, you will find a neighborhood that exemplifies the much sought-after Silicon Valley’s high-end homes.

Neighborhood Price Point

$1,000,000 – $13,000,000+

Favorable Attributes
  • Considered to be the very heart of Atherton
  • One acre, expansive lots and generally spacious, high-end homes
  • Lush, verdant, tree-lined streets
  • Variety of architectural styles available
  • Menlo College and Menlo Circus Club within this borough’s borders

History of El Camino to Alameda, Atherton

The era of wealthy landowners and sprawling country estates denotes the modern history of ‘central’ Atherton. This neighborhood was divided between two affluent proprietors, Thomas Selby and town namesake, Faxon Atherton.

Successful merchant and future mayor of San Francisco, Thomas Selby purchased 420 acres of land where he created ‘a model of rural attractiveness and high cultivation’. Appointed Almendral, his estate included wide-open pastures, blossoming orchards and a mansion that was the epitome of refined taste and ornamentation. His land was eventually subdivided and included the tract Atherton Oaks where homes were priced from $22,500 and $35,000, quite a handsome figure in the late 1920s.

A Massachusetts businessman who made his fortune importing and exporting during the time of the gold rush, Faxton Dean Atherton, owned 600 acres south of Almendral. He christened his estate Valparaiso Park and some years later, the Menlo Circus Club was built on this approximate site. In 1923 the newly incorporated town was officially named Atherton in his honor although residents had been referring to it as such for well over a decade.

These two town titans were later connected when Selby’s daughter married Atherton’s son. By the 1940s and 1950s when the town was subdivided over 80 times, these influential men were long gone. Many of the town’s streets are named for their legacy, including Selby Lane, Atherton Avenue, Almendral Avenue and Valparaiso Avenue as well as three streets named after Atherton’s daughters.