“Middlefield to El Camino is quietly modest and offers homeowners entry-level access to the desirable town of Atherton.”
Middlefield to El Camino includes a loosely associated collection of developments and vintage homes in two characteristically Atherton boroughs, Lloyden Park and Menlo Park Villas. The borough contains Atherton Town Hall, the town’s train station and the only recreation site within its borders, the lovely 22-acre Holbrook-Palmer Park.
Menlo Park Villas encompasses the majority of this neighborhood surrounding Holbrook-Palmer Park. A collection of cul-de-sacs, small lanes and avenues, Menlo Park Villas is an assortment 1920’s vintage manors interspersed with modest post-war ranch homes set on small lots. Homes in this neighborhood tend to undergo renovation and remodelling rather than the typical Atherton “raze and rebuild” phenomenon found in other areas.
Lloyden Park is situated in the northern end of this borough and is labelled as a ‘mini-Lindenwood’ thanks to its forested boulevards, traditional homes and expansive lots. Once the estate of San Francisco real estate tycoon Joseph B. Coryell, it is now an eye-catching cluster of 87 homes built in the 1940s and situated on 1/3-acre lots.
With its ‘modest’ homes and classic Atherton character, Middlefield to El Camino provides an entry point into the highly sought after area of Atherton.
Neighborhood Price Point
$1,200,000 – $5,000,000
- Classic Atherton character at a more affordable price point
- Tree-lined collection of lanes, cul-de-sacs and avenues
- Residents enjoy easy access to Holbrook-Palmer Park
- The Town Hall and train station are within this borough’s boundaries
- Many traditional homes have undergone remodeling and renovation
History of Middlefield to El Camino, Atherton
The Atherton neighborhood of Middlefield to El Camino began as acreage owned by a number of wealthy landowners. The two who influenced the town most significantly were Joseph Coryell and Charles Holbrook.
Native San Franciscan and real estate mogul Joseph Coryell purchased property in 1902-relatively late compared to other landowners-for a sum of $30,000. By 1927, he had subdivided the land into what is now Lloyden Park. Beginning with a few custom homes in 1929, the development was halted for almost a decade thanks to the stock market crash. Finally, in 1936, two Streamline Moderne houses (a late type of Art Deco architecture) were built on Rittenhouse and Belleau Avenues, both of which still stand. Legend has it that they were constructed as promotional ‘homes of the future’ for the 1939 Golden Gate International Expo.
At the same time, Charles Holbrook’s estate and working farm, called Elmwood, was undergoing it’s own transformation. With his passing in 1926, Elmwood was inherited by daughter, Olive Holbrook-Parker. The land was subsequently bequeathed to the town of Atherton with the provision that her husband, Silas, could live out his remaining days on the property. Today, these 22 acres are the lush gardens of Holbrook-Palmer Park that many local residents consider an extension of their backyards.