a street view with trees in South Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA

MLS South Palo Alto, Real Estate in Palo Alto, CA

“South Palo Alto offers affordable entry, a tight-knit sense of community, and an abundance of architectural styles nestled in an oasis of solitude.”

A collection of six sub-districts, the large neighborhood of South Palo Alto (MLS #233) found south of Oregon Expressway is an attractive borough for young families looking to establish a foothold in Palo Alto. Developed in the early 1950s, it is characteristically post-war, with much of its housing constructed to meet the needs of young, first-time home buyers of the time.

Over half a century later, the South Palo Alto boroughs of Adobe Meadows, Charleston Gardens, Fairmeadow, Greendell, Greenmeadow, and Walnut Grove still draw those looking for an affordable place in the city to call home.

Residents are welcome in this safe and peaceful borough. Neighborhood Associations keep inhabitants connected while block parties and bake sales encourage socialization and support.

The overall design of South Palo Alto follows that of its era, one encouraging suburban tranquillity. There is no central business district and its streets lack the typical grid pattern, promoting pedestrian safety and a level of calm in the heart of a bustling Silicon Valley city.

The sub-boroughs of Farimeadow and Greenmeadow boast a collection of 600 mid-century modern Eichlers, with the newer Greenmeadow holding a spot on the list of Nationally Registered Historic Places. Ranch-style homes and condominiums are also available while modest 1950s Brown and Kaufman dwellings are abundant in Adobe Meadows, South Palo Alto’s most active real estate market. Typical of most Palo Alto boroughs, some original houses have been renovated or completely rebuilt.

Favorable Attributes
  • One of Palo Alto’s ‘entry-level’ boroughs
  • Collection of sub-districts offer architectural variety
  • Close-knit community with many block parties and an active neighborhood association
  • A paradise for lovers of Eichler architecture
  • Neighborhood design offers pedestrian safety and solitude by limiting through traffic
  • Access to top-notch Palo Alto public schools

History of South Palo Alto, Palo Alto

Once part of the Rancho Rincon de San Francisquito, prior to 1953, cattle were the areas primary occupants of South Palo Alto, feeding off the native grasses covering its acres of fields. Although the region was mainly untouched except for its cattle and a few farms, it did possess a makeshift “Restaurant Row” in the years following World War II and well into the 1970s. During these years, Old El Camino Real was the main artery between San Jose and San Francisco and, unlike today’s fast food options, offered an impressive lineup of eateries to feed hungry passers-by. Some of the most famous include John Barnes Drive-in, Rick’s Swiss Chalet, Bonader’s, Mings Chinese Restaurant, L’Omelette, and other eateries and businesses that fed traveling families, students, and businessmen.

Residential growth in the district began in the early 1950s with Joseph Eichler’s Farimeadow anti-grid-like track laid out in a crop-circle formation. Expansion of sub-borough Charleston Gardens began in 1951 but stopped after the developer went bankrupt. Eichler eventually bought this property and added to his rising collection of affordable homes in the district. By the mid-1950s, South Palo Alto was a thriving community and the borough looks very much the same as it did over 60 years ago.