The Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park is separated from Palo Alto by the San Francisquito Creek. Developed in the 1920s, this neighborhood is an eclectic mix of modest Bungalows and grand Craftsmen.
Life in the Willows is fairly laid back. Despite being surrounded by the freeway and main thoroughfares, the neighborhood stays relatively quiet with mature trees which flank the meandering streets and soften noise than might come from the Interstate. A shopping strip on the corner of Menalto Avenue and Gilbert Avenue showcases its small-town charm with various resident-run businesses, and bustling Downtown Palo Alto is only a short drive away as well, by way of the bridge at Chaucer Street, leading directly to University Avenue.
The Willows, with its humbler beginning, has gentrified over the last several years. Many of the newer influx of homeowners are Silicon Valley employees with young families who want the excellent school district, the modest prices, and the easy access to Interstate 101 and the Dumbarton Bridge. These new homeowners have remodeled and expanded the original homes, inspiring longtime residents to do the same.
Many homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1920s and 1930s as Bungalows, often with only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The rest were primarily built in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a bit larger. With new owners, many of these homes have since undergone remodels, or even complete reconstructions, maximizing the amount of square feet of living space. Lot sizes can vary widely, ranging from 5,000 square feet all the way up to half an acre.