Lauded as one of Palo Alto’s most prestigious neighborhoods, Crescent Park’s stately homes, traditional architecture, larger lots, and wide, tree-canopied streets evoke tye stylings of posh, East Coast suburbs. Crescent Park offers the best of both worlds, with its calm, secluded atmosphere, while still being within close proximity of Highway 101 and popular University Avenue. The sense of serenity and high-class style have attracted many of Silicon Valley’s prominent and affluent residents, such as former 49er quarterback Steve Young, who built his sprawling custom mansion here, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, bought his first home and four adjacent homes in recent years.
Originally, Crescent Park was part of Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito (literally means “ranch at the bend of San Francisquito Creek”). This 2,230-acre area was a Mexican land grant given seven years before California became part of the United States in 1848. In the following years, ownership of Rancho was disputed, resolved, and then divided. By 1864, a parcel consisting of 60 acres was purchased by Dr. William Newell. Crescent Park was developed from this parcel and named for its benefactor.
Because Crescent Park lies along the San Francisquito Creek, street flooding can be an issue during heavy rainstorms, most recently during the 1998 storms. Crescent Park is a designated flood zone, resulting in lenders requiring that homeowners obtain flood insurance. Additionally, homes in this neighborhood cannot accommodate a basement, and any major remodeling work requires raising the house above the flood level. Despite this limitation, home values have not faced downward pressure, nor is there a price ceiling.
Lots in Crescent Park are generally larger than most Palo Alto neighborhoods, allowing for sprawling homes. Many of these homes are older, echoing East Coast flair with touches of classic and elegant designs. These designs have encouraged homeowners to keep the facades in the course of major interior renovations.