Stately, elegant, charming, and impressive are just a few ways to describe the distinct grandeur that has long been established in what is arguably the most elite neighborhood in Palo Alto. Old Palo Alto carries a certain cache and the reference to “Old” refers to “old money,” as many of the residents are some of the most affluent and renowned in the world.
1902 saw the construction of the first Old Palo Alto home, a lavish combination of a New England revival and Georgian revival, which was designed by San Jose contractor, C.A. Bates. Built originally for Edwin Percy Gamble, son of the co-founder of Proctor & Gamble Co., his daughter Elizabeth eventually became the primary homeowner and caretaker, and 1970, generously gifted the estate to the city of Palo Alto. The estate was then converted to a horticultural foundation with a historic home, carriage house, tea house, and formal garden open to the public. In the early 1900s, Birge Clarke, a famous American architect who built many buildings for Stanford University, such as the Lou Henry Hoover House (now the residence of the university president), designed and built several homes of historic significance in Palo Alto. In recent years, Old Palo Alto has also been home to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple.
Exclusive, yet grand, this neighborhood is a quiet enclave of tree-canopied streets, lush lawns, luxury estates, and charming, smaller homes. Lots here are usually bigger than other neighborhoods like Midtown and College Terrace, averaging around 9,000 square feet. These lot sizes are ideal for larger houses usually in demand in the luxury home market. Due to the optimal quality of construction and finishes, as well as the historic character of many of the homes, many potential buyers are willing to pay a high premium to live in this exclusive neighborhood.