A majestic coastal redwood, of the species of Redwood which are the tallest trees in the world, that has quietly lived along San Francisquito Creek in the San Francisco Peninsula for over 1000 years, is the namesake of the City of Palo Alto. El Palo Alto, as this legendary tree is known, got it’s name in November 1769, when Spanish explorer Portola and a 200 horse, 63 man expedition riding up from San Diego looking for Monterey, settled on the creek and beheld the magnificent tree for the first time. Now some 247 years later, El Palo Alto’s image is the proprietary symbol on the Stanford University seal and the logo of the City of Palo Alto itself as well.
And what El Palo Alto has seen in it’s thousand years of keeping solitary watch over the area-from the Portola Expedition to Rafael Soto, the descendent of a De Anza Expedition settler, who made his home near San Francisquito Creek, site of the Portola expedition encampment, and El Palo Alto, selling goods to passersby, to his widow re-marrying and combining their considerable land grant ranchos with her new husband, the area in those days hosted adobe ranch buildings, fiestas and bullfights. Spanish names like San Antonio, Yerba Buena and Rinconada in the Palo Alto area remain in the streets, parks and neighborhoods and represent the local heritage.
In 1855, the township of Mayfield was formed in what is now southern Palo Alto. In 1875, Frenchman Peter Coutts purchased land in the area that he named Ayrshire Farm. This was quickly followed by the arrival of an attorney from New York who quickly became household name in California, Leland Stanford. Stanford purchased land in the area in 1876 for a horse farm he called the Palo Alto Stock Farm. Stanford then purchased Coutts’ Ayrshire Farm in 1882. Now one of America’s most prestigious universities is on that very property, Stanford University which was founded as a memorial for the Stanford’s only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who sadly passed away at 15, and was established in 1885. As the university began to take shape, Stanford annexed Mayfield to form the town of Palo Alto, and given his capabilities as a key investor in the Central Pacific Railroad, and president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Leland Stanford created a train stop on University Avenue in Palo Alto near the school.
In what is now a registered national historical district, Stanford University’s first faculty members settled in an area near the university known as “Professorville”. It is here that Palo Alto’s historic roots as an innovative world technology hub began to take shape as early as the turn-of-the-century. Russell Varian, co-inventor of the Klystron Tube lived on 1044 Bryant Street, and a California Historical Landmark on 218 Channing recognizes Lee de Forest’s 1911 invention of the vacuum tube and electronic oscillator at that location. Nearby, on Addison Avenue is the garage that David Packard and William Hewlett labored as young men to create Hewlett-Packard.
The prestige and number of additional technological industrial advancements taking place in Palo Alto continued, coinciding with Stanford University’s spectacular growth in importance as a world-class academic institution and think tank. Nearby Silicon Valley employs upwards of 98,000 people engaged in more than 7000 businesses and Palo Alto serves as it’s central economic focal point. On Page Mill Road, the Stanford Research Park contains many prominent technology firms. Among the well-known research facilities and companies in Palo Alto are: Amazon.com’s A9.com, Aricent, Better Place, Bon Appétit Management Company, Cloudera, IDEO, Tapulous, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Playdom, Mopay, Socialtext, VMware, Ning, CPI International, Tibco Software, Palantir Technologies, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich&Rosati, PAIX, Mashable, Electric Power Research Institute, Institute for the Future, Nanosys, Tesla Motors, Space Systems/Loral, Palo Alto Research Center, PARC, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Dell, AOL, inc., Groupon, CNF Inc., Infosys, IdentityMind Global, Genecor, Dailymotion, Accenture, SAP SE, Rave Wireless, Lockheed Martin, Talygen Business Intelligence, refund.me Group Inc., Slam Content, Onlive, Schering-Plough Biopharma, Theranos, Wso2, Nokia Research Center, Merrill Lynch, The Wall Street Journal, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America Headquarters, and others. Once headquartered and grown substantially in Palo Alto are the Internet giants PayPal, Google and Facebook. The city’s top employers are Stanford University, Stanford University Medical Center, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, VMware, Inc., Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care, Space Systems/Loral, Hewlett-Packard, Colubris Networks, and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
As one can imagine with the high-tech, medical and business advancements and successes in the area, real estate opportunities in the city and surrounding areas abound, and Palo Alto is an outstanding place to invest and move. Enjoying a 12% rise in value in the last year, buying a home in Palo Alto remains a very sound investment. The median price for a Home in Palo Alto is $2,543,100, and it is predicted that values will rise an additional 2.7% in the coming year. About 40% of these buyers are investors from overseas, indicating international investors looking to capitalize on the robust Palo Alto and surrounding area’s real estate market.
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Oulluo has MLS listings in Palo Alto neighborhoods such as Adobe Meadow, Meadow Park, Barron Park, Community Center, Southgate, Evergreen Park, Mayfield, Professorville, Palo Verde, Ventura, Charleston Gardens, Midtown, Fairmeadow, Crescent Park, San Alma, Old Palo Alto, Greater Miranda, Palo Alto Hills, South of Midtown, University South, Triple El, Monroe Park, Green Acres, Downtown North, Greendell, St. Claire Gardens, Charleston Meadows, Palo Alto Orchards, The Greenhouse, Esther Clark Park, College Terrace, Walnut Grove, Duveneck, St. Francis, Leland Manor, Embarcadero Oaks, and Garland.
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