Professorville today is generally ranked as one of the best neighborhoods in Palo Alto. As the name clearly indicates, early Stanford University professors who preferred to own their own land originally settled the area. At that time, Stanford provided on-campus housing for professors but did not allow them to own the land. As Stanford increased in size and prestige, more and more incoming professors constructed new homesProfessorville. The result was a close-knit, densely populated community of academics who built with traditional architectural tastes. Fast forward over a hundred years and you’ll find that the district is now a flourishing Palo Alto neighborhood dominated by the same traditionalist attitude it was founded on, but with a broad variety of new homeowners.
Geographically, Professorville is very small, spanning only about ten square blocks with a total population that barely tops 600. Officially designated as an historic district, the neighborhood is known for its beautiful foliage and 100-plus-year-old homes of Dutch Colonial, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and other classic styles. Professorville is a flat streets neighborhood that provides a spectrum of middle to upper middle-class housing opportunities. The area is mostly made up of one and two-stories homes that were built around the 1930’s. These structures that are generally larger than most Palo Alto communities, featuring comfortable porches and sizable front lawns with neatly trimmed hedges.
Residency in Professorville, a very pedestrian-friendly community,comes with a lot of amenities. For one, close proximity to downtown Palo Alto and Stanford University go to make a home here prime real estate. Of the latter, residents feel closely connected to Stanford’s rich culture and weekly on-campus activities and sports events. The neighborhood is also just an easy walk or bike ride away from downtown Palo Alto, the Town & Country Village, and the Palo Alto Caltrain station, a commuting option that easily connects residents to San Francisco and San Jose. The neighborhood also enjoysconvenient access to a broad array of nearby restaurant, retail, and entertainment options.
Families with young children are increasingly attracted to Professorville due to its central location amid everything Palo Alto has to offer. For children, the highly ranked Palo Alto Unified School District always achieves exceptional API scores across the board. Students in the area usually attend Addison Elementary, Jordan Middle School and Palo Alto High School.Most kids walk or bike to school on their own.
The primary hitch to this peaceful neighborhood is perhaps the consequences of limited street parking during the day, thanks to commuters who leave their cars on its tree-lined streets and then head downtown or to Stanford University.
Of course, owning a home in Palo Alto’s most desirable neighborhood, which in turn is among Silicon Valley’s hottest real estate markets,is costly. Those fortunate to live in Professorville tend to feel the world is a tranquil,managed realm where ideas can be discussed among friends over coffee or a glass of wine in a lovely setting.
LOCATION: bounded by Kingsley and Addison avenues from Cowper to Ramona streets
POST OFFICE: Hamilton, 380 Hamilton Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 1, 301 Alma St., and No. 3, 799 Embarcadero Road
LIBRARY: Downtown branch, 270 Forest Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Addison Elementary School, Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto High School
SHOPPING: University Avenue; Town & Country Village
PARKS: Scott Street Mini Park; Heritage Park
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