“Palo Alto’s Green Gables is a large, primarily residential borough offering an array of home styles and vintages in a peaceful setting.”
Green Gables (MLS #238) is named after one of Palo Alto’s most mature residential developments built in 1939-1940. An amalgamation of old and new, the multiple sub-districts in Green Gables offer an eclectic blend of homes, from vintage farmhouses and pre-war Tutor, Cottage and Mediterranean Colonial styles to more modern, 21st century architecture, predominantly of the Arts & Crafts design.
Green Gables sub-district of Duveneck is where a young Joseph Eichler made his initial mark. With a vision to create mid-century open floor plan designs using natural building materials, Eichler made an enormous impact in the Palo Alto community with his iconic middleclass residential tracts: Green Gables Addition (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), Channing Park, Triple El and Edgewood.
The southern sub-boroughs of Leland Manor began development in 1948 and was completed by the mid-1950s while the other Eichler development of Triple El (which refers to Elsinore Drive, Elsinore Court and El Cajon Way) was constructed in 1955.
The tiny micro-district of Garland was built in 1947-1948. Garland has shady, tree-lined streets (its most notable being the breezy Garland Drive) lined with original, single-story dwellings.
Over the years, a fair number of Green Gables homes have undergone renovation or complete rebuilds, but the neighborhood still offers pockets of the past, such as Embarcadero Oaks intact vintage dwellings. The crown jewel of Green Gables, Embarcadero Oaks most famous street is Fulton, which is transformed every December into “Christmas Tree Lane”.
The established residential neighborhood of Green Gables, with its 80+ years of home styles, offers a look through the ages. Homebuyers can find the perfect place to call home in one of the peaceful, unique sub-boroughs Green Gables has to offer.
- Large variety of pre and post-war home styles as well as many modern manors
- Comprised of a number of sub-districts located north of Midtown, offering variety in architectural style and atmosphere
- Access to Palo Alto’s excellent public schools
- Significant presence of Eichler homes
- Many shady, tree-lined streets
- Regionally famous annual “Christmas Tree Lane” on Fulton Street
- Easy accessibility to Highway 101
History of Green Gables, Palo Alto
Green Gables, as with many of Palo Alto’s boroughs, was once part of the Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito granted to Maria Antonia Mesa in 1841.
Maria was married to Don Rafael Soto, son of an explorer who came to California with the DeAnza party. Soto was a savvy businessman, building a landing on San Francisquito Creek and shipping lumber, hides and tallow to San Francisco. Unfortunately, Soto staked his claim on the north side of the creek, on land already granted to the Arguellos. After his death, his widow Maria, moved to the south side of the creek and received a land grant that extended from the creek to Oregon Expressway and from the bay to El Camino Real.
Soto’s daughter Maria Luisa, married a British sea captain who had been living on leased rancho lands. They built a home in 1905 that still stands today.
At one point, Green Gables was rural in nature, its land used by farmers. Many homeowners on Luisa Court enjoy extra deep lots that were designed specifically for those wanting to raise crops and poultry.
The current compilation of Green Gables sub-districts includes dwellings from both the pre and post-ware eras. There are complete boroughs that date from the 1930s and 1940s, their homes all fundamentally unchanged. Green Gables is also where Joseph Eichler constructed a number of developments early in his burgeoning career.
In fact, Luisa Court is just one example in Green Gables of old meeting new, where mid-century modern Eichler homes built in 1951 are adjacent to pre-war farmhouses. This blending of two distinct periods makes Green Gables one of Palo Alto’s distinct districts.