Glance at a map of Palo Alto, and first to catch your eye will the unique circular layout of the Fairmeadow neighborhood. It’s a Palo Alto rite of passage to get lost in the wheeling streets that resemble massive round-a-bouts. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and designed to slow through-traffic, the neighborhood’s distinct layout gives its residents an unparalleled sense of security. At any hour you’ll find joggers, cyclists, and pedestrians out for a stroll. It’s also ideal for families raising young children, who can play in the safety of their own driveways and streets without the dangers of traffic.
The circling maze of streets isn’t the neighborhood's only interesting characteristic — it also stands out for its concentration of iconically Californian Eichler homes. With slanted flat roofs and their generous incorporation of glass in order to maximize sunlight, Fairmeadow is one of two Eichler neighborhoods built in Palo Alto in the 50’s. In total, the neighborhood boasts 300 Eichler homes. Most have remained in their original structure — there are just a few renovations into two-story homes of similar style — and many feature their own unique flairs, like splashes of color and architectural accents.
As a community, Fairmeadow is a young family’s haven. Expect family-focused grill-outs, garage sales, and summer block parties like the “Circle Party” hosted every August featuring snow cones and bouncy houses. The neighborhood is right next to the 21-acre Mitchell Park, which includes the modern Mitchell Park Library, a community center, unique playgrounds, and a café. It’s also right next to the eponymous Fairmeadow Elementary, Hoover Elementary, and JLS Middle School, all of premier educational quality at a national level. Residents can satisfy their shopping and grocery needs at Charleston Shopping Center and hit the gym at the YMCA, each a mere couple of blocks away.
For its strong family appeal, Fairmeadow housing prices have rocketed in the last decade despite the properties’ notable lack of redevelopment. With most residents being homeowners and a high locational desirability, you can expect strong neighborhood stability and low resident turnover — if you’re lucky enough to snag a property.
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