BWprewarhomePre-World War II homes, usually mid-range to top end. Look here if you want an old-fashioned, elegant neighborhood at a slight discount to Palo Alto’s other leading neighborhoods.

Boundaries: Alma, Park Blvd., El Camino Real, Churchill. Map boundaries are approximate due to my limitations as a map maker. Neighborhood boundaries may be subjective. Boundaries and other information on this site should be verified before being relied upon.

Overview: A pocket of homes sub-divided in 1923, similar in age, architecture and appeal to nearby Old Palo Alto. Generally small but elegant houses and the narrowest streets in Palo Alto give this neighborhood plenty of charm. According to a guide to local architecture, “the street pattern is adapted from English landscape gardens and is a planning pattern quite popular at the time”. One drive along these narrow obstacle courses will persuade you that no one planned on on-street parking.

Housing stock: Southgate was built mostly in the mid-to-late 1920s, although a number of homes were built in the late ’30s and a handful through the early ’50s. Homes run the gamut in size, although this isn’t an area of mansions—the lots aren’t big enough. Many homes are small but most have more than one bath. The neighborhood CC&Rs drawn in the 1920s prescribe a minimum value for homes built there, and while the amount is long since obsolete this restriction did prevent egregiously cheap houses. There’s also some new construction.

Affordability: Pricey but a relative bargain compared to Crescent Park and nearby Old Palo Alto. Southgate sells much like the secondary areas of Old Palo Alto, not surprising given the similarities in location, ambience, home and lot size.

Lot sizes: Most are in the 6500-7000 sq.ft. range, although a few are larger and quite a few are in the 5s.

Schools: Palo Alto Unified School District, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306. Main number (650) 329-3700.

Finding your neighborhood school                           PAUSD school evaluations

School attendance boundaries are subject to change and schools are subject to availability. Verify enrollment with the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Amenities: Convenient to Peers Park, 1899 Park Boulevard (4.7 acres): play structure, two tennis courts, basketball court, picnic tables and benches, tot lot, apparatus play area, rest rooms, jogging path. Peers Park Field House (650) 329-2697.

Shopping: Town & Country Village, shopping on El Camino.

Neighborhoods with similar ambience: Locally, the southern fringe of Old Palo Alto also has homes from about the same era and also on smaller lots. There’s a neighborhood in San Mateo called Glazenwood that’s remarkably similar. For an overview of other similar areas go to Crescent Park.

Interested in buying in Southgate or in a similar area? Please contact me at

copyright © John Fyten 2004-14

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