Palo Alto, California
Overview
Palo Alto is a California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 charter city
Charter city
A charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, provincial, regional or national laws. In locations where city charters are allowed by law, a city can adopt or modify its organizing charter by decision of its administration...

 located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County is a county located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 it had a population of 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose. The highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley...

, in the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 of California, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto
East Palo Alto, California
East Palo Alto is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States.-Overview:As of the 2010 census, the population of East Palo Alto was 28,155. It is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula, roughly halfway between the cities of San Francisco and San Jose...

, Mountain View
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

, Los Altos
Los Altos, California
Los Altos is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census....

, Los Altos Hills
Los Altos Hills, California
Los Altos Hills is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,922 at the 2010 census. Located in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills is one of the wealthiest cities in the nation.-Strictly residential:...

, Stanford
Stanford, California
Stanford is a census-designated place in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census....

, Portola Valley
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 4,353 at the 2010 census. It was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1769.Portola Valley is one of the...

, and Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. It is named after a redwood tree called El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto is a coast redwood tree located in El Palo Alto Park on the banks of San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto, California, United States...

. The city includes portions of Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, is headquarters to a number of Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

 high-technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 companies, including Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

, VMware
VMware
VMware, Inc. is a company providing virtualization software founded in 1998 and based in Palo Alto, California, USA. The company was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004, and operates as a separate software subsidiary ....

, Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. It was the only automaker building and selling a zero-emission sports car, the Tesla Roadster, in serial production...

, Ning, IDEO
IDEO
IDEO is an international design and innovation consultancy founded in Palo Alto, California, United States with other locations in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Munich, Shanghai, and Singapore, as well as Mumbai, Seoul, and Tokyo. The company helps design products, services,...

, Palantir Technologies
Palantir Technologies
Palantir Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia, New York City and Covent Garden, London, is a software company that produces the Palantir Government and Palantir Finance platforms...

, and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

, and has served as an incubator to several other high-technology companies, such as Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

, Logitech
Logitech
Logitech International S.A. is a global provider of personal peripherals for computers and other digital platforms headquartered in Romanel-sur-Morges, Switzerland. The company develops and markets products like peripheral devices for PCs, including keyboards, mice, microphones, game controllers...

, Intuit, Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was a company that sold :computers, computer components, :computer software, and :information technology services. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982...

, and PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

.
Encyclopedia
Palo Alto is a California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 charter city
Charter city
A charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, provincial, regional or national laws. In locations where city charters are allowed by law, a city can adopt or modify its organizing charter by decision of its administration...

 located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County is a county located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 it had a population of 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose. The highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley...

, in the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 of California, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto
East Palo Alto, California
East Palo Alto is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States.-Overview:As of the 2010 census, the population of East Palo Alto was 28,155. It is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula, roughly halfway between the cities of San Francisco and San Jose...

, Mountain View
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

, Los Altos
Los Altos, California
Los Altos is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census....

, Los Altos Hills
Los Altos Hills, California
Los Altos Hills is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,922 at the 2010 census. Located in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills is one of the wealthiest cities in the nation.-Strictly residential:...

, Stanford
Stanford, California
Stanford is a census-designated place in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census....

, Portola Valley
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 4,353 at the 2010 census. It was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1769.Portola Valley is one of the...

, and Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. It is named after a redwood tree called El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto is a coast redwood tree located in El Palo Alto Park on the banks of San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto, California, United States...

. The city includes portions of Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, is headquarters to a number of Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

 high-technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 companies, including Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

, VMware
VMware
VMware, Inc. is a company providing virtualization software founded in 1998 and based in Palo Alto, California, USA. The company was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004, and operates as a separate software subsidiary ....

, Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. It was the only automaker building and selling a zero-emission sports car, the Tesla Roadster, in serial production...

, Ning, IDEO
IDEO
IDEO is an international design and innovation consultancy founded in Palo Alto, California, United States with other locations in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Munich, Shanghai, and Singapore, as well as Mumbai, Seoul, and Tokyo. The company helps design products, services,...

, Palantir Technologies
Palantir Technologies
Palantir Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia, New York City and Covent Garden, London, is a software company that produces the Palantir Government and Palantir Finance platforms...

, and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

, and has served as an incubator to several other high-technology companies, such as Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

, Logitech
Logitech
Logitech International S.A. is a global provider of personal peripherals for computers and other digital platforms headquartered in Romanel-sur-Morges, Switzerland. The company develops and markets products like peripheral devices for PCs, including keyboards, mice, microphones, game controllers...

, Intuit, Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was a company that sold :computers, computer components, :computer software, and :information technology services. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982...

, and PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

. As of the 2010 census
United States Census, 2010
The Twenty-third United States Census, known as Census 2010 or the 2010 Census, is the current national census of the United States. National Census Day was April 1, 2010 and is the reference date used in enumerating individuals...

, the city had a total population of 64,403 residents. Palo Alto was established by Leland Stanford when he established Stanford University, following the death of his son Leland Stanford Jr. on March 13, 1884. The tuition for Stanford back then was free.

History

Palo Alto's earliest recorded history stems from 1769, when Gaspar de Portolà
Gaspar de Portolà
Gaspar de Portolà i Rovira was a soldier, governor of Baja and Alta California , explorer and founder of San Diego and Monterey. He was born in Os de Balaguer, province of Lleida, in Catalonia, Spain, of Catalan nobility. Don Gaspar served as a soldier in the Spanish army in Italy and Portugal...

 noted an Ohlone
Ohlone
The Ohlone people, also known as the Costanoan, are a Native American people of the central California coast. When Spanish explorers and missionaries arrived in the late 18th century, the Ohlone inhabited the area along the coast from San Francisco Bay through Monterey Bay to the lower Salinas Valley...

 settlement
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

. This remains an area of known Indian mounds. A plaque is erected at Middlefield Road and Embarcadero Road to commemorate this area.

The city got its name from a stand of tall redwood trees, El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto
El Palo Alto is a coast redwood tree located in El Palo Alto Park on the banks of San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto, California, United States...

, by the banks of the San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek is a creek that flows into southwest San Francisco Bay in California, United States of America. Historically it was called the Arroyo de San Francisco by Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776...

 bordering Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. One of these trees can still be found by the railroad trestle near Alma Street (the other was destroyed during a storm in the late 20th century). A plaque recounts the story of a 63-man, 200-horse expedition from San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

 to Monterey
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

 from November 7–11, 1769. The group overshot and reached the San Francisco Bay instead. Thinking the bay was too wide to cross, the group decided to turn around near el palo alto.

About 1827 Rafael Soto, tenth child and son of De Anza Expedition settler Ygnacio Soto and María Bárbara Espinosa de Lugo of Alta, California, came to stay with Máximo Martínez at his Rancho Corte de Madera
Rancho Corte de Madera
Rancho Corte de Madera was a Mexican land grant in present day Santa Clara County, California given in 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Máximo Martínez. The name translates as "the place where lumber is cut"...

 for seven years. Located south of the San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek is a creek that flows into southwest San Francisco Bay in California, United States of America. Historically it was called the Arroyo de San Francisco by Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776...

, west of today's I-280
Interstate 280 (California)
Interstate 280 is a 57-mile long north–south Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. It connects San Jose and San Francisco, running along just to the west of the cities of San Francisco Peninsula for most of its route.I-280 from its northern end at King...

, Rancho Corte de Madera covered most of Portola Valley
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 4,353 at the 2010 census. It was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1769.Portola Valley is one of the...

 to Skyline Boulevard
California State Route 35
State Route 35 in the U.S. state of California, generally known as Skyline Boulevard, is a two-lane road running along the western ridge of Silicon Valley in California. It runs from Highway 17 to San Francisco at State Route 1. It provides scenic views of both the Santa Cruz Mountains, the...

 extending south to about Foothill College
Foothill College
Foothill College is a community college located in Los Altos Hills, California and is part of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. It was founded on January 15, 1957 by Founding Superintendent and President Dr. Calvin C. Flint.-History:...

. In 1835, Rafael Soto and family settled near the San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek
San Francisquito Creek is a creek that flows into southwest San Francisco Bay in California, United States of America. Historically it was called the Arroyo de San Francisco by Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776...

 near Newell and Middlefield, selling goods to travelers. Rafael Soto died in 1839, but his wife, Maria Antonia Mesa, was granted Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito
Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito
Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito was a Mexican land grant in present day Santa Clara County, California given in 1841 by Governor Juan Alvarado to María Antonia Mesa. The name means "ranch at the bend in San Francisquito Creek"...

 in 1841.

Their daughter María Luisa Soto married in 1839, John Coppinger, who was the grantee of Rancho Cañada de Raymundo
Rancho Cañada de Raymundo
Rancho Cañada de Raymundo was a Mexican land grant in present day San Mateo County, California given in 1840 by Governor Juan Alvarado to John Coppinger. The two and one half league long by three quarter league wide grant consisted the eastern slopes and valleys in the present day Woodside area...

. Rancho Cañada de Raymundo was West of San Francisquito Creek, and began at Alambique Creek, the north border of Rancho Corte de Madera, and extended north, including present day Woodside. Bear Gulch Creek (Bear Creek) flowed on his land in Portola Valley
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 4,353 at the 2010 census. It was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1769.Portola Valley is one of the...

. The rancho also abutted Buelna's grant near Skyline Boulevard
California State Route 35
State Route 35 in the U.S. state of California, generally known as Skyline Boulevard, is a two-lane road running along the western ridge of Silicon Valley in California. It runs from Highway 17 to San Francisco at State Route 1. It provides scenic views of both the Santa Cruz Mountains, the...

 and Matadero Creek
Matadero Creek
Matadero Creek is a stream originating in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The creek flows in a northeasterly direction for until it enters the Palo Alto Flood Basin, then the Mayfield Slough and then southwest San Francisco Bay...

. Upon Coppinger's death, Maria inherited it and later married a visiting boat captain, John Greer. Greer owned a home on the property that is now Town & Country Village on Embarcadero and El Camino Real
El Camino Real (California)
El Camino Real and sometimes associated with Calle Real usually refers to the 600-mile California Mission Trail, connecting the former Alta California's 21 missions , 4 presidios, and several pueblos, stretching from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego...

. Greer Avenue and Court are named for him. To the west of Rafael Soto, near El Camino and following the Creek, was Rancho San Francisquito granted in 1839, to Antonio Buelna and wife Maria Concepcion.

To the south of the Sotos, the brothers, Secundino and Teodoro Robles, in 1849 bought Rancho Rincon de San Francisquito
Rancho Rincon de San Francisquito
Rancho Rincon de San Francisquito was a Mexican land grant in present day Santa Clara County, California given in 1841 by Governor Juan Alvarado to José Peña. The name means "corner or bend of the San Francisquito" referring to San Francisquito Creek...

 from José Peña, the 1841 grantee. The grant extended from San Francisquito Creek, Alpine Road and Bishop Ln. (behind Stanford Shopping Center) and golf course. Then South along the Santa Cruz Foothills between Junipero Serra & Hwy 280 to the (Intersection of Matadero Creek/ Hillview /Miranda) & then SW near the intersection of Page Mill & Arastradero Rd. (where the Jone's House was), then east down Arastradero Rd. to the north property line of Alta Mesa Memorial Park
Alta Mesa Memorial Park
Alta Mesa Memorial Park is a nondenominational burial ground located in Palo Alto, California. The facility was established in 1904 It includes traditional burial plots, a mausoleum and columbarium.-Notable burials:*Tennessee Ernie Ford, musician...

 and Terman Park. Follow the trail of what was once the old stage road over Adobe Creek/Yuegas Creek to El Camino Real & then east on San Antonio Rd. to the Bay marshes passing over the RR and what was once the Jeffry's House & Stables. The property then went along the bay to the Embarcadero, a major boundary in the day. Then up to the Stanford University gates, up Galvez and along Campus way to the hills near the golf course. The grant was bounded on the south by Mariano Castro's Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas
Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas
Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was a Mexican land grant in present day Santa Clara County, California given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Francisco Estrada. The name means "pasture of the ewes " in Spanish. The rancho lands encompassed the present day cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain...

 grant across San Antonio Road. That's the Robles Rancho, about 80% of Palo Alto and Stanford University. It was whittled down by 1863 through courts to 6981 acres (28.3 km²). Stories say their grand hacienda was built on the former meager adobe of José Peña near Ferne off San Antonio Road, midway between Middlefield and Alma Street. Their hacienda hosted fiestas and bull fights. It was ruined in the 1906 earthquake and its lumber was used to build a large barn nearby which it is said lingered until the early 1950s. In 1853, they sold 250 acres (1 km²), comprising the present day Barron Park, Matadero Creek and Stanford Business Park, to Elisha Oscar Crosby, who coined Mayfield. In 1880 Secundino Robles, father to twenty-nine children, still lived near present day Sears store.

Many of the Spanish names in the Palo Alto area represent the local heritage and descriptive terms and former residents. Pena Court, Miranda Avenue, which was essentially Foothill Expwy was the married name of Juana Briones and the name occurs in Courts and Avenues others in Palo Alto to Mountain View in the quadrant where she owned vast areas between Stanford Univ., Grant Road in Mountain View and west of El Camino. Yerba Buena was to her credit. Rinconada was the major Mexican land grant name.
The township of Mayfield was formed in 1855, in what is now southern Palo Alto. Leland Stanford
Leland Stanford
Amasa Leland Stanford was an American tycoon, industrialist, robber baron, politician and founder of Stanford University.-Early years:...

 starting buying land in the area in 1876 for a horse farm, which became a university in 1891, dedicated to his son who died of typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

 at age 15 in 1884. In 1886, Stanford came to Mayfield, interested in founding his university there. He had a train stop
California Avenue (Caltrain station)
California Avenue station is a Caltrain station at milepost 31.7 in Palo Alto, California. It stops at the historical town center of Mayfield, which was annexed by the town of Palo Alto in 1925...

 created near his school on Mayfield's downtown street, Lincoln Street (now named California Avenue). However, he had one condition: alcohol had to be banned from the town. Known for its 13 rowdy saloons, Mayfield rejected his requests for reform. This led him to drive the formation of Palo Alto as a Temperance Towns
Temperance Towns
Temperance Towns were settlements planned, financed, and populated by followers of the temperance movement of the late 19th century.* Prohibition Park, New York , began as a summer colony for temperance followers in Manhattan and was financed by New York businessmen* Vineland, New Jersey, was...

 in 1894 with the help of his friend Timothy Hopkins of the Southern Pacific Railroad who bought 740 acres (3 km²) of private land in 1887 for the new townsite. The Hopkins Tract, bounded by El Camino Real, San Francisquito Creek, Boyce, Channing, Melville, and Hopkins Avenues, and Embarcadero Road, was proclaimed a local Heritage District during Palo's Alto Centennial in 1994. Stanford set up his university, Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, and a train stop (on University Avenue) by his new town. With Stanford's support, saloon days faded and Palo Alto grew to the size of Mayfield. On July 2, 1925, Palo Alto voters approved the annexation of Mayfield and the two communities were officially consolidated on July 6, 1925. This saga explains why Palo Alto has two downtown areas: one along University Avenue and one along California Avenue.

The Mayfield News wrote its own obituary four days later:
Many of Stanford University's first faculty members settled in the Professorville
Professorville
Professorville is a Registered Historic District in Palo Alto, California that contains homes that were built by Stanford University professors. The historic district is bounded by Kingsley and Addison avenues and the cross streets of Ramona and Waverly. The community considers the district to be...

 neighborhood of Palo Alto. Professorville, now a registered national historic district, is bounded by Kingsley, Lincoln, and Addison avenues and the cross streets of Ramona, Bryant, and Waverley. The district includes a large number of well preserved residences dating from the 1890s, including 833 Kingsley, 345 Lincoln and 450 Kingsley. 1044 Bryant was the home of Russell Varian, co-inventor of the Klystron tube. The Federal Telegraph
Federal Telegraph Company
The Federal Telegraph Company was a United States communications company that played a pivotal role in the 20th century in the development of radio communications. Founded in Palo Alto, California in 1909, it would eventually merge in August 1927 with the Mackay Companies...

 laboratory site, situated at 218 Channing, is a California Historical Landmark
California Historical Landmark
California Historical Landmarks are buildings, structures, sites, or places in the state of California that have been determined to have statewide historical significance by meeting at least one of the criteria listed below:...

 recognizing Lee de Forest's
Lee De Forest
Lee De Forest was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them. De Forest is one of the fathers of the "electronic age", as the Audion helped to usher in the widespread use...

 1911 invention of the vacuum tube
Vacuum tube
In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

 and electronic oscillator
Electronic oscillator
An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. They are widely used in innumerable electronic devices...

 at that location. While not open to the public, the garage that housed the launch of Hewlett Packard is located at 367 Addison Avenue. Hewlett Packard recently restored the house and garage. A second historic district on Ramona Street
Ramona Street Architectural District
The Ramona Street Architectural District, in downtown Palo Alto, California, is a Registered Historic District. This portion of the street, between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, is a highly distinctive business block...

 can be found downtown between University and Hamilton Avenues.
The Palo Alto Chinese School
Palo Alto Chinese School
Founded in 1976, Palo Alto Chinese School is located in Palo Alto, California and is the oldest Chinese school in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school was formed with a merger between a Cantonese school and a Mandarin school...

 is the oldest in the whole Bay Area.

Environmental features

Palo Alto has a number of significant natural habitats, including estuarine, riparian, and oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 forest. Many of these habitats are visible in Foothill Park, which is owned by the city. The Charleston Slough contains a rich marsh and littoral zone, providing feeding areas for a variety of shorebirds and other estuarine wildlife.

Palo Alto is in the south-eastern section of the San Francisco Peninsula
San Francisco Peninsula
The San Francisco Peninsula is a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area that separates the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. On its northern tip is the City and County of San Francisco. Its southern base is in Santa Clara County, including the cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Mountain...

. It is bordered to the north by East Palo Alto
East Palo Alto, California
East Palo Alto is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States.-Overview:As of the 2010 census, the population of East Palo Alto was 28,155. It is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula, roughly halfway between the cities of San Francisco and San Jose...

, to the east by Mountain View
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

, to the southeast and south by Los Altos
Los Altos, California
Los Altos is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census....

 and Los Altos Hills
Los Altos Hills, California
Los Altos Hills is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,922 at the 2010 census. Located in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills is one of the wealthiest cities in the nation.-Strictly residential:...

, to the southwest by Portola Valley
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 4,353 at the 2010 census. It was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1769.Portola Valley is one of the...

, and to the west by Stanford
Stanford, California
Stanford is a census-designated place in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census....

 and Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 25.8 square miles (66.8 km²). 23.9 square miles (61.9 km²) of it is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km²) (or 7.38%) is water.

The official elevation is 56 feet (17 m) above sea level, but the city boundaries reach well into the peninsula hills. There are signs denoting the city limits on Skyline Boulevard (highway 35) and the Stevens Canyon trail (San Andreas fault
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault is a continental strike-slip fault that runs a length of roughly through California in the United States. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip...

 rift zone).

Climate

Typical of the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

, Palo Alto has a Mediterranean Climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Typically as the sun goes down the fog bank flows over the foothills to the west and covers the night sky, thus creating a blanket that helps trap the summer warmth absorbed during the day.
In January, average temperatures range from 38.5 °F (3.6 °C) to 57.4 °F (14.1 °C). In July, average temperatures range from 54.9 °F (12.7 °C) to 78.4 °F (25.8 °C). The record high temperature was 107 °F (41.7 °C) on June 15, 1961, and the record low temperature was 15 °F (-9.4 °C) on November 17, 2003. Temperatures reach 90°F (32°C) or higher on an average of 9.9 days. Temperatures drop to 32°F (0°C) or lower on an average of 16.1 days.

Due to the Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central California, United States. They form a ridge along the San Francisco Peninsula, south of San Francisco, separating the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley, and continuing south,...

 to the west, there is a "rain shadow
Rain shadow
A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a "shadow" of dryness behind them. As shown by the diagram to the right, the warm moist air is "pulled" by the prevailing winds over a mountain...

" in Palo Alto, resulting in an average annual rainfall of only 15.32 inches (389.1 mm). Measurable rainfall occurs on an average of 57 days annually. The wettest year on record was 1983 with 32.51 inches (825.8 mm) and the driest year was 1976 with 7.34 inches (186.4 mm). The most rainfall in one month was 12.43 inches (315.7 mm) in February 1998 and the most rainfall in one day was 3.75 inches (95.3 mm) on February 3, 1998. Measurable snowfall is rare in Palo Alto, but 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) fell on January 21, 1962.
(The annual average high in degrees centigrade is 20,7°C and the average low 8,1°C.)

Local government

Palo Alto was incorporated in 1894, and in 1909 created, by municipal charter
Municipal charter
A city charter or town charter is a legal document establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the middle ages....

, a local government consisting of a fifteen-member City Council, with responsibilities for various governmental functions delegated to appointed committees. In 1950, the City adopted a Council-manager government
Council-manager government
The council–manager government form is one of two predominant forms of municipal government in the United States; the other common form of local government is the mayor-council government form, which characteristically occurs in large cities...

. Several appointed committees continue to advise the City Council on specialized issues, such as land use planning, utilities, and libraries, but these committees no longer have direct authority over City staff. Currently, the City Council has only nine members.

The terms of the Mayor and Vice-Mayor are for one year and expire at the first meeting in January. The General Municipal Election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, in odd-numbered years. Council terms are for four years. A former Mayor once described her position as "I get a parking spot; that's about it".

Politics

The city is strongly Democratic with 52% of those registered with any party being Democrats, versus 25% registered with the Republican Party. In the state legislature
California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of California. It is a bicameral body consisting of the lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members, and the upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members...

 Palo Alto is located in the 11th Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

 District, represented by Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Joe Simitian
Joe Simitian
Saren Joseph Simitian is a Democratic California State Senator elected in 2004. Simitian represents the 11th Senate District, which encompasses all or part of 13 cities in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties....

, and in the 21st Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 District, represented by Democrat Rich Gordon
Rich Gordon
Richard S. Gordon is an American politician from Menlo Park, California who currently serves in the California State Assembly representing the 21st district...

. Federally, Palo Alto is located in California's 14th congressional district
California's 14th congressional district
California's 14th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California. It is located between San Francisco and San Jose. The district includes portions of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties and most notably contains part of Silicon Valley. Major cities in...

, which has a Cook PVI
Cook Partisan Voting Index
The Cook Partisan Voting Index , sometimes referred to as simply the Partisan Voting Index , is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole...

 of D+21 and is represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo
Anna Eshoo
Anna Georges Eshoo is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, which includes part of Silicon Valley, includes the cities of Redwood City, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto...

.

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Palo Alto had a population of 64,403. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 2,497.5 people per square mile (964.3/km²). The racial makeup of Palo Alto was 41,359 (64.2%) White, 1,197 (1.9%) African American, 121 (0.2%) Native American, 17,461 (27.1%) Asian, 142 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,426 (2.2%) from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2,697 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,974 persons (6.2%).

The Census reported that 63,820 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 205 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 378 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 26,493 households, out of which 8,624 (32.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,975 (52.7%) were opposite-sex married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 1,843 (7.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 659 (2.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 979 (3.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships
POSSLQ
POSSLQ is an abbreviation for "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of cohabitation in American households....

, and 188 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 7,982 households (30.1%) were made up of individuals and 3,285 (12.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41. There were 16,477 families
Family (U.S. Census)
A family or family household is defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes as "a householder and one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. They do not include same-sex married couples even if the marriage was performed in a state...

 (62.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.04.

The population was spread out with 15,079 people (23.4%) under the age of 18, 3,141 people (4.9%) aged 18 to 24, 17,159 people (26.6%) aged 25 to 44, 18,018 people (28.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,006 people (17.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

There were 28,216 housing units at an average density of 1,094.2 per square mile (422.5/km²), of which 14,766 (55.7%) were owner-occupied, and 11,727 (44.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.6%. 39,176 people (60.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 24,644 people (38.3%) lived in rental housing units.

2000

As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 58,598 people, 25,216 households, and 14,600 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 955.8/km² (2,475.3/mi²). There were 26,048 housing units at an average density of 424.9/km² (1,100.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.76% white, 2.02% African American, 0.21% Native American, 17.22% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 3.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.65% of the population.

There were 25,216 households, of which 27.2% had resident children under the age of 18, 48.5% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $119,046, and the median income for a family was $153,197. Males had a median income of $91,051 versus $60,202 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $56,257. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over. The difference between the household income and the family income can be explained by the fact that some areas of Palo Alto are populated by graduate students from Stanford University who do not live on the Stanford campus.

Housing

Palo Alto, north of Oregon Expressway, is filled with older homes, including Craftsman
American Craftsman
The American Craftsman Style, or the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is an American domestic architectural, interior design, landscape design, applied arts, and decorative arts style and lifestyle philosophy that began in the last years of the 19th century. As a comprehensive design and art...

 and California Colonials, some of which date back to the 1890s but most of which were built in the first four decades of the 20th century. South of Oregon Expressway, the homes, including many Joseph Eichler
Joseph Eichler
Joseph Eichler was a 20th century post-war U.S. American real estate developer known for developing distinctive residential subdivisions of Mid-Century modern style Tract housing in California, United States. He was one of the influential advocates of bringing modern architecture from custom...

-designed or Eichler-style houses, were primarily built in the first 20 years after World War II.

While the city contains homes that now cost anywhere from $800,000 to well in excess of $40 million, much of Palo Alto's housing stock is in the style of California mid-century middle-class suburbia. It has highly rated public schools (see: Paly
Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto Senior High School, known locally as "Paly," was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest high schools in the region. Located in Palo Alto, California, United States, Paly is nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is adjacent to Stanford University. Paly is known for its academically...

 and Gunn
Gunn High School
Henry M. Gunn High School is one of two public high schools in Palo Alto, California. Gunn High School is a four-year high school with a current enrollment of just over 1,900 students. The Class of 1966 was the first class to graduate from Gunn High School. The academic year has two semesters with...

), a high quality of life
Quality of life
The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of...

, and a vibrant downtown area. The median home sale price for all of Palo Alto was more than $1.3 Million in 2006. and $1,363,000 in July 2009 Palo Alto ranks in as the 5th most expensive city in the United States, with an average home sales price of $1,677,000 as of 2007. Palo Alto is by some measures the most expensive college town in the United States; as a result, most Stanford University students live on campus.

Economy

Palo Alto serves as a central economic focal point of the Silicon Valley, and is home to more than 7,000 businesses employing more than 98,000 people. Many prominent technology firms reside in the Stanford Research Park
Stanford Research Park
Stanford Research Park is a technology park located in Palo Alto, California on land owned by Stanford University. Built in 1951, as Stanford Industrial Park, it claims to be the world's first technology-focused office park...

 on Page Mill Road, while nearby Sand Hill Road in the adjacent city of Menlo Park is a notable hub of venture capitalists. The city's economy generally follows the economic trends of the rest of the Silicon Valley. Well-known companies and research facilities headquartered in Palo Alto include:
  • Amazon.com's A9.com
    A9.com
    A9.com is a subsidiary of Amazon.com based in Palo Alto, California that develops search engine technology. A9 currently has over 100 employees in its Palo Alto, Bangalore, and Dublin offices.A9 has worked in 3 areas over the years....

  • AOL Inc.
  • Aricent
    Aricent
    Aricent Group is a global innovation and technology services company. The company develops software and provides technology services to application, infrastructure, and service providers with operations in 19 countries worldwide....

  • Better Place
  • CPI International
    CPI International
    CPI International, Inc. is the holding company for Communications & Power Industries, the largest manufacturer and rebuilder of electron devices in the United States. C&PI was founded in 1995 when Varian Associates sold its electron-device business to concentrate on medical systems...

  • Danger, Inc.
  • Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

  • Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

  • IDEO
    IDEO
    IDEO is an international design and innovation consultancy founded in Palo Alto, California, United States with other locations in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Munich, Shanghai, and Singapore, as well as Mumbai, Seoul, and Tokyo. The company helps design products, services,...

  • Mopay
    Mopay
    mopay is an internationally leading mobile payment platform represented in the USA by mopay Inc. mopay and mopay Inc. are registered trademarks of MindMatics Group, a Germany based mobile marketing expert.- History :...

  • Nanosys
    Nanosys
    Nanosys is a nanotechnology company located in Palo Alto, California founded in 2001.Nanosys, Inc designs products based on a technology platform that incorporates high performance inorganic nanostructures...

  • Ning
  • PAIX
    PAIX
    PAIX, the Peering And Internet eXchange, is a neutral Internet exchange point operated by Switch and Data.PAIX began operations in 1996 as Palo Alto Internet Exchange in Palo Alto, California, and was owned and operated by Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC...

  • Palantir Technologies
    Palantir Technologies
    Palantir Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia, New York City and Covent Garden, London, is a software company that produces the Palantir Government and Palantir Finance platforms...

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation
    Palo Alto Medical Foundation
    The Palo Alto Medical Foundation for Health Care, Research and Education is a not-for-profit health care organization with medical offices in more than 15 cities throughout the Bay Area. PAMF’s roots can be traced back to 1930 when Dr. Russel Van Arsdale Lee founded the Palo Alto Medical Clinic...

  • Palo Alto Research Center
  • Socialtext
    Socialtext
    Socialtext Incorporated is a company based in Palo Alto, California that produces enterprise social software, comprising an integrated suite of web-based social software applications including microblogging, user profile, directories, groups, personal dashboards using OpenSocial widgets, and shared...

  • Space Systems/Loral
    Space Systems/Loral
    Space Systems/Loral , of Palo Alto, California, is the wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications. It was acquired in 1990 for $715 million by Loral Corp. from Ford Motor Company as the Space Systems Division of Ford Aerospace...

  • Tapulous
    Tapulous
    Tapulous, Inc. is an American software and video game developer and publisher headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company as part of the Disney Interactive Media Group...

  • Tesla Motors
    Tesla Motors
    Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. It was the only automaker building and selling a zero-emission sports car, the Tesla Roadster, in serial production...

  • Tibco Software
    Tibco Software
    TIBCO Software Inc. is a provider of infrastructure software for companies to use on-premise or as part of cloud computing environments. TIBCO manages information, decisions, processes and applications in real-time for over 4,000 customers worldwide...

  • Varian Medical Systems
    Varian Medical Systems
    Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, California, is a manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer...

  • VMware
    VMware
    VMware, Inc. is a company providing virtualization software founded in 1998 and based in Palo Alto, California, USA. The company was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004, and operates as a separate software subsidiary ....

  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a law firm in the United States that specializes in business, securities, and intellectual property law. The firm's Chairman, Larry Sonsini, is well known as an attorney and advisor to technology companies....

  • MetricStream
    MetricStream
    MetricStream is a Governance, Risk and Compliance Management platform provider, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. MetricStream solutions are based on its Enterprise Compliance Platform , which is built on the J2EE architecture.Details...


Other notable companies with significant presences in Palo Alto include:
  • Accenture
    Accenture
    Accenture plc is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. It is the largest consulting firm in the world and is a Fortune Global 500 company. As of September 2011, the company had more than 236,000 employees across...

     (Former North American HQ. The main HQ now resides in Ireland)
  • BMW
    BMW
    Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

     (Technology)
  • CNF Inc.
  • Dell
    Dell
    Dell, Inc. is an American multinational information technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest...

  • EPRI
  • Genencor (based in Palo Alto)
  • Groupon
    Groupon
    Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Groupon was launched in November 2008, the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston, New York City, and Toronto...

  • Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

  • Slam Content (now closed)
  • Merrill Lynch
    Merrill Lynch
    Merrill Lynch is the wealth management division of Bank of America. With over 15,000 financial advisors and $2.2 trillion in client assets it is the world's largest brokerage. Formerly known as Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., prior to 2009 the firm was publicly owned and traded on the New York...

     (largest office outside New York)
  • Nokia Research Center
  • Onlive
    OnLive
    OnLive is a cloud gaming platform: the games are synchronized, rendered, and stored on remote servers and delivered via the Internet.The service is available using the OnLive Game System, PCs running Microsoft Windows and Intel-based Macs with OS X 10.5.8 or later...

  • Posedge Inc
  • Rave Wireless
    Rave Wireless
    Rave Mobile Safety designs applications that turn student and employee cell phones into powerful safety devices.Rave’s software keeps over 1.5 million individuals safe, at over 150 organizations nationwide...

     (founded in Palo Alto)
  • SAP AG
    SAP AG
    SAP AG is a German software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software...

     (North American Labs)
  • Schering-Plough Biopharma
  • Skype
    Skype
    Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chat over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system...

  • The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....



In addition, Palo Alto has a lively retail and restaurant trade. Stanford Shopping Center
Stanford Shopping Center
Stanford Shopping Center is an upscale open air shopping mall located on El Camino Real at Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto, California. It is on the campus of Stanford University although the university only owns the land and not the actual buildings or stores...

, an upscale open air shopping center established in 1955, and downtown Palo Alto (centered on University Avenue) are popular eating venues and shopping destinations.

Palo Alto is also home to the first street-level Apple Store, the first Apple mini store, the first Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is a foods supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas which emphasizes "natural and organic products." The company has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S...

 store on the West Coast, and the first Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret is an American retailer of women's wear, lingerie and beauty products. It is the largest segment of publicly-traded Limited Brands with sales of over US$5 billion and an operating income of $1 billion in 2006...

. It was also home to the first Mrs. Fields
Mrs. Fields
Mrs. Fields Famous Brands is a franchisor in the snack food industry, with Mrs. Fields and TCBY as its core brands. Through its franchisees’ retail stores, it is one of the largest retailers of freshly baked, on-premises specialty cookies and brownies in the US and the largest retailer of...

 Cookies store.

Top employers

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

10,101
2 Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford University Medical Center represents the Stanford Hospital and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and is located at 300 Pasteur Drive in Stanford, California. Stanford Hospital provides both general acute care services and tertiary medical care for patients locally, nationally and...

/Hospital
Stanford Hospital
Stanford Hospital and Clinics is known worldwide for advanced treatment of complex disorders in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer treatment, neurosciences, surgery, and organ transplants. Consistently ranked among the nation's top hospitals, Stanford Hospital and Clinics is internationally...

5,569
3 Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is a children's hospital located on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California. It is staffed by over 650 physicians and 4,750 staff and volunteers...

3,549
4 Veteran's Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System
Veterans Health Administration
The Veterans Health Administration is the component of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs led by the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health that implements the medical assistance program of the VA through the administration and operation of numerous VA outpatient clinics,...

3,500
5 Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

2,001
6 Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation for Health Care, Research and Education is a not-for-profit health care organization with medical offices in more than 15 cities throughout the Bay Area. PAMF’s roots can be traced back to 1930 when Dr. Russel Van Arsdale Lee founded the Palo Alto Medical Clinic...

2,000
7 Space Systems/Loral
Space Systems/Loral
Space Systems/Loral , of Palo Alto, California, is the wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications. It was acquired in 1990 for $715 million by Loral Corp. from Ford Motor Company as the Space Systems Division of Ford Aerospace...

1,700
8 Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a law firm in the United States that specializes in business, securities, and intellectual property law. The firm's Chairman, Larry Sonsini, is well known as an attorney and advisor to technology companies....

1,500
9 Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto Unified School District
- Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School :Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School is a middle school located at 480 East Meadow Dr., Palo Alto, CA 94306. 2007 STAR test results showed an attendance of 870 students, in grades 6 through 8. It was originally named Ray Lyman Wilbur Junior High School after...

1,336
10 City of Palo Alto 1,100

Utilities

Unlike surrounding communities, electric and gas service within city limits are provided by the city of Palo Alto. A minor exception is a rural portion of the city limits in hills area—west of Interstate 280 and along Page Mill Road—which gets gas and electric service from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

Water and Gas Services (WGS) operates gas and water distribution networks within the city limits. Natural gas is purchased from PG&E or third parties and delivered to Palo Alto via PG&E's gas transmission pipeline network. The city operates gas meters and the distribution pipelines. Water comes from city-operated watershed and wells, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the City and County of San Francisco Hetch Hetchy system. The city is located in Santa Clara Valley Water District, North Zone. Hetch Hetchy pipeline #3 and #4 pass through the city.

The city operates its own electric power distribution network and telemetry cable network. Interconnection points tie the city into PG&E's electric transmission system, which brings power from several sources to the city. A claim to fame is the city's exemption from rolling blackouts during the summer 2000 power shortages. Palo Alto is a member of a joint powers authority (the Northern California Power Agency
Northern California Power Agency
The Northern California Power Agency, located in Roseville, California, is a joint powers agency formed in 1968 to provide its members with electrical energy purchasing, aggregation, scheduling and management....

), which cooperatively generates electricity for government power providers such as the City of Santa Clara, the City of Redding, and the Port of Oakland. Roughly the same group of entities operate the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC). TANC transports power (called wheeling) over its own lines from as far as British Columbia through an interconnection with the federal Bonneville Power Administration. A local oddity is a series of joint poles on Arastradero Road near Page Mill Road. The primary conductor cross arms are marked PGE and CPA (city of Palo Alto) to identify each utility's side of the shared cross arms.

Palo Alto has an ongoing community debate about the city providing fiber optic connectivity to all residences. A series of pilot programs were proposed. One proposal called for the city to install dark fiber
Dark fiber
A dark fiber or unlit fiber is an unused Optical fiber, available for use in fiber-optic communication.The term dark fiber was originally used when referring to the potential network capacity of telecommunication infrastructure, but now also refers to the increasingly common practice of leasing...

 which would be made live by a contractor.

Services traditionally attributed to a cable television provider were sold to a regulated commercial concern. Previously the cable system was operated by a cooperative called Palo Alto Cable Coop.

The former Regional Bell Operating Company
Regional Bell Operating Company
The Regional Bell Operating Companies are the result of United States v. AT&T, the U.S. Department of Justice antitrust suit against the former American Telephone & Telegraph Company . On January 8, 1982, AT&T Corp. settled the suit and agreed to divest its local exchange service operating...

 in Palo Alto was Pacific Telephone. The company is now called AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

 and was previously called SBC and Pacific Bell. One of the earliest central office facilities switching Palo Alto calls is the historic Davenport central office (CO) at 529 Bryant St. The building was sold and is now the home of the Palo Alto Internet Exchange. The former CO building is marked by a bronze plaque and is located on the north side of Bryant Street between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue. It was called Davenport after the exchange name at the introduction of dial telephone service in Palo Alto. For example, modern numbers starting with 325- were Davenport 5 in the 1950s and '60s. The Bryant CO, located at 37°26′44"N 122°09′39"W, contained several floors of clattering Western Electric Step-by-Step switching equipment that historically handled calls for homes and businesses in Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto, and Palo Alto. The Step-by-Step office was scrapped and replaced by stored-program-controlled equipment at a different location about 1980. Stanford calls ran on a Step-by-Step Western Electric 701 PBX until the university purchased its own switch about 1980. It had the older, traditional Bell System 600 Hz+120 Hz dial tone. The old 497-number PBX, MDF, and battery string were housed in a steel building at 333 Bonair Siding. (The building still stands but Stanford's present-day PBX switch is elsewhere). From 1950s to 1980s, the bulk of Palo Alto calls were switched on Number 5 Crossbar systems
Number Five Crossbar Switching System
The Number Five Crossbar Switching System or 5XB switch, designed by Bell Labs and made by Western Electric, was in use in Bell System telephone exchanges from 1948 to the 1980s...

. By the mid-1980s, these electromechanical systems had been junked. Under the Bell System's regulated monopoly, local coin telephone calls were ten cents until the early 1980s.

During the drought of the early 1990s, Palo Alto employed water waste patrol officers to enforce water saving regulations. The team, called "Gush Busters", patrolled city streets looking for broken water pipes and poorly managed irrigation systems. Regulations were set to stop restaurants from habitually serving water, run off from irrigation and irrigation during the day. The main goal of the team was to educate the public in ways to save water. Citations consisted of Friendly Reminder post cards and more formal notices. To help promote the conservation message, the team only used bicycles and mopeds.

Fire and police departments

The city was among the first in Santa Clara County to offer advanced life support (ALS) paramedic-level (EMT-P) ambulance
Ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 service. In an arrangement predating countywide paramedic service, Palo Alto Fire operates two paramedic ambulances which are theoretically shared with county EMS assets. The Palo Alto Fire Department is currently the only fire department
Fire department
A fire department or fire brigade is a public or private organization that provides fire protection for a certain jurisdiction, which typically is a municipality, county, or fire protection district...

 in Santa Clara County that routinely transports patients. Rural Metro holds the Santa Clara County 911 contract and provides transportation in other cities. Enhanced 9-1-1 arrived in about 1980 and included the then-new ability to report emergencies from coin telephones without using a coin. Palo Alto Fire also provides service to the Stanford University campus.

The police station was originally housed in a stone building (still) marked Police Court at 450 Bryant St. The building is now a senior citizens center. In modern times, police are headquartered in the City Hall high rise. The Department is staffed by just under 100 sworn officers ranking from Chief, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Agent (corporal) and Officer. The staff is supplemented by approximately 10 Reserve Officers and professional staff to support the Police Department and the Animal Services organization.

Public schools

The Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto Unified School District
- Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School :Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School is a middle school located at 480 East Meadow Dr., Palo Alto, CA 94306. 2007 STAR test results showed an attendance of 870 students, in grades 6 through 8. It was originally named Ray Lyman Wilbur Junior High School after...

 provides public education for most of Palo Alto. According to the National Center for Education Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
The National Center for Education Statistics is the part of the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences that collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics on education and public school district finance information in the United States...

, Palo Alto has a student-teacher ratio of 14.9, much lower than some surrounding communities. Juana Briones Elementary has a student/teacher ratio of 14.4. The school board meets at 7 p.m. the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month; the meetings are open to the public and city cast live on Government-access television (GATV) Cable TV Services Channel 28 in Palo Alto. Palo Alto students attend one of two high schools, the critically acclaimed Gunn High School
Gunn High School
Henry M. Gunn High School is one of two public high schools in Palo Alto, California. Gunn High School is a four-year high school with a current enrollment of just over 1,900 students. The Class of 1966 was the first class to graduate from Gunn High School. The academic year has two semesters with...

 or Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto Senior High School, known locally as "Paly," was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest high schools in the region. Located in Palo Alto, California, United States, Paly is nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is adjacent to Stanford University. Paly is known for its academically...

.There are also 3 middle schools, J.L.S., Jordan, and Terman.

The Los Altos School District
Los Altos School District
Los Altos School District serves the elementary and intermediate educational needs of Los Altos, California, United States, led by Superintendent Jeffrey C...

 and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District
Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District
The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is a school district serving Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, California...

 provide public education for the Monroe neighborhood portion of Palo Alto off El Camino Real south of Adobe Creek.

Private schools

  • Bowman International School – a K-8 school founded in 1995 which emphasizes learning about different cultures.
  • Castilleja School
    Castilleja School
    Castilleja School is an independent school for 415 girls in grades six through twelve, located in Palo Alto, California. Castilleja is the only non-sectarian all-girls middle and high school in the San Francisco Bay Area...

     – an all-girls’ college preparatory school for grades 6-12.
  • Challenge Summer School - Morrissey/Compton – Challenge is a five-week summer program for elementary students with mild to moderate learning or language disabilities. The program focuses on maintenance of academic skills, instruction in new strategies to succeed in school, and the continuing development of self-esteem.
  • Challenger School
    Challenger School
    Challenger School is a nonsectarian private school in the United States, offering education from preschool through eighth grade. Preschool is offered for children as young as two years and nine months old....

     – a K-8 School with extreme emphasis on academics
  • Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School – a K-8 Jewish day school; school's name changed from Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School (MPJCDS)
  • International School of the Peninsula
    International School of the Peninsula
    International School of the Peninsula is an independent co-ed nursery–8th grade Chinese & French language immersion day school located in Palo Alto, California....

     – a Nursery-8 bilingual immersion school with two Palo Alto campuses. Offers two Nursery - 5 programs: Chinese-English and French-English, and an international middle school. Established in 1979.
  • Kehillah Jewish High School
    Kehillah Jewish High School
    Kehillah Jewish High School is an independent college preparatory high school located in Palo Alto, California. "Kehillah" is a Hebrew word meaning "community." The school is one of a series of pluralistic Jewish day schools in the United States at the high school level founded within the past...

     – a new preparatory high school with both secular and Jewish studies
  • Keys School
    Keys School
    Keys School is an independent school for grades K-8 located in Palo Alto, California. Established in 1973, it is accredited through the California Association of Independent Schools and National Association of Independent Schools. Keys offers a hands-on curriculum with strong...

     – a co-ed, independent K-8 school focused on learning for life
  • Kitty Petty Institute – a preschool for disabled children
  • Meira Academy - A Orthodox Jewish all-girls high school opening up the fall of 2011.
  • Palo Alto Montessori School – an accredited preschool which has been educating 2–5 years olds since 1977.
  • Pinewood School
    Pinewood School, Los Altos Hills
    Pinewood School is a private, independent, non-denominational school in Los Altos, California, with three campuses, two in Los Altos and one in Los Altos Hills, spanning grades K to 12...

     – located on Fremont Road in Los Altos Hills; most of the students are from Los Altos Hills/Los Altos area
  • St Elizabeth Seton Extended – a Catholic school
  • Palo Alto Chinese School
    Palo Alto Chinese School
    Founded in 1976, Palo Alto Chinese School is located in Palo Alto, California and is the oldest Chinese school in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school was formed with a merger between a Cantonese school and a Mandarin school...

     - oldest Chinese school in Bay Area
  • Stratford School – a K-5 school focused on all round development

Libraries

The Palo Alto City Library has five branches, with a total of 265,000 items in their collections. The library's mission is to enable people to explore library resources in order to enrich their lives with knowledge, information, and enjoyment. For Palo Alto library card holders, the main library web page also offers links to primary source databases with collections of magazine, newspaper, and other print articles. The Palo Alto City Library is also a member of the Northern California Digital Library, which allows card holders to browse and download the digital resources made available. Library cards are freely available for Palo Alto residents.

Media

The Palo Alto Daily Post
Palo Alto Daily Post
The Daily Post is a revival of the original Palo Alto Daily News, founded in 2008 by the Daily News’ founders Dave Price and Jim Pavelich. The Post is published Monday-Saturday and distributed in more than a dozen communities on the San Francisco peninsula...

publishes six days a week. Palo Alto Daily News
Palo Alto Daily News
The Daily News, originally the Palo Alto Daily News, is a free daily newspaper owned by MediaNews Group and located in Menlo Park. It was formerly published seven days a week and at one point had a circulation of 67,000...

, a unit of the San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Mercury News is a daily newspaper in San Jose, California. On its web site, however, it calls itself Silicon Valley Mercury News. The paper is owned by MediaNews Group...

, publishes 5 days a week. Palo Alto Weekly
Palo Alto Weekly
The Palo Alto Weekly is a weekly community newspaper in Palo Alto, California, owned by Embarcadero Media. It serves Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Stanford, East Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills....

is published Fridays. Palo Alto Times, a daily newspaper served Palo Alto and neighboring cities beginning in 1894. In 1979 it became the Peninsula Times Tribune. The newspaper ceased publication in 1993.

KDOW
KDOW
KNTS is a radio station broadcasting a Spanish language Christian talk format. Licensed to Seattle, Washington, USA, it serves the Seattle metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by Salem Communications....

 1220 AM began broadcasting in 1949 as KIBE; it later became KDFC, simulcasting classical KDFC-FM. As KDOW it broadcasts a business news format. The transmitter is in East Palo Alto near the western approach to Dumbarton Bridge
Dumbarton Bridge (California)
The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges that span the San Francisco Bay in California. Carrying over 81,000 vehicles daily, it is also the shortest bridge across San Francisco Bay at 1.63 miles...

 with power of 5,000 watts daytime and 145 watts nighttime.

The Midpeninsula Community Media Center provides Public, educational, and government access
Public, educational, and government access
Public, educational, and government access television, refers to three different cable television specialty channels...

 (PEG) cable tv channels 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30.

Among other programs, Palo Alto Institute runs a unique film festival, the Palo Alto International Film Festival, that focuses on the ways in which new technologies influence and are influenced by artistic revolution in media.

The movie "Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto (film)
Palo Alto is a 2007 independent film that is set in Palo Alto, California and was produced by three locals of that city. The plot centers on four college freshmen on their last night of Thanksgiving Break, their first time back since leaving for school...

" was filmed in the town and many landmarks can be seen in the background but the plot could be centered in any smaller town or city.

Roads

Palo Alto is served by two major freeways, Highway 101, and Interstate 280
Interstate 280 (California)
Interstate 280 is a 57-mile long north–south Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. It connects San Jose and San Francisco, running along just to the west of the cities of San Francisco Peninsula for most of its route.I-280 from its northern end at King...

, and is traversed by the Peninsula's main north-south boulevard, El Camino Real
El Camino Real (California)
El Camino Real and sometimes associated with Calle Real usually refers to the 600-mile California Mission Trail, connecting the former Alta California's 21 missions , 4 presidios, and several pueblos, stretching from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego...

 (SR 82
California State Route 82
State Route 82 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that runs from U.S. Route 101 at Blossom Hill Road in San Jose to Interstate 280 in San Francisco following the San Francisco Peninsula...

).

The city is also served indirectly by State Route 84
California State Route 84
State Route 84 is a split-section California State Highway consisting of two sections. The first section is an east–west arterial road running from San Gregorio to Menlo Park, across the Dumbarton Bridge through Fremont and Newark and ending at I-580 in Livermore. The route overlaps the...

 which traverses the Dumbarton Bridge
Dumbarton Bridge (California)
The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges that span the San Francisco Bay in California. Carrying over 81,000 vehicles daily, it is also the shortest bridge across San Francisco Bay at 1.63 miles...

 to the north. None of the highways on the Peninsula side of the bridge have been upgraded to freeway status due to opposition from residents of Palo Alto, Atherton
Atherton, California
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 6,914 at the 2010 census. In September 2010, Forbes magazine placed Atherton's zip code of 94027 at #2 on its annual list of America's most expensive zip codes, with a median home price of $4,010,200...

 and Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. The freeway opponents fear that upgrading Highway 84 will encourage more people to live in Alameda County (where housing is more affordable) and commute to jobs in the mid-Peninsula area, thus increasing traffic in their neighborhoods to the south of the bridge. Also, Palo Alto has only one major crosstown arterial, Page Mill Road / Oregon Expressway, which completely connects the two freeways.

There are no parking meters in Palo Alto and all municipal parking lots and multi-level parking structures are free (limited to two or three hours any weekday 8am–5pm). Downtown Palo Alto has recently added many new lots to fill the overflow of vehicles.

Airport

Palo Alto is served by Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County
Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County
Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County is a general aviation airport in the city of Palo Alto in Santa Clara County, California, USA, near the south end of San Francisco Bay on the western shore.- Facilities :...

 (KPAO), one of the busiest single-runway general aviation
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

 airports in the country. It is used by many daily commuters who fly (usually in private singled engine aircraft) from their homes in the Central Valley to work in the Palo Alto area. Major airlines offer service through San Francisco airport (SFO), about 30 miles north, and San Jose (SJC), about 15 miles southeast.

Rail

Train service is available via Caltrain
Caltrain
Caltrain is a California commuter rail line on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley in the United States. The northern terminus of the rail line is in San Francisco, at 4th and King streets; its southern terminus is in Gilroy...

 with service between San Francisco and San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 and extending to Gilroy
Gilroy, California
Gilroy is the southernmost city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 48,821 at the 2010 census. Gilroy is well-known for its garlic crop and for the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, featuring various garlicky foods, including garlic ice cream. Gilroy also produces...

. Caltrain has two regular stops in Palo Alto, one at University Avenue (local and express) and the other at California Avenue
California Avenue (Caltrain station)
California Avenue station is a Caltrain station at milepost 31.7 in Palo Alto, California. It stops at the historical town center of Mayfield, which was annexed by the town of Palo Alto in 1925...

 (local only). A third, the Stanford
Stanford (Caltrain station)
Stanford Station is a Caltrain station in Palo Alto, California, next to the stadium on the Stanford University campus. It is only used on football game days.-References:*...

 station, located beside Alma Street at Embarcadero Road, is used to provide special services for occasional sports events (generally football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

) at Stanford Stadium
Stanford Stadium
Stanford Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium on the Stanford University campus, the home of Stanford Cardinal college football team. It originally opened in 1921 as a football and track stadium, an earthen horseshoe with wooden bleacher seating and flooring upon a steel frame...

. The University Avenue stop is the second most popular (behind 4th and King in San Francisco) on Caltrain's entire line.

Bus

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is a special-purpose district responsible for public transit services, congestion management, specific highway improvement projects, and countywide transportation planning for Santa Clara County, California, United States...

 (VTA) provides primary bus service through Palo Alto with service to the south bay and Silicon Valley. The San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans
SamTrans
SamTrans is a public transport agency in and around San Mateo, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It provides bus service throughout San Mateo County and into portions of San Francisco and Palo Alto...

) provides service to San Mateo County
San Mateo County, California
San Mateo County is a county located in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. It covers most of the San Francisco Peninsula just south of San Francisco, and north of Santa Clara County. San Francisco International Airport is located at the northern end of the county, and...

 to the north. The Stanford University Free Shuttle (Marguerite)
Marguerite (free shuttle)
Marguerite is a free shuttle service Stanford University offers to its students, faculty, staff, and the general public.Stanford's history of providing free transportation is as old as the university itself...

 provides a supplementary bus service to and from the campus, and the Palo Alto Free Shuttle (Crosstown and Embarcadero), which circulates frequently, and provides service to major points in Palo Alto, including the main library, downtown, the Municipal Golf Course, the Caltrain University Ave. Station, and both high schools.http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts/pln/news/details.asp?NewsID=212&TargetID=87

Cycling

Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Palo Alto. It accounts for 7.5% of commute to work trips, which is the third highest bicycle commute mode share among cities in the Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

, after Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

 and Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

. Since 2003, Palo Alto has received a Bicycle Friendly Community status of "Gold" from the League of American Bicyclists
League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists is a non-profit membership organization which promotes cycling for fun, fitness and transportation through advocacy and education....

. The city's flat terrain and many quiet tree-shaded streets offer comfort and safety to cyclists, and the temperate climate makes year-round cycling possible. Palo Alto pioneered the bicycle boulevard
Bicycle boulevard
A bicycle boulevard is a low speed street which has been optimized for bicycle traffic. Bicycle boulevards discourage cut-through motor vehicle traffic but allow local motor vehicle traffic. They are designed to give priority to cyclists as through-going traffic...

 concept in 1970s, enhancing residential Bryant Street to make it especially convenient for cyclists by removing stop signs, providing special traffic signals, and installing traffic calming devices and a bicycle bridge. However, busy arterial streets which often offer the fastest and most direct route to many destinations, are dangerous for cyclists due to high volumes of fast-moving traffic and the lack of bicycle lanes. El Camino Real, Alma Street, and Embarcadero and Middlefield roads, all identified as "high priorities" for adding bicycle lanes to improve safety by the Palo Alto Bicycle Transportation Plan in 2003, still contain no provisions for cyclists.

Sister cities

Albi, France, since 1994 Linköping
Linköping
Linköping is a city in southern middle Sweden, with 104 232 inhabitants in 2010. It is the seat of Linköping Municipality with 146 736 inhabitants and the capital of Östergötland County...

, Sweden, since 1987 Oaxaca
Oaxaca, Oaxaca
The city and municipality of Oaxaca de Juárez, or simply Oaxaca, is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of the same name . It is located in the Centro District in the Central Valleys region of the state, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre at the base of the Cerro del Fortín...

, Mexico, since 1964 Enschede
Enschede
Enschede , also known as Eanske in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region...

, Netherlands, since 1980 Palo
Palo, Leyte
Palo is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Leyte, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 47,982 people in 9,272 households.-Barangays:Palo is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.* Anahaway* Arado* Baras...

, Philippines, since 1963 Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki
is a city located in Ibaraki prefecture, in Japan. It is situated along the western shores of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. Tokyo city lies about 60 km to the south, and Tsukuba science city borders Tsuchiura to the west.-Demographics:...

, Japan, since 2009
In 1989, Palo Alto received a gift of a large, whimsical wooden sculpture called Foreign Friends (Fjärran Vänner)—of a man, woman, dog and bird sitting on a park bench—from Linköping. The sculpture was praised by some, called "grotesque" by others, and became a lightning rod for vandals. It was covered with a large addressed postcard marked "Return to Sender." A former Stanford University professor was arrested for attempting to light it on fire. It was doused with paint.

When the original heads were decapitated on Halloween, 1993, the statue became a shrine—flowers bouquets and cards were placed upon it. Following an anonymous donation, the heads were restored. Within weeks, the restored heads were decapitated again, this time disappearing. The heads were eventually replaced with new ones, which generated even more distaste, as many deemed the new heads even less attractive.

A few months later, the man's arm was chopped off, the woman's lap was vandalized, the bird was stolen, and the replacements heads were decapitated and stolen.

The sculpture was removed from its location on Embarcadero Road and Waverley Avenue in 1995, dismantled, and placed in storage until it was destroyed in 2000. Ironically, the statue was designed not as a lasting work of art, but as something to be climbed on with a lifespan of 10 to 25 years.

Notable buildings and other points of interest

  • Arastradero Preserve
    Arastradero Preserve
    Arastradero Preserve, officially known as Enid W. Pearson-Arastradero Open Space Preserve, is a nature preserve that protects most of the Arastradero Creek watershed. The preserve is owned and operated by the City of Palo Alto, in the city of Palo Alto, California, USA...

  • Arizona Cactus Garden
    Arizona Cactus Garden
    The Arizona Cactus Garden , also known as the Stanford Cactus Garden, is a botanical garden specializing in cactus and succulents. It is located on the campus of Stanford University , Stanford, California, USA, and open to the public daily without charge.-History:The garden...

  • Baylands Nature Preserve
  • Cantor Arts Center
  • Digital DNA
    Digital DNA
    Digital DNA is a public art sculpture commissioned by the Palo Alto Public Arts Commission for Lytton Plaza in Downtown Palo Alto, California...

    , egg-shaped sculpture downtown
  • Elizabeth Gamble Garden
  • Frenchman's tower

  • Former Community House in MacArthur Park at the intersection of University Avenue and El Camino Real
    El Camino Real (California)
    El Camino Real and sometimes associated with Calle Real usually refers to the 600-mile California Mission Trail, connecting the former Alta California's 21 missions , 4 presidios, and several pueblos, stretching from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego...

    ; designed by Julia Morgan
    Julia Morgan
    Julia Morgan was an American architect. The architect of over 700 buildings in California, she is best known for her work on Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California...

     for the YWCA
    YWCA
    The YWCA USA is the United States branch of a women's membership movement that strives to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership and power in order to attain a common vision—to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA is a non-profit organization, the first of which was founded in...

     but first used as a social centre in Camp Fremont
    Camp Fremont
    Camp Fremont was a World War I-era military base located near Palo Alto, California. Construction started in July, 1917 and the post closed in September, 1919.-Location:...

    , Menlo Park
    Menlo Park, California
    Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

     during World War I; now a restaurant
  • Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
    Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
    The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology is an American private and non-sectarian graduate school. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges...

  • Lou Henry Hoover Girl Scout House
  • Matadero Creek
    Matadero Creek
    Matadero Creek is a stream originating in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The creek flows in a northeasterly direction for until it enters the Palo Alto Flood Basin, then the Mayfield Slough and then southwest San Francisco Bay...

  • Mental Research Institute
    Mental Research Institute
    The Palo Alto Mental Research Institute is one of the founding institutions of brief and family therapy. Founded by Don D. Jackson and colleagues in 1959, MRI has been one of the leading sources of ideas in the area of interactional/systemic studies, psychotherapy, and family...

     (MRI)
  • Packard's garage
    Packard's garage
    The HP Garage is a private museum where the company Hewlett-Packard was founded. It is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California. It is considered to be the "Birthplace of Silicon Valley"...

  • Palo Alto Art Center
    Palo Alto Art Center
    Palo Alto Art Center is multi-purpose center for various art-related activities in the city of Palo Alto, California. The art center has many educational activities, such as weekly classes and special days...

  • Palo Alto Airport, off Embarcadero East, is surrounded by numerous flying schools, and is a convenient bay area *
  • Palo Alto Foothills Park
  • Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve
    Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve
    The Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve is a plot of land owned by the city of Palo Alto, California, United States. It is located at in Santa Clara County. It is home to numerous species of plants and animals including the threatened California Clapper Rail and Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. It is an...

  • Palo Alto University
  • Stanford Shopping Center
    Stanford Shopping Center
    Stanford Shopping Center is an upscale open air shopping mall located on El Camino Real at Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto, California. It is on the campus of Stanford University although the university only owns the land and not the actual buildings or stores...

  • Stanford University
    Stanford University
    The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

  • Stanford University Arboretum
    Stanford University Arboretum
    The Stanford University Arboretum is an arboretum located on the grounds of Stanford University in Stanford, California. It is open to the public daily without charge....

  • University Avenue (Downtown Palo Alto)
  • Palo Alto Varsity Theater
  • Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden at Stanford
  • Stanford Terrace Inn formerly Tiki Inn Motel
  • Stanford Theatre
    Stanford Theatre
    The Stanford Theatre is a classical independent movie theater in Palo Alto, California. The theater features neo-classical Greek/Assyrian style architecture and generally screens films made between the 1920s and 1960s...

  • Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish

Artists and entertainers

  • William Ackerman
    William Ackerman
    William Ackerman is a Grammy winning guitarist and composer of acoustic-based instrumental music. He founded and ran for many years the influential New Age record label Windham Hill Records.- Career :...

    , acoustic guitarist. He founded and ran for many years the influential New Age record label Windham Hill Records
    Windham Hill Records
    Windham Hill Records is a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment specializing in Acoustic, New Age and Folk music. Originally founded in 1976 as an Independent record label by guitarist and carpenter William Ackerman and his then-wife Anne Robinson, Windham Hill was a successful and well-respected...

    .
  • Joan Baez
    Joan Baez
    Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

    , folk singer
    Folk Singer
    Folk Singer is a 1964 album by Muddy Waters. Waters plays acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar...

  • Lindsey Buckingham
    Lindsey Buckingham
    Lindsey Adams Buckingham is an American guitarist, singer, composer and producer, most notable for being the guitarist and male lead singer of the musical group Fleetwood Mac. Aside from his tenure with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham has also released six solo albums and a live album...

    , member of Fleetwood Mac
    Fleetwood Mac
    Fleetwood Mac are a British–American rock band formed in 1967 in London.The only original member present in the band is its eponymous drummer, Mick Fleetwood...

  • The Grateful Dead, rock "jam" band (early incarnations of the band were based in Palo Alto)
  • The Donnas
    The Donnas
    The Donnas are an American all-female rock band from Palo Alto, California. They draw inspiration from The Ramones, The Runaways, AC/DC, Bachman–Turner Overdrive and Kiss. Rolling Stone has stated that "the Donnas offer a guileless take on adolescent alienation; they traffic in kicks, not...

  • Yehuda Feldman
  • Dave Franco
    Dave Franco
    David John "Dave" Franco is an American television and film actor who played the role of Cole Aaronson for season nine of Scrubs.-Personal life:...

    , actor
  • James Franco
    James Franco
    James Edward Franco is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author, painter, performance artist and instructor at New York University. He left college in order to pursue acting and started off his career by making guest appearances on television series in the 1990s...

    , actor, director, screenwriter, producer, artist, author
  • Quinn Miller, actor, comedian, Hehmanist
  • Teri Hatcher
    Teri Hatcher
    Teri Lynn Hatcher is an American actress, writer, and presenter. She is known for her television roles as Susan Mayer on the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, and Lois Lane on the ABC comedy-drama series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman...

    , born in Palo Alto, actress
  • Amy Irving
    Amy Irving
    Amy Davis Irving is an American actress, known for her roles in the films Crossing Delancey, The Fury, Carrie, and Yentl as well as acclaimed roles on Broadway and Off-Broadway. She has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and has won an Obie award...

    , actress*
  • Stephan Jenkins
    Stephan Jenkins
    Stephan Douglas Jenkins , is an American musician best known as the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Third Eye Blind. Under Jenkins's leadership, Third Eye Blind has sold over eight million copies of four albums: Third Eye Blind , Blue , Out of the Vein , and Ursa Major...

    , rock musician (Third Eye Blind
    Third Eye Blind
    Third Eye Blind is an American alternative rock band formed in the early 1990s in San Francisco. The songwriting duo of Kevin Cadogan and Stephan Jenkins signed the band's first major label recording contract with Elektra records in 1996 resulting in two multi platinum albums. The band's lineup...

    )
  • Ugly Kid Joe
    Ugly Kid Joe
    Ugly Kid Joe is an American hard rock band from Isla Vista, California. The band's name spoofs that of another band, Pretty Boy Floyd. Ugly Kid Joe's sound includes a range of styles, including rock, glam metal, hard rock and heavy metal....

  • Ollie Johnston
    Ollie Johnston
    Oliver Martin Johnston, Jr. was an American motion picture animator. He was one of Disney's Nine Old Men, and the last surviving at the time of his death. He was recognized by The Walt Disney Company with its Disney Legend Award in 1989...

    , Academy Award–winning Disney animator (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia
    Fantasia (film)
    Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. The third feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are...

    )
  • Kingston Trio
  • Grace Slick
    Grace Slick
    Grace Slick is an American singer and songwriter, who was one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, and was a solo artist, for nearly three decades, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s...

    , singer
  • Serhiy Timoshenko, Ukrainian
    Ukrainians
    Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

     famous architect and politician Anti-communist (member of Central Council of Ukraine), brother of Ukrainian scientist Stephen Timoshenko
    Stephen Timoshenko
    Stanford University:* Bergman, E. O., * Kurzweil, A. C., * , * Huang, Y. S., * Wang, T. K., * Weber, H. S., * , * , * , -Publications:...

  • Alessandra Torresani, actress
  • Shemar Moore
    Shemar Moore
    Shemar Franklin Moore is an American actor and former male fashion model. His most notable roles are that of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005, Derek Morgan on CBS's Criminal Minds, and as the third permanent host of Soul Train from 1999 to 2003.-Early life:Moore was...

    , actor

Business leaders and entrepreneurs

  • Sergey Brin
    Sergey Brin
    Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google, one of the largest internet companies. , his personal wealth is estimated to be $16.7 billion....

    , co-founder of Google
    Google
    Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

    .
  • Debbi Fields
    Debbi Fields
    Debbi Fields is the founder and current spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries. Additionally, she has written several cookbooks. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband, former Holiday Inn and Harrah's CEO, Michael Rose...

    , founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries
    Mrs. Fields
    Mrs. Fields Famous Brands is a franchisor in the snack food industry, with Mrs. Fields and TCBY as its core brands. Through its franchisees’ retail stores, it is one of the largest retailers of freshly baked, on-premises specialty cookies and brownies in the US and the largest retailer of...

  • David Filo
    David Filo
    David Filo is an American businessman and the co-founder of Yahoo! with Jerry Yang.Until the company decided to switch to PHP, his Filo Server Program, written in the C programming language, was the server-side scripting software used to dynamically serve variable web pages, called Filo Server...

    , co-founder of Yahoo!
    Yahoo!
    Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine , Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping ,...

  • Steve Jobs
    Steve Jobs
    Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

    , co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
  • Jawed Karim
    Jawed Karim
    Jawed Karim is a Bangladeshi German American technologist and co-founder of the popular video sharing website YouTube...

    , co-founder of Youtube
    YouTube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

    .
  • Marissa Mayer
    Marissa Mayer
    Marissa Ann Mayer is Vice President of Location and Local Services at the search engine company Google. She has become one of the public faces of Google, providing a number of press interviews and appearing at events frequently to speak on behalf of the company.-Education and career :After...

    , Vice President of Search Products & User Experience at Google
    Google
    Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

  • William Hewlett
    William Reddington Hewlett
    William Redington Hewlett was an engineer and the co-founder, with David Packard, of the Hewlett-Packard Company . He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan where is father taught at the Univerisy of Michigan Medical School...

    , co-founder of technology company Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

  • Mark Hurd, past chairman, chief executive officer, and President of Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

    .
  • David Packard
    David Packard
    David Packard was a co-founder of Hewlett-Packard , serving as president , CEO , and Chairman of the Board . He served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1969–1971 during the Nixon administration...

    , co-founder of technology company Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

  • Larry Page
    Larry Page
    Lawrence "Larry" Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Sergey Brin, is best known as the co-founder of Google. As of April 4, 2011, he is also the chief executive of Google, as announced on January 20, 2011...

    , co-founder and CEO of Google
    Google
    Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

    .
  • Romesh Wadhwani
    Romesh Wadhwani
    Romesh T. Wadhwani is the founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm investing in software and software services companies. As of April 27, 2010, the Symphony Technology Group’s portfolio companies include: Capco; SymphonyIRI Group , Inc.; MSC Software; Symphony...

    , founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group
  • Mark Zuckerberg
    Mark Zuckerberg
    Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known for co-creating the social networking site Facebook, of which he is chief executive and president...

    , co-founder and CEO of Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

    .
  • Owen Van Natta
    Owen Van Natta
    Owen Van Natta is currently the Executive Vice President of Business at Zynga, an internet company that makes online social games. In this position, Van Natta is responsible for the company’s revenue strategy, corporate development, international expansion and brand. Prior to officially joining...

    , COO of Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

    , CEO of Myspace
    Myspace
    Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

    , COO of Zynga
    Zynga
    Zynga is a social network game developer located in San Francisco, United States. The company develops browser-based games that work both stand-alone and as application widgets on social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace....

    .
  • Elon Musk
    Elon Musk
    Elon Musk is an American engineer and entrepreneur heritage best known for co-founding PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. He is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity...

    , CEO of TESLA Motors
    Tesla Motors
    Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. It was the only automaker building and selling a zero-emission sports car, the Tesla Roadster, in serial production...

    , Space X

Politicians and civil servants

  • Ron Christie
    Ron Christie
    Ronald I. "Ron" Christie is an American government relations expert and Republican political strategist, who has also worked as a member of former Vice President Dick Cheney's staff. He is also the author of two books, and an occasional guest on various cable news programs. He serves as an Adjunct...

    , former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and political pundit
  • Herbert Hoover
    Herbert Hoover
    Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

    , the 31st President of the United States of America
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr.
    Jon Huntsman, Jr.
    Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 16th Governor of Utah. He also served in the administrations of four United States presidents and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.Huntsman worked as a White House staff assistant for...

    , former governor of Utah and U.S Ambassador of China
  • Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

    , former US Secretary of State
  • Manabendra Nath Roy
    Manabendra Nath Roy
    Manabendra Nath Roy , born Narendra Nath Bhattacharya and popularly known as M. N. Roy, was an Indian nationalist revolutionary and an internationally known radical activist and political theorist. Roy was a founder of the Communist Parties in both Mexico and India and was a delegate to...

    , Indian nationalist and revolutionary
  • Ron Wyden
    Ron Wyden
    Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996....

    , US Senator

Novelists

  • Erle Stanley Gardner
    Erle Stanley Gardner
    Erle Stanley Gardner was an American lawyer and author of detective stories, best known for the Perry Mason series, he also published under the pseudonyms A.A. Fair, Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J...

    , detective fiction author, creator of Perry Mason
    Perry Mason
    Perry Mason is a fictional character, a defense attorney who was the main character in works of detective fiction authored by Erle Stanley Gardner. Perry Mason was featured in more than 80 novels and short stories, most of which had a plot involving his client's murder trial...

  • Robert S. Gerleman, New York Times Adult Best Selling Author
  • Tad Williams
    Tad Williams
    Robert Paul "Tad" Williams, born in San Jose, California, is the author of several fantasy and science fiction novels, including Tailchaser's Song, the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, the Otherland series, and The War of the Flowers....

    , New York Times Adult Best Selling Author

Scientists

  • Brian P. Hamachek, Nobel Prize of Medicine winner 1985
  • Pamela Melroy
    Pamela Melroy
    Pamela Anne Melroy is a retired United States Air Force officer and a former NASA astronaut. She served as pilot on Space Shuttle missions STS-92 and STS-112 and commanded mission STS-120.-Early life and education:...

    , astronaut, second woman to command a space shuttle mission
  • Perley Ason Ross, physicist who worked on essential problems in the behaviour of X-rays
  • Robert Spinrad
    Robert Spinrad
    Robert J. Spinrad was an American computer designer, who was on the staff of Brookhaven National Laboratory and who created many of the key technologies used in modern personal computers while director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.-Early life and education:Spinrad was born on March 20,...

     (1932–2009), computer pioneer as director of the Xerox
    Xerox
    Xerox Corporation is an American multinational document management corporation that produced and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies...

     Palo Alto Research Center.
  • William Shockley
    William Shockley
    William Bradford Shockley Jr. was an American physicist and inventor. Along with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, Shockley co-invented the transistor, for which all three were awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.Shockley's attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s...

    , Nobel laureate in physics and eugenicist
    Eugenics
    Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...


Sports figures

  • Matt Biondi
    Matt Biondi
    Matthew Nicholas Biondi is a three-time U.S. Olympic swimmer in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Summer Olympics, winning a total of 11 medals...

    , born in Palo Alto, Olympic swimmer, won a total of 11 Olympics medals (8 gold)
  • Jim Harbaugh
    Jim Harbaugh
    James Joseph "Jim" Harbaugh is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. Harbaugh agreed to a five-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers on January 7, 2011. Previously, he was the head coach at...

    , football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     player and coach
  • Phil Hellmuth
    Phil Hellmuth
    Phil Hellmuth is an American professional poker player. He is best known for holding a record 11 World Series of Poker bracelets, for winning the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker and for his temperamental, "poker brat" personality...

    , professional poker player
  • Katie Hoff
    Katie Hoff
    Kathryn "Katie" Elise Hoff is an American swimmer. Hoff is strongest in the 200 and 400 meter individual medley, though she is a very capable swimmer in many events, ranging from the four 200 meter events to the 800 meter freestyle...

    , Palo Alto native, Olympic swimmer
  • Dana Kirk, Olympic swimmer, coaches for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics
  • Tara Kirk
    Tara Kirk
    Tara Kirk is a former American swimmer who specialized in the breaststroke and Olympic silver medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke ....

    , swam with Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, Olympic swimmer, American Record holder 100 and 200 yard breaststroke
  • Francie Larrieu-Smith
    Francie Larrieu-Smith
    Francis Ann "Francie" Larrieu Smith was an American track and field athlete, flagbearer at the Barcelona 1992 for the United States of America. Larrieu-Smith was the first female American athlete to make five Olympic teams, a feat equaled in 2008 by swimmer Dara Torres.Since 1999 she is cross...

    , born in Palo Alto, long distance runner, first female athlete to make five Olympic teams
  • Jeremy Lin
    Jeremy Lin
    Jeremy Shu-How Lin is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association...

    , alumnus of Palo Alto High School
    Palo Alto High School
    Palo Alto Senior High School, known locally as "Paly," was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest high schools in the region. Located in Palo Alto, California, United States, Paly is nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is adjacent to Stanford University. Paly is known for its academically...

     and is currently a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors
    Golden State Warriors
    The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

     of the NBA
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

  • Jim Loscutoff
    Jim Loscutoff
    James Loscutoff Jr. is a former professional basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics. A forward, Loscutoff played on seven Celtics championship teams between 1956 and 1964....

    , basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     player who won seven NBA championships with the Boston Celtics
    Boston Celtics
    The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

  • Steve Young, NFL hall-of-famer
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

     and former 49ers
    San Francisco 49ers
    The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and...

     quarterback

Further reading

  • John Jenks, David Crimp, C. Michael Hogan et al., Engineering and Environmental Evaluations of Discharge to the Coast Casey Canal and Charleston Slough, prepared by Kennedy Jenks Engineers and Earth Metrics Inc. (1976)
  • Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory, Santa Clara County Historical Heritage Commission, published by Santa Clara County, San Jose, Ca., June 1979
  • A description of high-tech life in Palo Alto around 1995 is found in the novel by Douglas Coupland
    Douglas Coupland
    Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. His first novel, the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized terms such as McJob and...

    , Microserfs
    Microserfs
    Microserfs, published by HarperCollins in 1995, is an epistolary novel by Douglas Coupland. It first appeared in short story form as the cover article for the January 1994 issue of Wired magazine and was subsequently expanded to full novel length...

    .
  • Coleman, Charles M., P. G. and E. of California: The Centennial Story of Pacific Gas and Electric Company 1852–1952, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952).
  • Hanson, Warren D., San Francisco Water and Power: A History of the Municipal Water Department and Hetch Hetchy System, (San Francisco: San Francisco Public Utilities Communications Group, 2002).
  • Map: PG&E Backbone Gas Transmission System, (San Francisco: Pacific Gas and Electric Co., undated).
  • Map: Water Conveyance, Treatment, and Distribution System, (San Jose: Santa Clara Valley Water District, 1978).
  • Earthquake Planning Scenario Special Publication #61, (Sacramento, California: State of California, Division of Mines and Geology, 1981).
  • $117,730,000 Bond Offering: Transmission Agency of Northern California, (Sacramento, California: Transmission Agency of Northern California, 1992).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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