Family Tradition - Page 5

Bigger-than-life figures continue to leave their mark on the Palo Verde Eichlers of Palo Alto
Family Tradition
Swati (left) and Shekhar Kapoor remain quite proud of the handprints on their wall left behind by computer inventor Doug Engelbart, the previous owner of their Eichler.

That might have to do with cost of the homes, which floats above $3 million on occasion. "There isn't a lot of economic diversity, unfortunately," Larry Magid says, though many current owners bought back when homes were selling for $400,000—or much less.

The Palo Verde Eichlers have been around long enough to see waves of young families with kids be replaced by older folks who love the homes so much they just will not leave. It is re-entering a kids phase.

"Around the time the Olympics was happening we created a Janice Way Olympics," says Shaan Kapoor, a high school freshman. "We got all the kids in the neighborhood together. We had different sporting events. We had football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball—everything you could imagine."

The neighborhood hit the news as 'Royal Manor' in 2016 when some neighbors organized to create an overlay zone to prevent two-story homes. One Eichler had been torn down nearby on Louis Road, and it scared people.

Family Tradition
Inside the Kapoors' living room.

People from several nearby tracts strategized. Some won city approval for two-story bans, but Royal Manor's plea was denied because too many owners objected. Instead, citywide 'Eichler Guidelines,' which suggested but do not mandate what owners can do with their Eichlers, were adopted.

The effort caused tension, but also brought people together. "I got to know a lot of the neighbors who I did not know," says David Hanzel, a leader of the effort.

Two-story homes are still allowed, but none have been built since. Some say that's because they are too expensive to build, and that the city's encouragement to expand a home without going up may be helping.

Sudha Nagarajan believes more two stories will come, though, and also believes families should be able to expand their homes.

Family Tradition
The Kapoors' front exterior.

Neighborly traditions continue, even during the COVID pandemic. Last year's July 4 parade was called off—but not the Janice Way block party held last October.

"People brought dinners into their driveways," Heather MacDonald says, and neighbors stopped to talk, at a distance. "Like always, it was a great chance to meet some new neighbors."

Family Tradition
One of Palo Verdes second-story additions—this one known as the 'crows nest.'

• The 202 Palo Verde Eichlers can be found along Louis Road and Stockton Place to the west, Loma Verde Avenue to the north, and the U-shaped Kenneth Drive to the south and west.

Photography: Sabrina Huang, Damian Marhefka, Ray Renati