656 Hale Street, Palo Alto

Striking a balance between Victorian-inspired exterior styling and an open concept contemporary interior, this custom Atherton home is a masterpiece of thought, planning, and craftsmanship. No detail was overlooked as the owner/designer engaged local woodworkers and plasterers, German cabinetmakers, and Finnish stoneworkers to weave a unique hybrid of Old World techniques with modern amenities. The distinguished home also conveys a sense of whimsy, as exemplified by the fiber optic-lit turret bedroom, lovingly referred to as the “princess room,” and an enchanting top-level loft perfect for a children’s hide-away. Completed in 2009, clean lines and open spaces are central to the home, achieved via the careful placement of built-in cabinets, seating, and storage. Smart features include programmable lighting, 18-zone radiant heat, and 14 rain sensor skylights. Outside, enjoy your own tennis court, manicured grounds with raised vegetable beds, and the potential for a pool and/or guest house. With access to excellent Menlo Park schools and a location just blocks from downtown Menlo Park, this home is a rare find.


A modern interpretation of a classic Victorian, newly constructed in 2009

Close-in central Atherton location just blocks to downtown Menlo Park

6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths spread over three levels plus top-level loft

Approximately 6,295 square feet of living space

Custom wood and plasterwork plus gorgeous white oak floors

Clay tennis court installed by renowned designer John Saviano

Detached oversized 2-car garage

Just over two-thirds acre (29,328 square feet)

Outstanding Menlo Park schools

Price Upon Request




A commanding first impression begins with copper-capped turrets, fluted columns, and custom true divided light glass windows; the custom herringbone-patterned brick walkway leads to the signature wraparound porch bordered by white roses



Front door with sidelights opens into a dramatic, two-story foyer with clerestory windows, operational skylights, and contemporary chandelier; an open-tread wood and metal spiral staircase leads to the second level; rift-sawn white oak floors with inlaid walnut begin here and extend throughout most of the home



Customized office with built-in bookshelves frame a decorative glass window, plus custom file cabinetry. Double-hung windows fit the curves of the turret


Living Room

Finnish soapstone Tulikivi fireplace, flanked by built-in bookshelves, is the centerpiece of this room, which features ornamental plaster crown molding. The hand-carved woodwork extends throughout the home


Dining Room

The formal setting, which may be closed off with bifold doors, has built-in corner china cabinetry, custom wainscoting and crown molding, plus oversized double French doors that lead to the wraparound porch


Family Room

Floor-to-ceiling built-ins for books and media, surround sound, banquette window seating, and two sets of double doors opening to the side and rear grounds



Open concept kitchen is bathed in natural light, with white Shaker-style cabinets imported from Germany, honed black granite counters, and industrial-style pendant lighting; a large L-shaped island provides ample seating and a central gathering place; separate casual dining with oversized banquette seating in a turret



Thermador 6-burner gas cooktop with griddle, Thermador double ovens, Sharp microwave, Miele dishwasher, Viking side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, and Avanti wine cooler


Powder Room & Laundry Room

Main-level laundry room and half-bath combination has an oversized sink, Miele washer and dryer, and Asko drying cabinet


Master Bedroom Suite

A spacious retreat, the upstairs master suite has cathedral ceilings, a turret sitting area crowned with a sparkling chandelier, and double French doors opening to a private balcony; large en suite bath features Waterworks basket weave-patterned marble tile on radiant-heated floors, separate honed limestone vanities, frameless glass steam shower for two, soaking tub, two towel warming racks, a wall-mounted Geberit commode, and two operational skylights in the cathedral ceiling


Bedrooms 2 and 3 & Bath

Two bedrooms, one with custom shelving and built-in desk, and one deemed the “princess room” in the turret with fiber optic ceiling lighting; a tiled hallway bath, has a dual-sink limestone vanity and tub with overhead shower


Upstairs Office

Located between bedrooms 3 & 4 features built in desk and storage with access to the rear balcony


Bedroom Suite 4

Wall of custom cabinetry with integrated bed, skylights, and en suite bath with limestone vanity, tiled frameless glass shower, and floors with radiant heat.



Accessed via a spiral staircase in the upstairs hallway, this flexible-use room is a children’s haven or a reader’s retreat with hardwood floor, raised ceiling, two operational skylights, and writer’s nook


Recreation Room

A spiral staircase from the main level descends to this carpeted, multi-use area with separate access to the grounds via an oversized door to outdoor staircase


Bedrooms 5 and 6 & Bath

Lower-level bedrooms, each with carpeting and one with direct access to the hallway bath with Carrara marble flooring and wainscoting, frameless glass shower, and a wall-mounted Geberit commode


Media Room

A lower-level media room offers the ideal space for a custom cinema experience



The nearly 30,000 square-foot lot includes manicured grounds, brick walkways, and tennis court. Utilities are installed for a pool heater, and the property will accommodate a pool/guest house of approximately 650 square feet (Buyer to verify with Town of Atherton). Roses, palms, and raised flower/vegetable beds adorn the grounds




Radiant heat across three levels with 18 individually controlled zones

Central air conditioning

Custom storage and media built-ins throughout

Security alarm

Wired for surveillance

Central vacuum

Capacity to accommodate pool/guest house of 650 square feet (buyer to verify)

Utilities for future pool/spa

Programmable lighting

Numerous operational rain sensor skylights throughout

Sound speakers in some rooms

Raised vegetable beds in side yard

Electronic gate at driveway

Detached oversized 2-car garage

Redwood-sided exterior throughout