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Steve Jobs visits the Apple Store in Palo Alto for iPhone launch

The City of Palo Alto is a charter city located about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of the Cupertino headquarters of Apple Inc. in California. Palo Alto is home to many technology companies, such as Hewlett-Packard and Xerox PARC.


Palo Alto is located in the County of Santa Clara and has an estimated population of only 65,364 as of 2019.[1] However, the weighted home price in 2021 was over US$2.67 million, making it the least affordable city in the United States.[2]


HP garage front

Hewlett-Packard was founded in this historic garage in Palo Alto.

The first occupants of Palo Alto area were the native Ohlone. The expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá explored the area and camped at El Palo Alto (the tall stick) in 1769. The community of Mayfield was established near the site in 1853, starting with a roadhouse built by James Otterson on the route between San Francisco and San Jose. After a railroad connected Mayfield to San Francisco in 1863, industrialist Leland Stanford established Palo Alto Stock Farm nearby at San Francisquito Creek to breed racehorses. In 1885, Stanford established Stanford University in the memory of his son who died in the previous year. The university was opened to students in 1891. The town that formed by the university was first named University Park, and renamed to Palo Alto, which was incorporated in 1894. Palo Alto grew to be larger than Mayfield and annexed it in 1925.[3]

Hewlett-Packard (HP) was founded in 1939 by Stanford graduates Bill Hewlett and David Packard in a one-car garage in Palo Alto. The "HP Garage" is now designated an official California Historical Landmark and is marked with a plaque calling it the "Birthplace of 'Silicon Valley'".[4] The Palo Alto Research Center was established in 1970 by Xerox and created many technologies that inspired the Apple Lisa and Macintosh.[5] As of 2014, Stanford University next to Palo Alto has the second most number of alumni working at Apple Inc.[6]


As of 2021 there are 2 Apple retail stores in Palo Alto.[7] Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known to visit the Apple Store in Palo Alto as it was near his home.[8]

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  1. U.S. Census website. U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Santa Monica Third Least Affordable City in U.S. for Homebuyers, New Study Finds by Jorge Casuso, Santa Monica Lookout. 2021-06-15.
  3. History of Palo Alto, City of Palo Alto. 2021-04-13.
  4. Hewlett-Packard House and Garage, Mational Register of Historica Places.2007-04-20.
  5. The Xerox PARC Visit by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Making the Macintosh. Stanford University. 2000-07-14.
  6. The 20 Schools With The Most Grads At Apple — And Harvard And Yale Didn't Make The List by Drake Baer, Business Insider. 2014-10-03.
  7. Apple Retail Stores, United States, Apple Inc. Accessed 2021-07-02.
  8. Steve Jobs appears at Palo Alto Apple store for iPad launch by Katie Marsal, AppleInsider. 2010-04-05.

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