A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Photos of Los Gatos

Sacred Heart Jesuit Center – formerly the Jesuit Novitiate

Perhaps you’ve driven over Highway 17 from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz and wondered about the large white building off to the left, perched on a knoll overlooking the valley and that same highway.   That’s the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, now a retirement home for Jesuit priests and brothers (members of the Society of Jesus) for the provinces of California, Oregon, and Washington.  Many decades ago, it was the novitiate for the California province, meaning it’s where young men entered the order.  Two of my uncles did just that.   I am a fairly frequent visitor to this lovely place now, as one of my uncles has gone full circle and has retired where he first entered.  Some of my old professors from Gonzaga University in Spokane are there, too, as well as Jesuits that I knew growing up in the area.

Pan of Santa Cruz Mountains toward Los Gatos

Pan of Santa Cruz Mountains toward Los Gatos – view from the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center (formerly the Jesuit Novitiate)

So today I wanted to share some photos with you, as many people living in Los Gatos would have no occasion to visit what my family still calls The Novitiate.   However, Testarossa Winery is next door (at what used to be the Jesuit Winery), so many of my readers will have been close.  Please enjoy the photos, which I took last Saturday while there to see my uncle.

Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos (romerly the Jesuit Novitiate) Sacred Heart Jesuit Center Los Gatos - once where young Jesuits entered the religious order, now where they retire Infirmary or care center at Sacred Heart Painting of Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ at the Jesuit Novitiate in Los Gatos - a marytr for the faith, killed in Mexico The Grotto at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center - a place for prayer and outdoor Mass Path to the lookout over San Jose and Silicon Valley View toward downtown Los Gatos oastal range and valley view from Sacred Heart Jesuit Center View of St Mary's Church in Los Gatos - originally, St. Mary's was a Jesuit mission and it was located at the corner of what is now Bean Avenue and N Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos Provincial Center for the Society of Jesus California

Vasona Lake County Park on a warm, sunny, winter day

This may be an El Niño winter, but right now there’s a break in the precipitation.  As much as we appreciate the rain, we also appreciate the warm, sunny, dry days also.  Yesterday I broke out of work mode for an hour and enjoyed a walk at Vasona Lake County Park.  Here are a few photos.  To my readers in snowy climates, yes, Los Gatos really can be this nice in February!

Vasona Lake County Park in winter

Vasona Lake County Park in winter

 

Vasona Bridge View toward hills

Vasona Bridge View toward hills

 

 Vasona Bridge View toward Lake

Vasona Bridge View toward Lake

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Aerial views of Los Gatos

In June 2015, my husband, his brother, and neice enjoyed a flight in a small private plane that took them from Livermore to Santa Cruz and then over downtown Los Gatos. They’ve shared their images with me to share with you – hope you enjoy them!  (Not your typical Los Gatos real estate view!!)

Los Gatos and beyond from the air

View coming into Los Gatos from the Santa Cruz Mountains

 

Los Gatos and Saratoga from the air

Downtown Los Gatos – you can see Los Gatos-Saratoga Road heading toward Monte Sereno and Saratoga in the middle of this image

 

Los Gatos - Monte Sereno hill from the air

Los Gatos – Monte Sereno hill from the air – downtown Los Gatos is seen on the bottom right corner

 

Aerial view of east Los Gatos

Aerial view of east Los Gatos – closest in is the Santa Cruz Mountains, then the Shannon Valley with Blossom Hill just beyond it

 

The historic Broadway area neighborhood in Los Gatos

Broadway and El Sereno The very first subdivision or planned neighborhood in Los Gatos was along Broadway and nearby (Clifton Avenue, Browadway Extension and Wood Road).  There had already been quite a few houses built at that time in Los Gatos, but none were planned areas per se. John Lyndon was the developer and he bought the land and created 48 parcels which were sold in 1881 – a good six years before the far larger Almond Grove district was created and 6 years before the town was incorporated, too. A few homes in this area may already have been present, though, and seem to predate the 1881 date.

No doubt, Mr. Lyndon’s real estate buying decision was at least partially influenced by the location of his Lyndon Hotel, a whose bar was a popular hangout for the likes of John Steinbeck and Charlie Chaplain, which was located at the corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and Broadway, and now is the Lyndon Plaza (since sadly the hotel was torn down in the 1960s).

What was once a fairly quiet end of town is today mostly in the heart of it. The area closest to the post office enjoys a wide road (if desperately in need of repair), a good variety of Victorian and mostly older, historic homes, and is very uniformly well kept. Because it is either “in town” or “close to town”, the road is lined with cars most days – perhaps also because these houses of course pre-dated garages.

  • View of Broadway on a day with few cars - the hill is called El Sombroso
  • One of the many older looking homes on Broadway which includes a welcoming front porch
  • Colorful old Victorian era home
  • Many of the Los Gatos historic homes have picket fences, but this one also has dense shrubbery, making it fairly private
  • View from the sidewalk on Broadway
  • The Waterman House on Broadway appx 1875
    The Waterman House - appx 1875
  • Larger Mediterranean house on Broadway
  • A welcoming home on Broadway
  • An unusual sight in Los Gatos: a shingled home
  • Another Victorian era home
  • Lovely old colonnaded home
  • Broadway looking toward Monte Sereno and Saratoga
  • Often there are many cars along Broadway today

Where is the Broadway Historic District in Los Gatos?

The Town of Los Gatos has a Historic Districts Map – have a look:

Town of Los Gatos Historic Districts Map

 

Broadway neighborhood of Los Gatos real estate information

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Aerial views of west Los Gatos

Last Friday, my husband, Jim, enjoyed a flight over much of the south bay area with his brother, John, and our niece, Christine.  I’m the lucky winner who gets loads of fantastic photos to share (with abundant gratitude to John Handy!)! Today I’ll begin with a shot over west Los Gatos.

Here’s a view from the plane that my wonderful brother-in-law shared with me.  Can you tell what you are seeing?

West Los Gatos aerial view

 

The biggest hint I can offer is to point out that the major road running along the right side is Highway 85, and what is off to the upper right hand side is north.

Can you tell where you’d see these things:

  1. Downtown Los Gatos?
  2. La Rinconada Country Club (golf course)?
  3. Rinconada Water Treatment Plant?
  4. Any of these schools:   Rolling Hills Middle, Marshall Lane Elementary, West Valley College?
  5. Downtown Saratoga?
  6. Vasona Lake?
  7. How about Quito Road?
  8. Pollard Road?

The first 6 I’ve put onto the same image but mapped.  Have a look….
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Photos of Los Gatos

Shannon Valley Ranch trail (east side of town) - the town enjoys many parks and trails Leo & Leona are the two cement Cat statues which have become symbolic of the town of Los Gatos Main Street, Los Gatos - view of the Santa Cruz Mountains behind the famous Beckwith Building A home in the historic Almond Grove District in downtown Los Gatos - this one built in approximately 1890 Vasona Lake County park includes a beautiful reservoir for paddle boating (with sail boat lessons too) The downtown Los Gatos movie theater Shops in downtown Los Gatos Los Gatos is an extremely "dog friendly" town The airplane at Oak Meadow Park The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad at Oak Meadow & Vasona Parks The Testarosa Vineyards tasting cellar's cave The Hotel Los Gatos - it includes a fabulous Greek restaurant, Deo Deka Vasona Vibrations weekly summer concert on Saturday evenings - free! The footbridge between Old Town and Forbes Mill is decorated with the paintings of the town's children Ranch style home - this one on the west side in Monte Sereno, which shares parks, schools, library & police with Los Gatos Los Gatos High School in downtown Los Gatos Quito Road (west side of town, along the Saratoga border) A larger, contemporary home in the east foothills of Los Gatos The Farmer's Market happens year round - next to the Los Gatos Post Office & Town Plaza Park Town Plaza Park fountain in downtown The Opera House Forbes Mill Annex - Forbes Mill was the first business in town Jazz On The Plazz - world class jazz artists perform on Wednesday evenings at Town Plaza Park - free to the public! Palacio Restaurant The Diner of Los Gatos Views of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley from foothills in west Los Gatos

 

Hope you enjoy this photo slide show, designed to give you a small “taste” of Los Gatos! These images I have either taken myself or paid my photographer to shoot for me. Please do not use without permission.

Hidden stop sign at Shannon and Hilow in Los Gatos

Saw this today – and we stopped. I wonder how many people fly through this intersection since they cannot possibly see the sign? Photo taken 9-3-2015 at the intersection of Shannon and Hilow in east Los Gatos. Not sure if it’s the town’s responsibility or the home owner’s…but it’s dangerous as it is!

Stop Sign Shannon and Hilow

Los Gatos Features Some Interesting Signs

October 03, 2008
hl=en&client=news&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=plan%20to%20kill%20squirrels%20in%20los%20gatos”>http://www.google.co…uirrels in los gatos

Sign in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley)

Outings in Los Gatos are often scenic and sometimes surprising.

Quito Road, which meanders alongside the winding San Tomas Aquino creek and separates Los Gatos from Saratoga, has loads of odd signs reminiscent of the one here, but this isn’t a sign from Quito Road.

Have you seen this one? Know where it is?

It’s on the Los Gatos Creek Trail at Vasona Lake County Park near the dam. It’s aimed at folks on bikes and probably rollerblades too, rather than inautomobiles.

Campbell Fire Near Los Gatos Border Fills Sky with Smoke

June 13, 2008

View of part of the 2 alarm blaze as seen from Highway 880/17

Tonight another fire, this one smaller but more local, darkened the skies over the western part of the Santa Clara Valley with smoke. At about 3pm, a grass fire broke out close to the onramp from San Tomas Expressway in Campbell onto Highway 17 southbound toward Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. By 4:30 or so, when I drove through, the plume of smoke rising was quite substantial. And by evening, the air was positively eerie in Los Gatos with strange tints coloring the sky and the landscape.

View of the smokey sky from Belwood of Los Gatos on June 13, 2008 - Photo by Clair Handy

The late afternoon and early evening sky was a taupe color in places. Light coming in through the windows of our home was tinted a tungsten type of hue. This photo taken by Clair Handy from Bacigalupi Drive in Los Gatos (in Belwood of Los Gatos).

View of the smoke-filled sky in Belwood of Los Gatos on June 13, 2008. Photo by Clair Handy.

Another neighborhood view in Belwood.

The sun turned to a bright orange ball against the tinge of brown from the grass fire in Campbell.(Photo by Clair Handy)

View from the Handy Family backyard in Los Gatos – the wind made the smoke-filled areas very distinct from the cleaner sections of sky.

View of the palm trees on Harwood Road in Los Gatos with the strange backdrop of a smokey sky.

A (non-enhanced) view of nearby palm trees. The whole sky was just creepy looking.All of these pictures are unedited except for cropping, of course.

Sunset as viewed on Bacigalupi Drive in east Los Gatos on June 13, 2008. Amazing sky.

My sister, Barb, is visiting for a few days and she commented that the sky reminded of of when Mt St. Helen’s blew in 1980. I was not around for that, but heard plenty about it from my many friends in Washington and Oregon. I don’t think it was quite so dark, but it was certainly odd looking tonight.

Mary Pope-Handy

 

 

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley, with
special focus on
Los Gatos

and nearby areas,
including
Monte Sereno,
Saratoga,
Campbell,
and the San Jose areas of
Cambrian and Almaden Valley

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