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.
Where is the Broadway Historic District in Los Gatos?
The Town of Los Gatos has a Historic Districts Map – have a look:
Broadway neighborhood of Los Gatos real estate information
If you drive through the Edelen, Almond Grove, Fairview Plaza, Glenridge and other older and historic Los Gatos nieghborhoods, you may have wondered how far back in time these architecturally interesting properties go. What are the oldest residences in town, or close by?
In the Santa Clara Valley, there are a few old adobe homes here and there, such as the Peralta Adobe in downtown San Jose (built in 1797), and the Santa Clara Women’s Club Adobe (built in 1790), and many more. In Los Gatos we don’t have any pre-1800 adobe homes to my knowledge.
Property records for LG indicate that there are a couple of homes dating from about 1840 or 1850, but a close look reveals that they have been extensively remodeled and look more like homes from 2005. Want something authentically historic and still looking the part? There are plenty, but they don’t date from quite so early. They are instead from the late 1870 or so at the earliest, generally.
Today I did a search of county real estate records for homes in Los Gatos (in town, 95030 & 95032 plus the mountains, 95033) and found hundreds of properties identified as pre-1900 construction. There were about about 400 in 95030, 120 in 95032, and also about 120 in 95033.
The majority of the older homes were said to be built in 1900. That figure is so high as to make me ponder whether that’s just an easy way of saying “really old” rather than the precise year of construction completion.
For all Los Gatos areas combined, there were about 65-67 homes that pre-date 1900. That’s a pretty good handful for the lover of historic properties to admire! If you enjoy seeing lovely older homes, especially Victorians, be sure to visit Los Gatos and drive through the historic districts and streets near downtown! Here are a few photos to urge you to have a look in person 🙂
September 23, 2009
The highly appreciated Los Gatos Historic Homes Tour will be returning on November 7 – 8, 2009, 10am to 4pm each day. Seven beautiful Los Gatos homes will be on display, with docents at each home to point out special aspects of the home.
Not only are the homes lovely to see, but it’s a fabulous way to get a taste of the history of Los Gatos. I highly recommend this event, particularly to folks new to the town!
Tickets are $35 per person. Learn more at www.MuseumsOfLosGatos.org. Proceeds go to support the towns two museums (one a history museum, the other an art museum).
Would you like to volunteer to help put it on? You can do that and enjoy a free pass to the homes on tour.
November 01, 2008
Quick reminder that this weekend is the home tour of historic homes in Los Gatos. For more information, see Los Gatos Historic Home Tours.
Also, remember to turn your clocks back an hour tonight!