Fairview Plaza feels like a step back in time – and in many ways, it is. This little neighborhood is so quaint and unique that it seems perfect for a movie set. Located close to downtown and equally close to huge expanses of open space, it enjoys its own park, has an interesting history and is enough off the beaten path that it goes largely undisturbed.
In 1880, Frank McCullough came to Los Gatos and bought 166 acres of prime real estate. From that land, in 1915 he donated a parcel to become a park, now Fairview Plaza Park. At one time it included playground equipment and a bird sanctuary too. Today it’s a little more congested with cars on the street, but it’s still quite pleasant. This little park is the heart of the neighborhood.
Have a look at the video that Clair and I did in 2014 to get a feel for the area, then continue reading for more info on this corner of Los Gatos.
(And if you liked this video, please see http://www.YouTube.com/popehandy for more videos of Los Gatos neighborhoods.)
The Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood of Los Gatos is one of the most scenic residential areas anywhere in Silicon Valley. It features beautiful, custom, mostly historic homes on meandering streets.
Set just above the Almond Grove neighborhood on a gentle hill it, too, is close to town but with a little more altitude and better vistas. The other nearby neighbor is the Fairview Plaza. So much history in such a close area!
These are really two separate neighborhoods or districts, but they are similar in many ways and are directly adjacent to each other, so we are covering them together.
Bachman Park is set in in the middle of this area and includes several acres alongside a creek. The park offers picnic tables, a playground, basketball courts and a large grassy field for picnics or play. A paved path follows the creek on one side of it – making a wonderful place just for strolling. (Bachman Park refers to both the park and its immediate neighborhood.)
Where is the Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhood?
This charming older Los Gatos neighborhood is set just up the hill from the Almond Grove Historic District and adjacent to Fairview Plaza. (more…)
If you drive through the Edelen, Almond Grove, Fairview Plaza, Glenridge and other older and historic Los Gatos neighborhoods, you may have wondered how far back in time these architecturally interesting properties go. What are the oldest residences in town, or close by?
Los Gatos Historic Homes
Are there Adobes?
In the Santa Clara Valley, there are a handful of 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. I can’t say for certain if there are any remaining 18th-19th century adobe homes in Los Gatos. If they exist the most probable properties are around the Los Gatos Saratoga border, are private, occupied homes, and have extensive additions and modifications.
Victorian Era: Gold Rush to Gem of the Foothills
When discussing historic homes in the Bay Area, the Victorian undoubtedly comes to mind. And Los Gatos has plenty! A search of county real estate records for Los Gatos homes (in town, 95030 & 95032 plus the mountains, 95033) spanning the era from 1837-1901 revealed hundreds of properties identified as Victorian construction. It displayed about about 375 in 95030, 120 in 95032, and also about 140 in 95033. (more…)
My work takes me all over Los Gatos, but usually I’m driving. The other day I noticed some fanciful roof art as I was a passenger and had the leisure of looking up, down, and all around while my husband kept his eyes on the road.
I did almost miss it, as the large trees enjoyed in the Glenridge neighborhood made the fanciful roof art visibility more like a Where’s Waldo? game. (For a better view, click on the photograph below and you’ll see a larger version of it.)
I did a double take and then we doubled back when I noticed something on the roof’s peak. We do see interesting weather vanes, and sometimes intricate wood details on Victorians, but this was something else. This time Jim also got to see it and we decided it was worth parking the car to take a photo with a simpler backyard. (Click image to see larger photo.)
I’ve never seen a gargoyle on a residential roof before, but I thought it was wonderful and worth sharing. It’s topped off by the dragon weather vane!
These can be seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in the Glenridge area of Los Gatos. Are there other homes with curious and fun art on the roofs here in town? If so, I’d love to see them!
Creekside Village is one of the youngest subdivisions in Los Gatos, and it’s located in a prime “walk to town” neighborhood with the highly prized Los Gatos schools. As the name implies, this community of houses sits alongside the scenic Los Gatos Creek (the Los Gatos Creek Trail is on the far side of the water from these properties). All of these factors make the Creekside Village neighborhood a very attractive option for house hunters.
This subdivision was built by Barry Swenson with prefab or manufactured housing between 2005 and 2006 on the former site of a mobile home park.
There are 60 single family homes, ranging in size from 1251 square feet to 1747 SF (average home size is 1503 SF). Lots are mostly smaller, ranging from 1845 to 8909 SF, with the average parcel being 2846.
The garages are either single car or 2 car tandem. While the Creekside Village houses are not big, the interiors are beautifully appointed and there’s nothing modest feeling about them in that regard.
All homes are on Creekside Village Drive and are assigned the 95032 zip code. It’s a very tidy community and includes a home owner’s association for the shared amenities such as the clubhouse, pool, workout room, private road, and parking. While there is an HOA, it is not a condominium community. The preliminary title reports for these homes states that ownership is “in fee”. So not held in condo ownership.
Here’s a street view close to the clubhouse and entrance to the neighborhood. Note that there are narrow, private roads, and no parking allowed on the street. There are also no sidewalks. (There are guest parking spots.)
Next, a view of the clubhouse.
The smallest cluster of homes along Alberto Way is Las Casitas, a pretty townhome community with 18 units and abundant open space near downtown Los Gatos. Here are some quick facts about this attractive community:
- The legal name of the complex is “Las Casitas IV of Los Gatos”.
- Built in 1979.
- This is a condo complex. Units are shaped like 2 story townhouses, but the ownership type is condominium. (Some townhomes are PUDs, Planned Unit Developments.)
- The 18 units all appear to have the same floor plan: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 1448 SF, laundry closet in kitchen, patio & storage closet off of living room, multiple skylights, some vaulted ceilings on the 2nd floor.
- There is a little variation in the lot sizes, but only by the tiniest of fractions. All units overlook the greenbelt from the back.
- Each unit is assigned a carport and storage closet at the rear of the property (near the freeway)
- Las Casitas is within the Los Gatos Union School District – a big draw for home buyers. The schools appear to be Van Meter Elementary, Fisher Middle, and Los Gatos High. All are within 1 mile as the bird flies.
- As of April 2021, the monthly dues are $560
The units are slightly staggered, which makes for a pleasant look, but also more privacy on the back patio.