Historic Almond Grove Neighborhood or District in downtown Los Gatos

The historic Almond Grove neighborhood, or the Almond Grove district, is in or perhaps more properly adjacent to downtown Los Gatos. It is one of only 5 areas named by the town as a  “Los Gatos historic district.” The others are the Edelen or University Historic District, the Fairview Plaza Historic District, the Broadway area, and the Downtown Historic District. (I was surprised that the Glenridge area doesn’t enjoy the same distinction – but I’m sure that there’s a good reason for that.)

 

Town of Los Gatos Historic Districts

 

What sets this neighborhood apart, besides simply having older houses? Why make it a special historic district?

It certainly got off to a good start. The subdivision was first auctioned off in 1887. They began with approximately 40 acres of former almond orchards that was subdivided into 170 lots and by the end of the first auction day, a full 121 of them were sold!!  But that’s not it. However, part of it had to do with the background story. Below please find an excerpt from the town’s website.

(Read the entire document here: http://www.losgatosca.gov/documents/8/12/14/almondgrove.PDF )

 

Historic Almond Grove District Home: 105 Tait Ave built appx 1890

 

The town has a long discussion as to why this area is historic. It’s not just the age of the buildings, but also what happened there and who lived there and why they were important to the town.

Almond Grove Los Gatos video

 

 

I’ve written much more on my “Live in Los Gatos” blog.  To learn more, please read these articles:

The Almond Grove neighborhood in Los Gatos, a scenic & historic district (July 2014)

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Schools serving Los Gatos and Monte Sereno students: how do they compare?

Newcomers to the Los Gatos and Monte Sereno areas often have trouble sorting out the local school districts, and whether or not one area has better performing students than another.  (In many areas, the school district is firmly tied to the city or zip code. Not here!) My advice is to visit the schools in person, talk with people there if possible, and do a lot of research since school scores do not tell the entire story. That said, they do tell part of it – and they are a simple way to compare side by side.

Today I took a few minutes to compile a list of the public schools which serve the residents of Monte Sereno and Los Gatos (town, not the county areas in the mountains – the Los Gatos Mountain schools score very very well overall) and to note their API Scores for 2013, the most recent year for which we have data.   As you can see below, the scores for the elementary and middle schools are really excellent across the board and in all districts, and in many cases the elementary schools in the LG Union School District are not as high as those outside of it.    The real difference shakes out at the high school level.   (It should be noted, too, that Saratoga High has a score of 938 and residents within the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District can apply to go there, or at least have been able to do so in the past.)  *Please click on the image below to see a larger version of it.

 

Schools serving Los Gatos and Monte Sereno

 

Home values are influenced by many factors, one of them often being school scores.  Twenty years ago, many Los Gatos residents felt that they had to be “in the schools” to give their children a quality education.  Many do still prefer the Los Gatos Union School District, but it’s not as uniformly thought before since the scores in the Union School District have been rising quite a lot in recent years.  The part of San Jose (Cambrian) which falls within the Union School District is extremely popular now due to the more affordable price tag with really great schools.   Many of them are expecting the scores at Leigh High School to rise in time since all of the “feeder schools” are scoring in the 900s.