Vendome neighborhood

Vendome neighborhood sign in San Jose CASan Jose’s Vendome neighborhood is a beautiful pocket in downtown San Jose, not too far from Japantown. Because the area is small, many locals have never heard of it. I had the pleasure of selling one of these gorgeous homes years ago and am enthusiastic on the charm and location of this neighborhood.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • where to find the Vendome neighborhood
  • what homes are like there
  • a little history
  • what it costs to purchase a house in this pocket of downtown

Last summer there was a walking tour offered for this area. I would love to go if it is possible in the future again.

 

Spanish style house on Ayer Avenue in the Vendome neighborhood

Boasting rights

The streets are scenic and the few dozen homes well cared for, but there’s much more to this area. It enjoys great access to downtown San Jose, to parks,  restaurants, museums, and freeway access. Coleman Avenue also makes for a quick trip to the airport and the light rail stops along First Street (the Japantown / Ayer stop). It also can boast some great historic roots, too.

Where is the Vendome neighborhood?

This area is part of the larger Ryland area, named for Ryland Park on the southern end of the shaded map area. The streets are Ayer Avenue, Rankin Avenue, and Losse Court and they are between First and San Pedro. This area is in the 95110 zip code right near the border with 95112 (which begins at N 1st St). The Losse Ct section is where the Hotel Vendome’s annex used to sit.

Here’s a closer view of the Vendome area:

 

Vendome neighborhood map and Ryland neighborhood map in San Jose

 

What are homes like in the Vendome neighborhood?

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Spanish Style Homes

Spanish house on Ayer - Vendome

A home with many Spanish style elements on Ayer Ave in the Vendome district of San Jose near Japantown.

Curved terra cotta tile roofs and pale stucco walls, these are the tell-tale signs you’re looking at a Spanish style house! But what is a Spanish style home?

What makes a house a Spanish style home?

There are actually a number of more specific designs that might fall under this umbrella term. Some of these include Mission or California Mission Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Moorish Revival, Territorial or Territorial Revival, Pueblo Deco, Monterey Colonial, Colonial Californiano, and Mexican Style, but most frequently the term “Spanish Style” is used to describe the Spanish Eclectic or Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. We’ll focus on these last two as they are the most widely found designs and most of the Spanish style homes in the South Bay fall into at least one of these two categories.

Before we jump in any further, there’s a lot we can learn from these names. Revival styles draw on the look of a past era, which in this case is the Spanish colonial-era architecture of the far and south west found in historic adobes and the missions. This architecture is a reimagining, not a reproduction, of something vintage through a contemporary form. These are “eclectic” styles because the architecture does not follow any strict rules of design. Instead, it combines features of various styles, replacing or mixing elements for taste and functionality to become a kind of hybrid design.

What does this mean for the average homebuyer / homeowner?

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San Jose’s Japantown: living history

Buddhist Temple in Japantown

The Buddhist Temple in San Jose’s Japantown – one of only 3 Japantowns in the US

San Jose’s Japantown is not just a neighborhood, but a community with a strong history. Only three Japantowns still exist in the US, and San Jose’s Japantown is the only one that remains in its original location. Issei (first generation immigrants) were drawn to the Santa Clara Valley in the late 1800s for agriculture, and somewhere between 1890 and 1900 they founded Japantown, also called Nihonmachi, next to the site of San Jose’s second Chinatown, known as Heinlenville, which no longer stands. It became a cultural center, safe from the hostile anti-immigrant attitudes of the time.  Stores sold familiar products, there were restaurants, boarding houses, social clubs and sports, a bath house, and work and recreation for the Japanese pioneers. As with other groups, the first immigrants from Japan were mostly male, so this “bachelor society” also entertained in gambling houses and brothels.

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