Fairview Plaza Historic District in Los Gatos

Fairview Plaza Historic District neighborhood in Los GatosThe Fairview Plaza Historic District is close to downtown Los Gatos but tucked away on a small knoll with only one access road plus one easy-to-miss pedestrian pathway. For newcomers, it’s a bit of a surprise to discover this little enclave.

What do you find at Fairview Plaza? Begun in the 1880s, the little neighborhood is set around a tiny park surrounded by a small ring road full of charming Victorian homes (though not all properties are houses and not all houses date from the 1800s). The most famous house, though, is unseen from the street, was completed in 1919 and designed by the very famous architect Julia Morgan.

Recently I did a video “drive through” of Fairview Avenue and Fairview Plaza, and posted that together with a bit more information on my Live in Los Gatos blog. Want to get more information on this lovely area? Please read more and check out the video at the link below. And if you want more videos of Los Gatos neighborhoods, I’m building a library of them, slowly but surely – and you can find those at YouTube.com/popehandy.

 

http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/fairview-plaza-historic-neighborhood/

Fairview Plaza home and park strip

 

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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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What styles of homes are popular in Santa Clara County today?

What's Your Home's Style?While most of Santa Clara County (and Silicon Valley too) is filled with ranch style homes, there’s more to the South Bay than the typical rambler. Some areas, such as Los Gatos, Willow Glen, and Palo Alto, seem to be a magnet for diverse types of architecture. Our local multiple listing service, MLSListings.com, includes the following categories for these varied types of homes.  It’s not a perfect list, of course, as several of them have a few sub types (think Spanish and Victorian especially).  Perhaps rather than Eichler, which is a prominently known mid-century modern home, the category should have been the broader mid-century modern, since there are many which are similar but cannot be attributed to Eichler in particular.  In any event, here’s the list:

Cabin
Cape Cod
Colonial
Contemporary
Cottage/Bungalow
Country English
Craftsman
Eichler
French
Georgian
Mediterranean
Modern/High Tech
Ranch
Spanish
Traditional
Tudor
Victorian

Today I was wondering which of these types is “in style”, making them sell faster?   (more…)

What Types of Houses or Homes are Found in Los Gatos?

Los Gatos is a charming town at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains that features a good amount architectural beauty in commercial and residential buildings (and natural beauty too, as the town’s backdrop is the coastal foothills).

Today we’ll have a look at some of the diverse types of architecture seen in Los Gatos homes. There are many neighborhoods built out by many different builders within the town (and in county pockets). Each one has its own personality and “feel”. Many of the town’s residential areas have ranch style homes that are 30 – 50 years old, but certainly not all of Los Gatos can be described that way. What types of houses does Los Gatos have? It really depends on the neighborhood and age of the area or development – and, to an extent, on the owners and how they care for the home. Here, then, is a “sampling” of architectural styles found in the homes of Los Gatos.

The Almond Grove District is one of the oldest parts of Los Gatos and it features many lovely Victorian homes, some craftsman and a smattering of everything else. It’s a fabulous place to see at any time of the year, but especially in October or December, when the area seems to go all out in decorating for the holidays. This neighborhood is located near Los Gatos – Saratoga Road and N. Santa Cruz Avenue, and includes streets such as Almendra, Massol, Tait, and Bean. (And yes, it was once a grove of almond trees.)

Almond Grove House

And here’s a lovely Craftsman style home just touching the Almond Grove area:

 

Los Gatos Home

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