Sunday, September 20, 2009

Downtown Willow Glen

While many cities our size have a single urban focal point, we're lucky enough to have 3: Downtown San Jose, Santana Row, and Downtown Willow Glen--all of which are in close proximity from one another. I know I post a lot about Downtown San Jose, but I'm going to start posting more about the other two urban centers along with potential future centers (North 1st St., The Alameda, Midtown, Evergreen, Alviso, Coyote Valley, etc.).

Willow Glen has always had a lot of charm and character, but also possesses an interesting history. It was incorporated into a city in the 1920s to prevent San Jose from running a railroad down Lincoln, the main street in what is now Downtown Willow Glen. By the 1930s, there were over 30 commercial businesses in Willow Glen, setting the stage for the walkable Downtown it has today. Then in 1936 in was annexed to San Jose in order to prevent having to build its own sewage system. Willow Glen was essentially built on a marsh, great for farming but it created some complications with individual sewage systems. Since San Jose already had a great city-wide sewage system, the least expensive solution to the problem was being annexed into San Jose.

Willow Glen continues to retain its unique character and Downtown Willow Glen maintains a very enjoyable atmosphere for dining, shopping, or just sipping on a cup of coffee. I'll even go so far as to say that for many years, Downtown Willow Glen was more of a downtown than Downtown San Jose. Below are a few photos that I took last time I was in Willow Glen (click to enlarge the benches):

1 comment:

  1. Willow Glen is the model for suburban becoming urban (in function). I hope more neighborhoods look to this style.