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Willow Glen, San Jose

(4.2/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
Willow Glen is a neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. The neighborhood has walkable tree-lined streets, diverse architecture, specialty shops, and independent businesses. The historic downtown on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue is a well-known downtown community, with a variety of restaurants and shops.HistoryThe neighborhood began in the mid-1800s as an unincorporated community adjacent to San Jose, California. By the 1860s the small unincorporated community needed its first school, and Willow Glen Elementary School was founded in 1863. Willow Glen continued as an unincorporated community until the 1920s, when the City of San Jose ordered the Southern Pacific Railroad to re-route the Southern Pacific Railroad trunk line which at that time was going down Fourth Street. The Southern Pacific then proposed to re-route down Lincoln Avenue. In order to forestall that attempt, Willow Glen was incorporated as a city in 1927. The railroad was instead re-routed to its current route through a then-unincorporated area now known as North Willow Glen, where its principal user is now Caltrain.Being a city, however, required thinking about issues such as sewage. Willow Glen had no sewer system – individual homes had their own cesspools or septic systems. Because the area was marshy before being drained for Willow Glen, the high water table resulted in raw sewage often spilling above-ground from flooded cesspools. Rather than build their own very expensive sewage treatment system, in 1936 Willow Glen's residents opted to be annexed to San Jose and be linked to San Jose's sewage system, the measure passing by a vote of 978 to 871.
To visit Willow Glen on your trip to San Jose, use our San Jose tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Love downtown willow glen! They have lots of cute restaurants (so much variety!), shops and banks. The area is really clean and a great place to go for a walk, a date or a fun evening out. There are s...  more »
  • They become part of the atmosphere is part of the Lincoln Avenue in San Jose, creates a distinctive skyline, such as cafes, restaurants and retail outlets. It is places such as tea at street cafes.
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  • We keep things charming in willow glen. Once you pass Coe Ave. you are welcomed into willow glen with many unique shops, delicious restaurants, spas, hair and nail salons, things for the kids to get c...  more »