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Willow Glen, San Jose

4.2
#5 of 10 in Sightseeing in San Jose
Neighborhood Tourist Spot
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.
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123 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I enjoyed visiting willow Glen on Lincoln Ave until it became unfriendly to visitors. Lack of parking and reducing 2 lane travel to a single lane has made it difficult to navigate or find parking. Gre...  more »
  • Lovely little neighborhood and was the United States. Restaurants and shops are gathered and relax enjoying a Carbuncle model machine people, the warm sunshine, everything was a perfect place.
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  • My husband strolled the streets in this cute neighborhood. Parking was easy. We stopped at some cute shops and had a nice lunch at Bills Cafe. Nice area if you have some time to burn.  more »

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