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Willow Glen, San Jose

Categories: Neighborhoods, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 95+ 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.
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  • I went to see friends and Christmas lights. This is a snazzy tiny downtown. Visit and would also live in a very clean city, tired heart is healed. However, it is quite a luxury residential area.
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  • About 5 blocks of funky small boutique shops and diverse and ethnically diverse restaurants. A great place to people watch. The area attracts all ages. My husband and I ate lunch outside at Bill's Caf...  read more »
  • Excellent place to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I've had them all and on many occasions. Food is super good, portions are big. prices are fair. overall It is my favorite place to eat 
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