Of the 178 original homeowners in the tree-lined Stierlin Estates neighborhood, only a handful remain. Among them is Shirley Karkas, who moved into a brand new house in the tract her with husband in 1963.
"I still know original owners," she said. "But it's evolved, it's changed, and now we have young children again, which is wonderful." Karkas' own three children are in their 40s and 50s today.
Now, she said, the neighborhood is "a mixture" of all nationalities and ages, with everyone from working class to professionals to retired people.
"I think we're fortunate to have that," she said.
Lyn Simpson and her family recently relocated to their current house in Stierlin Estates -- they'd lived just around the corner since 1996 -- to have more space as her two children get older.
Simpson previously lived in the Philippines and then Anaheim, Calif., and finds Stierlin Estates to be a big improvement.
"Everyone's nicer than in L.A.," she said. "It's really friendly and diverse."
Simpson's neighbors are from such faraway countries as India, Vietnam and Thailand. She also feels safe in the neighborhood and enjoys the quiet.
"We don't have drive-by shootings or gangs hanging around," she said.
Karkas' favorite aspect of the neighborhood is the weather. She and her husband used to live in Daly City's Westlake neighborhood, where fog and cold temperatures are common throughout the year.
"We had terrible weather up there," she said. "Sometimes you couldn't even see the house across the street."
She also appreciates the convenience of nearby freeways, including Highway 85, which was added after she moved to Stierlin Estates.
"I don't know what we did without it," she said.
Simpson agreed. She works as an executive assistant in San Jose, but says her commute only takes about five minutes.
"It's against the traffic," she said. "I'm spoiled!" Simpson also enjoys the small community feel and easy access to lots of parks in the neighborhood -- where kids young and old go to play, she said.
The development of freeways and surrounding commercial areas parallels changes and additions that happened closer to home. At any given time, a few homes in the area are being remodeled.
"They're old now, these homes," Karkas said, adding that she and her husband took down a wall years ago in what's now their living room. "You have to make improvements to a home when you've lived in it this long."
But the original beauty of the neighborhood remains in the majestically large overhanging trees.
"It's really green -- lots of plants and trees and not a lot of commercial buildings," Simpson said.
One potential drawback of the neighborhood is that it isn't very social. That suits current residents just fine, though.
"I certainly have no desire to move," Karkas said.
"I can't find anything wrong in Mountain View," Simpson added. "I love it here."
-- Emma Trotter
FIRE STATION: No. 5, 2195 N. Shoreline Blvd.
LOCATION: between Terra Bella Avenue, North Shoreline Boulevard, West Middlefield Road, Moffett Boulevard and Highway 85
PARKS: San Veron Park, San Veron Avenue and Middlefield Road
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.; Mountain View Carriers Annex, 1070 La Avenida St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District -- Monta Loma Elementary School, Crittenden Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Mountain View or Los Altos High School
SHOPPING: Bailey Plaza, Shoreline Boulevard
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $656,500 ($653,000-$925,000)
HOMES SOLD: 4
MEDIAN 2012 CONDO PRICE: $540,000 ($430,000-$698,000)
CONDOS SOLD (nearby): 6