Situated on an island between the busy thoroughfares of Shoreline Boulevard, Moffett Boulevard and Central Expressway, the Jackson Park neighborhood can be easy to miss. However, a little investigation reveals an eclectic mix of old and new homes, surrounding a small but lively city park.
Sprinkled throughout Jackson Park's streets are new groups of houses, older properties, unique constructions and even some apartments. Some homes are hidden on narrow back streets like Jackson Alley.
According to longtime resident Jim Holmes, the neighborhood has become increasingly residential over the years, as some old industrial properties have been replaced by new developments. The result today is a peaceful atmosphere remarkably close to downtown and the Mountain View Caltrain station.
"It's just kind of a nice, quiet pocket in the middle of a bunch of commotion on all sides," Holmes said.
Holmes, a retired dentist who has mostly lived in Mountain View since 1971, moved to Jackson Park in 1988 when he and his wife purchased one of a handful of newly built homes. As part of its agreement with the city, the developer who built more homes on the other side of Moffett gave the land up for the creation of Jackson Park, just across Fountain Park Lane from Holmes.
Though Holmes' about 1,700-square-foot home has only a small backyard, having the park nearby makes up for it. He and his wife appreciate the activity that younger families lend to the park, where there are often birthday parties and almost always kids playing.
Anne Selin and her children are one such family from the Jackson Park neighborhood who makes frequent use of the park facilities, which sport a grassy area, tall trees and two playground setups, one for toddlers and another for older children. Selin also likes to walk downtown to the library or to have breakfast with her kids at local establishments like Olympus Caffe & Bakery on Castro Street.
In 2011 Selin and her husband bought their home on Washington Street, also a "newer build," and started raising their family. Though they have thought of moving elsewhere, Selin said that the neighborhood definitely has its advantages.
"We were looking at other houses ... but it's just so hard to beat this location," she said.
Close food shopping options include a Safeway down Stierlin Road; a market called JL Produce with Mexican, European and Russian foods; and Ava's Downtown Market on Castro. For running and biking, the neighborhood also has quick access to Stevens Creek Trail, which is just a bit more than a half mile away.
Selin described the Jackson Park neighborhood as having a socioeconomic mix with some renters and some homeowners and residents of different ages and cultural backgrounds.
Despite the differences, the atmosphere is friendly and supportive, she said. When a house caught fire recently just around the corner, multiple neighbors alerted her immediately and the family was able to stay the night with some other friends down the street.
Since moving in, the family has become close with some neighbors particularly with another young family in "similar circumstances." Many of those acquaintances were made at the nearby park, where Selin constantly sees both new and familiar faces. That's one more good excuse for the family to drop by the park often, beyond the entertainment it affords her kids.
"That's why I like to go to the park myself ..." she said. "We're going right now."
FIRE STATION: No. 1, 251 S. Shoreline Blvd.
PARK: Jackson Park, Jackson Street and Stierlin Road
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District — Monta Loma or Theuerkauf elementary schools, Crittenden Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District — Mountain View High School
SHOPPING: Moffett Boulevard, Downtown Mountain View