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Monta Loma


When Janice Heiler and her husband faced retirement, they considered leaving their home in the Monta Loma neighborhood of Mountain View.

Then, a new member of the household came along, and all those plans changed.

"Once we started getting out more walking the dog, we started meeting neighbors and didn't want to move," Heiler said. That was 10 years ago, and they haven't looked back.

Lots of homeowners in the neighborhood come for the location and stay for the community. Monta Loma is defined by San Antonio Road, Middlefield Road, Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway. There's a shopping center in one corner that provides a coffee shop, dry cleaning, movie rental, restaurants and in 2009 a Fresh 'n Easy grocery store. Just across the freeway is Google's campus, which has brought in some new neighbors in recent years, said Wouter Suverkropp, president of the Monta Loma Neighborhood Association.

The homes were built in the post-World War II boom, mostly by Joseph Eichler. A number of the homes have been passed down through generations and stayed in families since they were built. Suverkropp and his family are in that category; his wife's parents owned their house when she was young.

"There are almost no two-story homes in Monta Loma, and as a result you can always see the sky and the hills," Suverkropp said. "People walk a lot around here, just for a stroll to the park, to see a neighbor, admire front gardens or to go to the stores. Many new homeowners tell us that Monta Loma feels like an 'old-style' neighborhood, 'like it used to be', and we're proud of that."

About 500 people belong to an e-mail list started by the association, which was founded in 1977 as a beautification committee, Suverkropp said. The association now organizes several annual events that attract hundreds of people, and it recruited neighbors for Community Emergency Response Team training sessions, he said.

The association represents the neighborhood to the city as well, said Suverkropp. It's been especially active with the coming development of nearly 500 condos and single-family homes on the neighborhood's edge. Home builder Toll Brothers plans to build the houses on the 27-acre Mayfield Mall site, which used to be owned by Hewlett-Packard.

The neighborhood association's e-mail list helps residents keep up to date on big issues like the Mayfield project, and also provides practical help with day-to-day needs. When Heiler's baby grandson was coming for a visit, she sent a message to the list asking to borrow a high chair and a stroller, and she got responses from four different people.

More and more families with young children seem to be moving into the neighborhood, said Marilyn Gildea, who has lived in Monta Loma since 2002. She likes the neighborhood for its diversity and the fact that generations stay on through the years. She also appreciates the city council candidates' forums the neighborhood association holds each election year.

Heiler especially appreciates the safe feeling of the neighborhood. She walks her dog before sunrise and feels completely safe no matter the time of day. "Anywhere I am in this neighborhood I feel like I'm in my backyard."


CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Hobbledehoy Montessori Preschool, 2321 Jane Lane; Monta Loma Babysitting Co-op (part of Monta Loma Neighborhood Association)

FIRE STATION: No. 3, 301 Rengstorff Ave.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Monta Loma Neighborhood Association, Wouter Suverkropp, president,,

PARKS: Monta Loma Park, Thompson Avenue and Laura Lane; Thaddeus Park, Middlefield Road and Independence Drive

POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: The Girls' Middle School, 180 N. Rengstorff Ave.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District — Monta Loma Elementary School, Crittenden Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District — Los Altos High School

SHOPPING: Central Expressway and Rengstorff Avenue; Middlefield Road and Rengstorff Avenue; San Antonio Shopping Center

MEDIAN 2008 HOME PRICE: $849,500 ($745,000-$1,035,000)


MEDIAN 2008 CONDO PRICE: $777,000


— Kathy Schrenk

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Like this comment
Posted by Terry Bohme
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I was born in 1953 at Stanford, my grandparents Joe and Mamie (Henderson) Suda [Austrian name] operated Barron Park Cab @ 1945-1959. They had lived on Hannover, and then near Varian on El Camino at a Laundry for more parking near Military. Then on Cambridge between El Camino & Birch. I attended Mayfield and had as my 1st grade teacher, the famous Mrs. Harry Rathbun, Emilia. She was older about 43 then, she made me feel like her favorite and I remembered her my whole life. I went to her house on three occasions, I never knew who she was or what Harry did. She also somehow had our classes meet the Romper Room lady from TV somehow. They lived very modestly. Did she give everyone a dark 'feely' stone from her fireplace? I never would have assumed she lived beyond 2000 & the internet age and by the time I googled her she had just died a year or so before. My mom Luella Suda was Paly class 1948.

My parents also had a house at 2357 Craig Ct in the Monte Loma, Mt View tract. We were the original owners bought in 53-54 for $13K. All the neughbors were friends back then. I saw the 1st Mercury launched there on TV with my neighbor. My mom sold it in fall 1962 for maybe $18-20K-for a house in Santa Clara-975 Live Oak Drive- BAD ROI with every move away from Palo Alto. It is often stated that Steve Jobs attended Monte Loma also when I did but was a year younger, what was his parents adress then. My gg Grandfathers came to Mountina View in 1852 a Baptist minister b 1812 from Maryland Henry Merrill Henderson. He had a place on El Camino by Calderon & Grant we werer told the early Bubb family attended his church services till about 1868. He serviced Half Moon bay and Saratoga-McCarterville. My Great Grandfather Vincent Snelling Henderson was born there in Mountain View in 1856 as well as my grandmother in 1899. He had a barber shop with baths and a bike shop on Castro & Villa till he accidentally burnt his house down in 1904-5. He had 8 kids then. So I've seen and heard a lot, too bad no one ever kept any property or sent the kids to college. Gypsys!

Like this comment
Posted by annoyed
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I grew up on Alvin Street in the Monta Loma neighborhood. It was then, and appears to be still, a great place to live. Schools were close by and the ballfields at Monta Loma School were the second home for all of my friends. Several of my old neighbors still live in the same houses and I go see them occasionally. I lived there for 15 years until 1976 and have occasionally thought about bying my old house. The problem is that I don't like the Eichler houses. They have great qualities but are just not for me.

Steve Jobs and his sister Patty did go to Monta Loma School before they moved to Santa Clara or near there. They lived near the old Mafield Mall on Whitney I think. He was one of the smartest people in the school. His sister was one of the prettiest.

Like this comment
Posted by HP address
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm

The 911 Page Mill HP address

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