Walking into the Monta Loma neighborhood is like stepping into a time warp where the past and future co-exist. The residential streets in this Mountain View neighborhood are lined with rows of mid-century modern homes from the 1950s that sit adjacent to a Google campus with a testing track for self-driving cars.
Linda Harvey, president of the neighborhood association, said the homes represent a style of architecture as well as a lifestyle.
"The idea was to bring the outside in," Harvey said. "These homes were built in the 1950s, and they were family homes, so there's some nostalgia. ... People treasure them."
Monta Loma lies between four busy streets, but once one steps into the community, it becomes incredibly residential and friendly. Nearly all of the homes in Monta Loma were built by Joseph Eichler, Mardell Building Co. or John Mackay --
all midcentury-modern architects whose designs feature one-story open-floor plans with an abundance of natural light.
"I find that it's the perfect size for me," Harvey said of her retro home.
Most of the homes in Monta Loma have remained virtually unchanged from when they were first built, but a few have been remodeled to add space, or to simply change their look. Even so, the neighborhood maintains its distinct theme.
"It's a nice neighborhood that is identifiable," Harvey said.
Alongside the neighborhood's retro architecture is Google. Walking down the street, one will see several self-driving cars on test runs from the tech-giant's campus. Harvey said that Google has made many efforts to make the residents comfortable with the company's proximity to residential streets. It put up soundproof walls and has kept its privately-owned streets accessible to residents. The neighborhood association worked alongside the City of Mountain View and Google to make the company's transition into the neighborhood as smooth as possible.
"Google wants to be a really good neighbor, and I think they have been because they have tried and tried and tried every which way," Harvey said.
John Canata, who has lived in Monta Loma since 1975, said he cherishes his neighbors and the community environment that they have created.
"If you work at being a good neighbor, you'll find there's a lot of other good neighbors that will be living next to you or around you," Canata said. "Just make yourself known to your neighbors, and get to know them. I think that creates more of a sense of community than anything else."
The neighborhood association has worked hard to maintain a sense of camaraderie in the neighborhood.
"We have a newsletter that comes out every quarter, and we have an active neighborhood association," Harvey said. "The point of our board is to create that sense of community with events."
The neighbors are often invited to events, such as ice cream socials, block parties and various dinner parties through the Monta Loma mailing list.
Monta Loma is a community that wants to make everyone feel welcome, Harvey said.
"We're family oriented, diverse and proud," she added. "It's a quiet little nesting area (with) a lot of pride of ownership."
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.
LOCATION: bounded by just south of San Antonio Road, West Middlefield Road, Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway
PARKS: Monta Loma Park, Thompson Avenue and Laura Lane; Thaddeus Park, West Middlefield Road and Independence Avenue
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Waldorf High School of the Peninsula, 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; Monta Loma Plaza, West Middlefield Road and Rengstorff Avenue; The Village at San Antonio Center