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With the completion of a pedestrian path that now completely encircles El Quito Park (the front section along Paseo Prasada was completed earlier this year); the next phase of the project is to address the landscaping component for the north and west side of the park - to better match the newly renovated front section of the park. This project will add an assortment of different trees adjacent to the path along the back of the park, and along the side of the park backing up to the Primary Plus School. In addition, approximately 9 new planting beds will be added to this area, planted with ornamental scrubs, roses, perennial flowers, and ornamental grasses. The existing turf grass in this area will be removed, and irrigation lines will be altered to accommodate the new landscape configuration. Landscape bark will be used to mulch the new trees and planting beds parallel to the existing path, similar to the new configuration at the front of the park.
Not only will this project greatly enhance the beauty of the park, but it will also reduce water, fertilizer, and chemical use in the park. Mower emissions and fuel use will be reduced as well by eliminating the turf grass in the “outer circle” areas of the park (where it serves minimal use). Movement of irrigation lines and sprinklers away from the pedestrian path will also help eliminate the “water pooling” issues that we have had with the back section of the path, closest to Parkside.
Upon completion of this final section, there will no longer be any turf grass on the outside parameters of the park; ornamental landscape plants and trees will then occupy these areas. These changes will not have any impact on the existing inner turf (playing field) areas of the park or the baseball diamond area. The project is scheduled take place over the winter months to minimize disruption to park users, and to add the new plants and trees to the area in the winter or early spring months (to minimize transplant shock).
PLANS APPROVED / Timeline Unknown...
Sand Hill Properties, owner of both the Saratoga Office Center and the Quito Village Shopping Center on Cox Avenue received approval from the Saratoga Planning Commission on 10/28/2009 to remodeling the Quito Village Shopping Center. Remodeling will include some interior reconfiguration and cosmetic exterior changes to the two front buildings, reconfiguration of the interior courtyard between the two front buildings, the addition of a new 16' diameter metal "bird and tree theme" sculpture to the front of the building at the entrance to the interior courtyard (on the Cox Avenue side), demolition and removal of the existing gazebo (to the left of Gene's), the planting of 32 new trees throughout the site and along Cox Avenue and Paseo Prasada, and the replacement of the existing store signage with new front-projection individual letter lit signs.
To get a complete overview of the project, you can watch a video of the 10/14/2009 and 10/28/2009 Planning Commission meeting by visiting the City of Saratoga web site at http://www.saratoga.ca.us/cityhall/comms/planning/planning_commission_meeting_videos.asp - simply look for the 10/14, and 10/28 Planning Commission videos. The Quito Village Shopping Center remodel was the first item on both meeting agendas.
Formal construction and landscape plans need to be completed by the developer, and approved by the Saratoga Building Department before work can begin. Project timelines are unknown at this point.
Orchard workers at Sorosis Fruit Company, early 1900s (current location of West Hope Church on Saratoga Ave.)
The land that the El Quito neighborhood now sits on (as with much of Saratoga, Cupertino, and Campbell), was originally part of the Quito Rancho - a Mexican land-grant established around 1841. The J. R. Arguello family acquired much of the Quito Rancho in the mid 1800's, but sold large portions of the property in subsequent years. Saratoga Avenue is one of the oldest thoroughfares in Santa Clara County, so lands adjacent to this early road were highly desirable and quickly acquired and developed by early farmers.
The Arguello's were active developers and established the Quito Olive orchard, just across Quito road (approximately where Westgate Mall, and the El Paseo Shopping Center now reside), living on their 630 acre olive ranch for many years (a few of the original olive trees from the mid 1800's remain in front of homes that front Quito Road, behind Lucky's).
One of the earliest maps available of the area depicting land ownership after the Quito Rancho was subdivided for sale was the "Thompson and West Atlas of 1876" (a copy of this map is housed in the "California Room" at the Martin Luther King Library in San Jose). An enlargement of the map to this specific location (below) shows that there were three "primary owners" of our El Quito neighborhood at the time of publication in 1876; S. A. Blythe, T. Boyter, and J. S. Scott.
S. A. Blythe (El Quito Park Subdivision)
S. A. Blythe was a native of Tennessee and came to California in 1849, acquiring 750 acres of farm land. This particular parcel was 210 acres during his ownership and his parcel straddled Saratoga Avenue. Mr. Blythe appears to have lived in San Jose.
By 1881 the land was sold to Wlliam Farrington, who put in a fruit orchard. Florence R. Cunningham's book - "Saratoga's First Hundred Years" describes him as a Nevada mine owner and freight man. He built a substantial mansion in the Italianate style and photographs of that house exist. The house itself is now gone. In 1883 the Farrington Ranch is shown to cover the land that is today's El Quito Park subdivision, as well as the land across Saratoga Avenue to Saratoga Creek. Mr. Farrington expanded the property and by 1883 it is shown to be about 300 acres.
Farrngton sold his ranch to another investor, Frank (Borax) Smith of Death Valley fame, before 1900. The ranch became one of the most famous fruit operations and was known as the Sorosis Fruit Farm. Sorosis means "dry", hence the fruit was dried on the premises, a photograph of the fruit drying sheds of this establishment is shown below. The Sorosis Fruit Company buildings were located on Saratoga Avenue, where the West Hope Church now resides. The Farrington mansion was located across the street from the facility.
CDL e-Scholarship Repository. Sorosis Fruit Company's Packing House, a View of the Valley and Foothills Beyond]. 1905. <http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt367nc68v>.
One of the most valuable and highly productive orchards in the Santa Clara Valley was operated by Joseph A. Teresi, located on Saratoga Avenue. Known as the Sorosis Fruit Company, besides the extensive orchards a large packing plant was located on the ranch, which took care of the products of the orchards. Joseph A. was born in Sicily, February 23, 1899, the son of Salvatore and Marianna (La Barbera) Teresi, also natives of Sicily. The family removed to the United States in 1903. His father was engaged in the horticulture business in his native country, and he had seven boys, who were all thoroughly taught the orchard business.
The property remained agricultural until after WWII. The Paul Masson champagne cellar and property was nearby, and helped keep the Sorosis Ranch as farm land.
- Summary data courtesy of April Halberstadt, Historian - Saratoga Museum - Saratoga, California
El Quito Park Subdivision 1950
Developed in 1950 by the Tilson Construction Company, the 220 home El Quito Park subdivision (bound by Saratoga Avenue, Cox Avenue, and Quito Road - the "Paseo XXXXX" streets, Bucknell, and Cox Avenue) was offered in a one or two car garage configuration - priced at $8,500 or $8,800 respectively (same living space floor plan). Each home is situated on a minimum 10,000 square foot lot - many with larger lots.
The entire 220 home subdivision would have been valued at less than $2M at the time of offering in 1950!
See original 1950s El Quito Park home sales brochure in attachments below.
The Paul Masson Chanpaigne Cellars is depicted above , before it was torn down and replaced by the Bellgrove housing subdivision.
Built in the mid-1990s, the Bellgrove subdivision sits on land that was once owned by Paul Masson Champaigne Cellars. The Bellgrove subdivision consists of 94, 2-story upscale homes and a 1.7 acre neighborhood park. Bellgrove is located at Saratoga Avenue and Highway 85, with the entrance on Saratoga Avenue.
Do you have Historical Information or Old Photos of the Neighborhood???
Do you have old photos or historical information specific to the El Quito Neighborhood that you would like to share on our web site?
NOTE: Information submitted may be posted to this public web site, therefore family-identifiable (personal) information may not be suitable for this forum.
To submit information or photos, please contact email@example.com. We may be able to accommodate scanning of a limited number of photos to electronic format, if you don't have this capability - just contact us...
Don't let our local history be lost!
ALL NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME!
Meetings are typically held on the 3rd Wednesday every month at 7:30pm. Meeting times and locations may vary.
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