Almaden Gardens

Cover (Home)



Site Analysis

The Design

Phase 1 - Getting Started

Phase 2 - Becoming A Park

Phase 3 - A Nicer Park

Phase 4 - Finishing Touches

Phase 5 - Icing On The Cake

Design Memo

(Not included in Catalogue)







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For the Almaden Gardens Plan as PDF, click here.


The Almaden Winery site is a designated California Registered Landmark No. 505 in recognition of the premium wine making industry established by Charles LeFranc in the 1850's. The property listed in the National Register of Historic Places occupied land along Blossom Hill Road, north of the Guadalupe River from 1850 until 1986 when the property was acquired for residential use. The Almaden Winery is the second oldest winery in the state of California and the oldest continuously operating winery in the Santa Clara Valley. The primary period of historical significance for the winery is considered to be 1856 to 1887. It is during this period that LeFranc began cultivating vines on the site and importing varietals vines from France to begin the commercial wine industry in the Santa Clara Valley. He increased the production of premium wines to make his New Almaden Vineyards one of the largest and most respected wineries in the state. For his contributions, Charles LeFranc is considered the "Father of Commercial Wine making in the Santa Clara Valley."

In 1993 New Cities Development Group bought the winery property and planned a housing project which "featured restoration of the original winery building, as part of a community park." In February 1994, the public grand opening of Vintage at the Almaden Winery featured five decorated model homes. At this time the developing company claimed it would be "set aside a three-acre site on the property that would include the rose garden of one of the winery's former owners and the remaining buildings to be used as a civic park at a later date." In 1996 all of the homes on Almaden Winery property were completed. The developer failed to restore the park as stated in the promotional literature leading to the neighborhood residents meeting with San Jose Council Member Pat Dando to discuss plans for restoring the park and the old winery. The city now owns 2/3 of park property and is negotiating with the developer to buy the remaining section.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Webmaster.                                                                       Last updated on: 01/18/2004

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