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About Mountain View

Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California. The city gets its name from the views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 70,708.


Mountain View is located at 37°25′19″N 122°5′4″W / 37.42194°N 122.08444°W / 37.42194; -122.08444 (37.42223, −122.08429).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.7 km² (12.2 mi²). 31.2 km² (12.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (1.39%) is water.

Mountain View is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, at the north end of State Route 85, where it meets U.S. Route 101. The historic route El Camino Real also runs through Mountain View. It is bounded to the northwest by Palo Alto, to the southwest by Los Altos, to the southeast by Sunnyvale, and to the northeast by the San Francisco Bay.


Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was split between Mariano Castro and Martin Murphy. The south eventually became the city of Sunnyvale, and the north became the city of Mountain View. The town began as a stage stop on the route between San Francisco and San Jose (corresponding to El Camino Real), close to present-day Grant Road. With the coming of the railroad, the center of town eventually moved to its current location at Castro Street.

Much of Mountain View was agricultural through the 1940s, 1950s, and most of the 1960s. Row crops and orchards were common during this era, when there was still open space between Palo Alto and Mountain View. In Bittersweet: Memories of Old Mountain View, an Oral History, residents of Japanese ancestry recall their family's strawberry fields adjoining Moffett Field. Orchards lined much of Grant Road and Miramonte. In the early 1900s, grapes were a common crop in the area of present-day Continental Circle. Phylloxera ended grape production in Mountain View in the early 1900s.

In the 1950s, the most popular places for young folk were the Monte Vista drive-in movie theater on Grant Road, Johnny Mac's Scottish-themed burger drive-in (the building still stands vacant on El Camino), and the Eagles Shack dances in the Adobe Building.

During the Cold War, the drone of Navy P-3 turboprop aircraft was a constant presence, Moffett Field being the home of squadrons of them and their almost constant touch-and-go training flights. The horns of railroad locomotives were also frequently heard.

Mountain View was once the home of Arrow Development, a designer and builder of amusement park rides. During its time in Mountain View, Arrow was contracted to build many of the original rides at Disneyland.

The El Camino Hospital District, a government entity called a Special District under the California Government Code, came to life in the 1960s. The hospital facility at 2500 Grant Road has been in continual operation since.

Nearly anyone using the term Silicon Valley would include Mountain View in that region. An early Silicon Valley company was Fairchild Camera and Instrument Company, located along Whisman Road. Several of Intel's founders came from Fairchild. Local watering holes for workers included Chubby's Broiler (which once stood at Ellis and Fairchild near Hwy 101, but which moved in 1999 to near Tasman and Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale) and Walker's Wagon Wheel on Middlefield Road near Whisman (since torn down). Folklore was that semiconductor pioneers were collaborative and met at the Wagon Wheel to discuss problems they were having with production.


Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown along Castro Street that is about six blocks long, next to the Caltrain station. The police station is two blocks away on Villa Street. Going south towards El Camino Real, there are four blocks of restaurants and shops. Asian and Indian restaurants are abundant, but there are many types of cuisine to choose from. Chez TJ, one of the few restaurants rated by the prestigious Michelin Guide in the Bay Area, is located in downtown Mtn View, just off Castro Street. The Tied House was one of the first brewpubs to open in the Bay Area, and remains a popular stop in downtown. Kapps Pizza displays many photographs of the downtown from 100 years ago.

The core of downtown is the plaza shared by City Hall, the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts and the award-winning Mountain View Public Library. Behind those buildings is Pioneer Park, which enjoys a quiet environment resulting from the City Hall building blocking out the noise from Castro Street. The Plaza between City Hall and the Performing Arts Center is a well-used spot for community gatherings and events, and features an impressive collection of public art.


As of the census of 2000, there were 70,708 people, 31,242 households, and 15,902 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,263.7/km² (5,861.4/mi²). There were 32,432 housing units at an average density of 1,038.3/km² (2,688.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.77% White, 2.53% African American, 0.39% Native American, 20.67% Asian, 0.26% Pacific Islander, 8.32% from other races, and 4.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.26% of the population.

There were 31,242 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 43.4% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 106.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate the median income for a household in the city was $82,648, and the median income for a family was $105,079. Males had a median income of $64,585 versus $44,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $39,693. About 3.6% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


Weather data for Mountain View, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °F (°C) 57
Average low °F (°C) 39
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.24
Source: http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/94043?from=text_bottomnav_business#climograph {{{accessdate}}}

Corporate residents

Mountain View is one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley, and has many notable Silicon Valley companies either headquartered there or with a large presence, including:



Mountain View has a council-manager government system. An executive city manager is in charge of several departments, while the city council, supported by several boards, commissions, and committees, is the legislature responsible for the ordinances of the city code. The executive in turn enforces the code and promulgates administrative regulations to execute it. The city clerk and attorney perform supporting roles. The Community Development Department is the agency responsible for planning and zoning.

As of January, 2009, the City Manager is Kevin Duggan, the Mayor is Margaret Abe-Koga, and Scott S. G. Vermeer is the Police Chief and also the Interim Fire Chief. Margaret Abe-Koga is Mountain View's first ever Asian American woman mayor.

State and Federal legislators

In the state legislature Mountain View is located in the 13th Senate District, represented by Democrat Elaine Alquist, and in the 22nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Paul Fong. Federally, Mountain View is located in California's 14th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +18 and is represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo.


Mountain View has twelve public schools and eight private schools. The public elementary and middle schools governed by the Mountain View-Whisman School District are Benjamin Bubb Elementary School, Castro Elementary, Crittenden Middle School, Graham Middle School, Huff Elementary, Landels Elementary, Monta Loma Elementary, PACT School, and Theuerkauf Elementary. Springer Elementary, although located within the borders of Mountain View, is governed by the Los Altos School District. The public high schools governed by the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District are Alta Vista High, Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts & Technology, Mountain View High School, and Los Altos High School. Many of Mountain View's schools boast test scores among the best in California.

Mountain View taxes a large portion of its most valuable commercial and industrial properties in the Shoreline Regional Park Community at very low relative levels, and until the creation of a joint-powers agreement (JPA) in 2006, none of those property taxes reached the local schools. After the creation of the JPA, the Shoreline Regional Park Community will be sharing less than $1 million per year with the elementary and high school districts.

A citizen-supported parcel tax, largely aimed at reducing class size, was recently renewed with an overwhelming positive vote. The current ratio of students to full-time-equivalent teachers in the Mountain View public elementary schools is 20.4 to one.

Private Schools

Private schools in Mountain View include:


Mountain View has one central public library, the Mountain View Public Library, offering video, music, books, self-check out, and access to the Internet. During fiscal year 2006-7: 810,589 customers visited the Library. Circulation was more than 1.4 million, 105,870 reference and information questions were answered, 36,693 children listened to stories and participated in children's programs and 27,342 new books and media items were added to the collection which includes holdings of 300,000, including 210,000 books and 423 periodical subscriptions. The library also provides valuable outreach services through the bookmobile and S.O.S. volunteer program to those in Mountain View, who are unable to come to the main branch. The building was built in 1997. The second floor of the library has a special collection in a room devoted to the history of Mountain View, next to a portrait of Don Mariano Castro, for whom the downtown main street is named. The library hosts the innovative Mountain View Reads Togetherprogram.


Mountain View is served by the Caltrain rail system, which runs from San Francisco to Gilroy. It also served by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, including various bus lines and the Mountain View - Winchester light rail line.

Moffett Federal Airfield is located just north of Mountain View, but its use is restricted to aeromedical, government and military users. The nearest major airports are Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The nearest general aviation airport is the Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County.


On August 16, 2006, after over a year of test deployments, Google declared, as planned, that its implementation for free IEEE 802.11g wireless service for all of the City was fully operational. Mountain View is the first city in the United States entirely covered by a free wireless Internet access network provided by Google.

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