Sunnyvale (pronounced /ˈsʌniveil/ or /ˈsʌnivəl/) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is one of the major cities that make up the Silicon Valley. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 131,760.
The city is bordered by the San Francisco Bay and portions of San Jose to the north, Moffett Federal Airfield to the northwest, Mountain View to the west, Los Altos to the southwest, Cupertino to the south, and Santa Clara to the east. It lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101.
As part of the Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is headquarters to several high-tech companies such as Maxim Integrated Products, Juniper Networks, Palm, Inc., AMD, NetApp, Spansion, Yahoo!, Mirapoint, and Ariba. Sunnyvale is also home to several aerospace/defense companies; Lockheed Martin has a major facility in Sunnyvale, and Honeywell, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems - Marine Systems (location of the Hendy Iron Works Museum), and Spirent Communications also have offices in Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale is also the home to Onizuka Air Force Station, where its main building, locally known as the Blue Cube, is its most prominent feature. The base, named for the deceased Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is the primary artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces.
Sunnyvale is one of the few U.S. cities to have a single unified Department of Public Safety, where all personnel are trained as firefighters, police officers, and EMTs, so they can respond to an emergency in any of the three roles.
Library services for the city are provided by the Sunnyvale Public Library, located at the Sunnyvale Civic Center.
Sunnyvale is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.6 square miles (58.6 km²), of which, 21.9 square miles (55.8 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it (3.05%) is water. The elevation is 130 feet above sea level.
Like most of the San Francisco Bay area, Sunnyvale has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, moist winters and warm, very dry summers. Average daytime summer temperatures are in the 80s, and during the winter, average daytime high temperatures rarely stay below 50 °F (10 °C).
|Weather data for Sunnyvale, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||75 |
|Average high °F (°C)||58 |
|Average low °F (°C)||40 |
|Record low °F (°C)||21 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.24 |
|Source: National Weather Service 2009-05-22|
On May 4, 1998, during an unusually strong thunderstorm, Sunnyvale and its neighbor Los Altos were hit by two tornadoes of nearly F2 intensity, causing upwards of $4 million in property damage. No serious injuries were reported. Tornadoes are not common in the San Francisco Bay Area, and these were particularly unique because they exhibited anticyclonic rotation. This was the first time that weather radar data of such high quality had been collected for an anticyclonic supercell thunderstorm with tornadoes. Though smaller tornadoes are not completely unheard of in the area. Sunnyvale experienced another small tornado at the Lockheed-Martin facility at Moffett Federal Airfield two months prior to this one.
On January 30?, 1962, and on February 5, 1976, measurable snowfall occurred in Sunnyvale and most of the San Francisco Bay Area.
When the Spanish first arrived in the 1770s at the Santa Clara Valley, it was heavily populated by the Ohlone native Americans. In 1777, Mission Santa Clara was built by Ohlone converts to Christianity.
In 1842, Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was granted to Francisco Estrada and his wife Inez Castro. Portions of the land given in this grant later developed into the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Two years later, in 1844, another land grant was provided to Lupe Yñigo, one of the few Native Americans to hold land grants. His land grant was first called Rancho Posolmi, named in honor of Posolmi village of the Ohlone that once stood in the area. Rancho Posolmi was later known as Rancho Ynigo.
In 1844, Martin Jr. and Mary Murphy left Missouri and traveled by wagon along the California Trail to successfully cross the Sierra Nevada. In 1850, Martin Murphy Jr. bought a piece of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas for $12,500. Murphy established a wheat farm and ranch named Bay View. Murphy had the first wood frame house, which was shipped from New England, in Santa Clara County built. The house was demolished in 1961 but was reconstructed in 2008 as the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum. When he died in 1884, his land was divided among his heirs.
In 1860, The San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road was allowed to lay tracks on Bay View and established Murphy Station. Lawrence Station was later established on the southern edge of Bay View.
In the 1870s, county property tax laws, imports and soil degradation caused wheat farming to become uneconomical in Santa Clara County. Small fruit orchards replaced the large wheat farms. In 1871, James and Eloise Dawson established the first fruit cannery in Santa Clara County. Fruit agriculture and canning soon became a major industry in the county. The invention of the refrigerated rail car further increased the viability of an economy based upon fruit. The fruit orchards become so prevalent that in 1886, the San Jose Board of Trade called Santa Clara County the "Garden of the World".
In the 1880s, Chinese workers made up 48 percent of the farm labor in Santa Clara County. This percentage reduced over time after the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. In the following decade, the 1890s, multitudes of immigrants from Italy, the Azores, Portugal, and Japan arrived to work in the orchards.
In 1897, Walter Everett Crossman bought 200 acres (809,000 m²) and began selling real estate. He advertised the area as Beautiful Murphy. Later, in the 1900s, real estate developer Walter Crossman described it as "the City of Destiny". Also in 1897, Encina School opened as the first school in Murphy. Previously, children in the town had to travel to Mountain View for school.
In 1901, the residents of Murphy were informed they could not use the names Encinal or Murphy for their post office. They decided to use the name Sunnyvale for the name of their town.
Sunnyvale continued to grow and in 1904, dried fruit production began. Two years later, Libby, McNeill & Libby, a Chicago meat-packing company, decided to open its first fruit packing factory in Sunnyvale. Today, a water tower painted to resemble the first Libby's fruit cocktail can label identifies the former site of the factory.
Also in 1906, the Joshua Hendy Iron Works relocated from San Francisco to Sunnyvale after the company's building was destroyed by fire after the 1906 earthquake. The ironworks was the first non-agricultural industry in the town. The Joshua Hendy Iron Works switched from producing mining equipment to other products such as marine steam engines.
In 1912, the residents of Sunnyvale voted to incorporate, and Sunnyvale became an official city.
Fremont High School first opened in 1923. It served as a military base before the school opened and through World War II. Planes flying to and from Moffett Field, which opened in 1933, commonly stopped here for fuel top-offs. A 1948 yearbook shows a military aircraft parked at one of the buildings as students watch nearby. Fremont High School has old military buildings on its campus including a Quonset hut installed after WWII, now used as a wrestling team facility.
In 1930, Congress decided to place the West Coast dirigible base in Sunnyvale. This naval airfield was later renamed Moffett Naval Air Station and then Moffett Federal Airfield and is commonly called Moffett Field.
During World War II, the war economy began a change from the fruit industry to the high-tech industry in Santa Clara County. The Joshua Hendy Iron Works built marine steam engines, naval guns and rocket launchers to aid in the war effort. As the defense industry grew, a shortage of workers in the farm industry was created. Immigrants from Mexico came to Sunnyvale to fill this void of workers.
Following the war, the fruit orchards and sweetcorn farms were cleared to build homes, factories and offices. In 1956, the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed moved its headquarters to Sunnyvale. Since then, numerous high-tech companies have established offices and headquarters in Sunnyvale, including Advanced Micro Devices and Yahoo. The first prototype of Pong, one of the first arcade videogames, was installed in Sunnyvale in September 1972, in a bar named Andy Capps, now Rooster T. Feathers.
By 2002, the few remaining orchards were demolished and replaced with homes and shops. However, there are still city-owned orchards, such as the Heritage Orchard next to the Sunnyvale Community Center.
In 1979, an indoor mall called Sunnyvale Town Center opened in what used to be a traditional downtown shopping district. After years of successful operation, the mall started to decline in the 1990s. After numerous changes in plans and ownership, the mall was demolished in 2007, and a new downtown shopping district is being constructed in its place.
As of the census of 2000, there were 131,760 people, 52,539 households, and 32,679 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,006.5 people per square mile (2,318.7/km²). There are 53,753 housing units at an average density of 946.0 persons/km² (2,450.4 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city is 53.27% White, 32.27% Asian, 2.22% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 7.19% from other races, and 4.25% from two or more races. 15.48% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 52,539 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 41.3% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 105.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.5 males.
Under the 2000 Census, the median income for a household in the city was $74,409, and the median income for a family was $81,634, but under the Census Bureau's 2007 estimates, these figures have risen to $87,417 and $104,439, respectively.
Under the 2000 Census, males had a median income of $65,165 versus $43,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,524. About 3.7% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.5% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Sunnyvale is located in the 13th Senate District, represented by Democrat Elaine Alquist, and in the 22nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Paul Fong. Federally, Sunnyvale is located in California's 14th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +21 and is represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo. As of March 20, 2009, Sunnyvale had 56,466 registered voters: 25,677 were Democrats, 12,716 Republicans, with the remaining 18,073 not belonging to either major party. The mayor and vice-mayor of Sunnyvale are not directly elected. Instead they are selected from the city council members by the city council, serving two-year and one-year terms, respectively.