The oldest section is Schiele Avenue where six homes have made it on the city's list of historic resources. There are two other homes that are hopefully waiting restoration. If you need an incentive to buy and fix up a historic home I encourage you to look at the city of San Jose's incentives. If you need help restoring your Victorian be sure to check out the Victorian Preservation Association of Santa Clara Valley.
Here are just some of the great finds you'll come across by walking Schiele Avenue which is between The Alameda and Stockton Avenues.
Little Free Library @ 936 Schiele Avenue
If you want to participate just bring a favorite book you'd like to give away and see if one of the available books suits your fancy. If not just head over to 931 Myrtle Street and see if the College Park Little Free Library has what you are in the mood for.
Memorial To Trayvon Martin @ 714 Schiele Avenue
At the Stockton Avenue end of Schiele Avenue is a memorial to the Florida killing of troubled seventeen year old Trayvon Martin (1995-2012) by Neighborhood Watch Volunteer George Zimmerman. The memorial consists of Trayvon's name spelled out in wax on a Sycamore tree with Skittle bags attached. The only thing missing is the Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail that probably gets picked up by the transients looking to cash in cans and bottles not realizing it is part of a memorial.
The incident involved a young black male walking thru a gated community where he was not known. It had tragic consequences and prompted a nationwide soul searching about the kind of communities we are creating. It is one of who belongs in a neighborhood and who looks suspicious. Of building gated communities and leaving out sidewalks, posting No Trespassing signs and using armed volunteers to chase out trouble makers.
Could it happen here?
Our neighborhood is already on edge with transients, solicitors and opportunistic thieves, but we are lucky that San Jose is ranked #1 in the US for being the most ethnically diverse. Sadly the only group not well represented in San Jose is African Americans who only representing 2% of our population, vs 13% nationwide.
The memorial gave me pause to think if I would enjoy my walks through our neighborhood if I looked like Travyon? I did some soul searching about how the erosion of communities and broken families creates "dangerous" strangers in our midst. I hope you'll be encouraged to walk past this memorial and come to your own answer as to how we should treat people we encounter in our neighborhood.
These Boots are made for walking @ 946 Schiele Ave
The Almost Baseball Stadium @ Schiele Avenue
The nearby Agricultural Park had easy access to the "San Jose and Santa Clara Electric Railway" but didn't allow for rigs (which turns out to be horses with carriages) and was in disrepair and this corner was the first choice. For whatever reason it didn't happen.
Today the corner is home to the Alameda Real Building. San Jose did build a baseball field six years later at Sodality Park in 1908 (where Orchard Hardware is today). It was home to the Pacific Coast League's San Jose Red Sox (a farm team). Seems funny that today, over 100 years later, we are still waiting for our first big time baseball team.
J.E. Wing's California Apiaries
It was part of our neighborhood's historic ties to the fruit canning business where orchardists needed industrial scale bee hive colonies ready to ship to orchards. Edith Daley of the San Jose Evening News has a great interview with J.E. Wing in the March 1921 editions of the paper. Wing was responsible for many innovations including the importation of new queen bees, selling bees by the pound, using screen cases, shipping hives to be placed directly in the orchards during spring blossoms and finding ways to feed a hive. John E. Wing (1879-1963).
Charles M. Schiele
Schiele Avenue was named when Charles bought "The Alameda Gardens" from John F. Hill and subdivided the 15 acres into 70 lots that featured stone sidewalks and street shade trees for great walks along the new Schiele Avenue. Transportation on the electric railroad on The Alameda and cars on Stockton Avenue were also a selling point. Charles M. Schiele also developed nearby Magnolia Avenue.
Clark Mansion @ Schiele Ave & The Alameda
In 1889 William died having outlived his wife and son. The estate was broken up among his surviving four daughters, one who later committed suicide and had her portion of the estate contested.
From 1900 to 1920 it was the home of William's daughter Alice Ann Clark and her husband Jerome Hart, a well known writer and publisher who were married in the gardens at the estate.
The photo was taken near the corner of Schiele and Hoover Avenue on the non forested backside of the 7 acre property where they had a horse race track and breed Holstein and Jersey horses.
In 1913 Jeromy Hart used the estate's tranquil garden environment to write the book "Sardou and the Sardou Plays" a biography of the famous French playwright Victorien Sardou.
In 1922 The just completed house attracted the unsavory attention of George Lo Bono in who threatened to blow up the mansion unless a ransom was placed under a mailbox at nearby Randol Ave and Chapman St. William Leet wasn't willing to be blackmailed and the local sheriffs apprehended Lo Bono when he went to pick up the ransom.
In 1932 they hosted charity events at their new home. In 1941 his daughter Adelia was married in the family's garden by a priest from nearby St Leo's church on Race Street and that in 1944 the neighbors complained to the city council about the flock of 75 chickens he kept to close to the homes on Pershing Avenue. The Leets also hosted bridge parties and stays from San Francisco ArchBishops Hanna and Mitty (local Catholic High School named in his honor). In 1945 William Leet died. In Dec of 1961 the beautiful 17 room historic mansion was destroyed by fire.
The best part of the office buildings are the large number of trees, water features and public walkways through the property. It gives the office complex a garden like quality fitting of the name Garden Alameda. Be sure to check out the ducks and the original heritage trees including one massive Valley Oak that survived the switch from two mansions, the construction of the office buildings and the fear of big tree insurance claims.