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SITE LOCATION DESCRIPTION
With Updates As Of February 24, 2013
The Town Council of Los Gatos has reserved three adjacent prominent
spaces in the Town Civic Center located in the center of the
Town of Los Gatos for consideration for placement of a Veterans
memorial. The Town Civic Center is prominently located on East
Main Street between Pageant Avenue and Villa Avenue. Surrounding
the Town Civic Center are Town Hall, Town Chambers, the new
Town Library, the two Town Adult and Youth Recreation Centers,
the Police Dispatch Center, the Town Museum and the Friends
of the Library Center. And just a couple of blocks away is the
Los Gatos High School campus. Many of the aforementioned buildings
were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The one exception to this
is the new Los Gatos Town Library, a $12+ million facility that
opened its doors in 2012.
spaces on reserve for consideration for memorial placement include
the Civic Center Lawn and/or the Civic Center Plaza Square and/or
Pageant Grounds. Based on further review with individual Town
Council members, we advise artists only to focus on the small
area around the Flags on the Center Lawn for design modification.
It is the Town's desire to keep the Central Lawn unobstructed
allowing for gatherings on the Lawn and to retain the existing
pathway where it is currently located. In addition, individual
Town Council members have stressed the Town's desire to have
a bridge connecting the Civic Center Plaza Square and Pageant
Grounds. Artists are encouraged to consider this in their designs.
Architects and Designers are requested to structure their designs
to consider these spaces, the space specifications and design
elements that follow in the creation of their submission. In
addition, Artists, Architects and Designers have discretion
relative to proposing a design for use of only one of the spaces,
or two of the spaces, or all three of the spaces. A description
of each of these spaces along with use and design considerations
Civic Center grounds exist on East Main Street between Villa
Avenue to the east and Pageant Avenue to the west. To the left
(east) of the Civic Center exists Villa Avenue, which serves
as the main access road entrance road to the new Town Library
and the Town Adult Recreational Center parking lots. The Adult
Recreation Center and adjacent parking is located on the left
(east side) of Villa Avenue, Library and Library parking lot
located on the right (west side) of Villa Avenue. Pageant Avenue,
which is located to the right of Civic Center, provides access
to small town municipal parking lot containing a couple of rows
of parking (east side of the street), entrance to an access
road that goes behind Civic Center (east side of street), an
automobile dealership and a couple of private residences (west
side of street).
The Civic Center Lawn
All perspectives are written from the directional position of
one standing on East Main Street in front of the flag poles
located in the front center of the Town Lawn.
Lawn grounds consist largely of lawn, pavement, redwood and
other trees indigenous to California, all of which have been
numbered and logged by the Town arborist, some of which are
lit at night, three artistic structures and rose gardens.
The area of consideration on the Lawn is centered around three
45' to 50' flag poles at its northern front center just a few
feet off of East Main Street, from which hang three flags -
American, state of California and Town Los Gatos flags. Other
upright structures include three art structures: one titled
"Eolian" by sculptor Eric Ziemelis created in 1991
which uses concrete and metal and is located on the east side
of the lawn. A second structure, titled Portals and Passages,
is created by sculptor Marilyn Kukeht, also made of metal and
steel is located on the west side of the lawn. A third art element
resembling the base of a tree made of wood and concrete, dedicated
to George and Ruth Barati for their contribution to the community
and the arts, erected in 1998, is located in front of the Friends
of the Library and Los Gatos Museums brick building located
on the western side of the lawn in an ivy garden.
arched macadam pathway exists from two exterior perimeter points
along East Main Street's sidewalk emanating from the northwest
and northeast of the lawn that leads to the stairway entrance
to the front of the Plaza. In addition, a sidewalk exists from
the Town Library located to the left (east) of the Town Center
and another walkway exists from the right (west) off of Pageant
Avenue. We are advised by individual Town Council Members that
the location of this pathway is to remain in place. The pathway
contains contemporary style lampposts of approximate 15' in
height that were installed in the last couple of years.
the back of the Civic Center Lawn exists (in order of left to
right or east to west) a parking area consisting of four rows
of parking spaces for the new two-story Town Library which is
located behind the parking area (east of center), a public water
fountain (east of center), an above ground gas valve and steel
utility doors to underground water utilities (east of center),
a rose garden and redwood tree dedicated to Rose E. Aldag commemorating
her 31 years of public service which sits in front of a handicap
access ramp leading to the Plaza Square (east of center), a
circular rose garden and 20' Willow tree that exists between
the lawn and the entrance to the Town Chambers (center) which
is below the Civic Center Plaza (center), a two-story Town building
adjunct to Civic Center Plaza shared by the Friends of the Library
and another tenant likely to be but not yet leased to the Los
Gatos Town Museums Organization (west of center), an ivy garden
with Redwood trees and the aforementioned tree-like art element
dedicated to the Barati's (west of center) and small municipal
parking lot with entrance from Pageant Avenue (west of center).
An 18" semi-permanent stage is erected in front of the
two story brick Friends of Library/Museum and Administration
Building (west of center) and in place from the second week
of June to the end of August for summer concerts. The stage
is only 18" in height for the reason that the lower level
of the Friends of the Library/Museum/Administration building
contains windows that begin at ground level and need to remain
partially uncovered for light access to the building. There
is some discussion for the construction of a permanent stage
for this purpose; however, Town Council has not signed off on
that plan as of this time.
The Civic Center Lawn is used for concerts and shows e.g. Fiesta
de Artes a wine and art show, Fourth of July celebrations and
Music in the Park concerts, during the spring, summer and fall.
Concerts are heavily attended during the summer and the entire
lawn is often packed with audiences stretching from Villa to
Pageant Avenues. Concert attendees often lay blankets out on
the lawn during summer concerts and suppliers erect booths upon
the lawn for concerts and shows. In addition, concession stands
are erected in the Recreation Center Parking Lot. For all these
reasons this area is very restricted in what can be done.
Use: Outdoor concerts, festivals and events will continue to
take place upon the lawn in the future. Designers please take
note: as a result, we are limited only to a small area around
the three flag if this area were to be incorporated into your
The Plaza Square and Bridge Connecting to Pageant Grounds
The Plaza is shaped as a square and is built atop the Town Chambers
building which, when originally built, had the dual purpose
of serving as a bomb shelter. As a result, the Plaza can withstand
a great deal of weight. Set back to the left of the Plaza, exists
the new Los Gatos Town Library, which hosts a number of specialized
rooms. The Children's Room and Children's Play Area on the first
floor and History Corner on the second floor are closest to
the Civic Center and Pageant Grounds.
two-story buildings have entrances to their second levels from
atop the Plaza and are located at three of the four corners
of the Plaza Square. The Friends of Library and Museum building
exists on the front right (northwest) corner of the Plaza square.
Police Dispatch exists on the back right (southwest) corner
of the Plaza Square and Town Hall exists on the back left (southeast)
corner of Plaza Square. Entrances to the Town Chambers facility,
which is located under the Plaza, are beneath ground level and
are accessed from stairways located on the front (north) and
left (east) sides of the Plaza.
of the Plaza Square consists of hardscape materials made of
concrete and brick. A large circular pooling fountain with an
above ground bench height cement perimeter exists which is no
longer in use due to risk concerns on behalf of the Board of
Health. Four drainage vents exist about equidistant in between
the circular fountain perimeter and each of the four corners
of the Plaza Square. A large brass plate recognizing those who
originally created the Plaza Square complex is in-bedded in
the concrete north of the perimeter of the fountain
concrete half moon shaped bench structures are located beyond
the perimeter of the fountain approaching the four corners of
the Plaza. Large circular concrete planters exist that are sitting
within the curve of the bench structures and two smaller concrete
planters exist behind two of the four benches, the bench towards
the northwest and southeast corners. Other small circular planters
exist near the entrances of each of the three buildings, some
of which contain foliage and others that are not in use.
the rear (south end) of the Plaza exist two steps leading to
a landing. The landing is the width of the space in between
the Town Hall brick building located at the back left (southeast)
corner of the Plaza square and the Police brick dispatch center
located at the back right (southwest) corner of the Plaza square.
Individual Town Council Members would like to see a bridge erected
to connect the Plaza to Pageant Grounds over the small access
road and parking area that exists behind the Civic Center. While
there is no final allocation of budget for construction at this
time, in reviewing the overall access to these two adjacent
areas, artists are encouraged to include the consideration of
a bridge tying these two areas together either concurrently
or as a future (perhaps second) stage of construction that would
be supplemental to the budgetary requirements included in this
request. One wooden bench with a brass plate denoting dedication
sits in the front left (northeast) corner of the Plaza Square.
Plantings exist between the handicap access ramp located on
the front northeast corner of Plaza Square. A central air compression
unit exists amongst the plantings.
Points to the Plaza:
Front East Main Street (north) side of Plaza square: As pedestrians
walk from the arched pathway on the lawn and approach the Plaza,
the vortex of the pathway leads to a small rose garden and three
sets of stairways. A center concrete stairway consisting of
five stairs, a landing, and then six stairs leads from ground
level down to the entrance of Town Chambers. Two concrete stairways,
one to the right and to the left of the center stairway leads
from ground up to Plaza Square. The two stairways leading up
to Plaza Square contain four stairs followed by a landing, four
stairs followed by a second landing, and then a final four stairs
to the Plaza Square level. In addition, a handicap access ramp
with a switchback turn is accessible from the library parking
lot at the northeast corner of Plaza Square to the Plaza Square
level. The Handicap access ramp enters Plaza Square to the left
of the northeast most stairway.
(east) side of Plaza Square: To the left of the Plaza as aforementioned,
exists the Town Library parking area. Under the left side of
Plaza Square exists a second entrance to Town Chambers, the
entrance of which is beneath ground level. This triple stairway
entrance to the underground Town Chambers and Plaza Square above
Town Chambers is identical to that of the frontal triple stairway
entrance in number of stairways, stairs and landings at the
northern side of Plaza Square. To the right of the triple stairways
(east and northeast side of Plaza), exists a switchback handicap
access pathway that leads from the Library parking lot to the
underground entrance of Town Chambers.
(west) side of Plaza square: One large stairwell containing
five curved concrete stairs exists between the two brick buildings
- the Friends of the Library/Museum building located on the
front right (northwest) corner - Friends of the Library/Museum
building and Police Dispatch brick building located on the rear
right (southwest) corners of the square. Beyond the Friends
of the Library/Museum building exists a small municipal parking
lot with an entrance off of Pageant Avenue.
Plaza Square: An access road with entrance from Pageant Avenue
and a few parking spaces exists one story down at ground level
behind Plaza Square. In addition, a generator that is on continuously
and is audibly cyclically louder at times than other times was
moved beneath the back edge of Plaza Square when the Town Library
was built which will become a consideration for noise control
during future ceremonial events. Pageant Grounds exists beyond
the access road and stretches the entire width of the buildings
and Plaza Square combined. It is possible that with a bridge
spanning between the Plaza Square and Pageant Grounds, some
of the noise could be abated, possibly with the addition of
The Plaza gets very little use today other than the general
pedestrian use to access the buildings adjunct to Plaza Square.
The hardscape materials and lack of any overhead cover create
an extremely hot area during summer months. This was not the
original plan for the Plaza for cooling temperatures were previously
created from the large pooling fountain no now shut off due
to Board of Health requirements. A once very used Plaza serving
as a centralized focal point for the Town is, as a result, very
The presence of a memorial atop the Plaza creates consideration
for several uses:
1) This could become center stage for patriotic events hosted
on national holidays - Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veterans
Day, as well as special Town celebrations.
2) With the addition of seating, soft scape, landscaping, some
shade, and non-pooling fountains, the Plaza could become a place
for gathering, relaxation and reflection for Town employees
Museums of Los Gatos organization is in the process of negotiating
a lease for a potential move into the building located on the
front right (northwest) corner of the Plaza. The Museums of
Los Gatos center hopes to use some of the Plaza space in front
of its entrance off the right (northeastern) corner for temporary
outdoor small exhibits.
Pageant Grounds is a tiny, almost hidden, less than half an
acre historic park that backs against a hillside serving as
a natural amphitheater for Civic Center. Once a focal point
for Town pageants from 1919 to 1947, the Pageant Grounds stretched
out to East Main Street, but with the expansion of the Town
Civic Center in the 1960's the site was reduced. The well-shaded
grounds have been used in the past for special summer barbecues.
Pageant Park is currently undergoing landscape renovation approved
by Town Council in September 2012 to include grading the land
to make the connection to the park better. It is expected to
be completed by year-end per Todd Capurso, Los Gatos Parks and
Public Works Director. 408-399-5774. The Park is almost the
width of the buildings and Plaza Square combined which it is
behind. Again, a bridge connecting the area with the Town Plaza
would greatly enhance its accessibility, a reason for bringing
the bridge into consideration.
Today, the park offers a lovely entrance from near the Town
Library Children's Play Area, a walled handicap ramp up to the
grounds, an old spring in the southeast corner of the park,
a waterfall created by an open fire hydrant atop a hillside
that falls into a pool of water and drain located in the back
center of the park, and is being renovated to include a front
hardscape area that stretches the entire width of the park and
a back lawn area that also stretches the entire width of the
park, altogether creating a glimpse of the past.
A view for the landscape-rendering plan approved by Town Council
in the September 17, 2012 meeting appears below.
changes have been made to the plan above. For one, the original
plan to include a public art element no longer exists. Secondly,
the front tier will be all hardscape and the back tier all lawn.
A preferred view of the renovation underway in Pageant Grounds
exists in the photos accompanying this document.
The following is quoted from a local town website, the Los Gatos
Patch "And that has town officials excited, because it
means the less-than-half-acre area behind Town Hall won't be
so secluded from the public anymore. It will be the latest park
built in town, and it's sure to accentuate the $12 million library
project, according to town officials.
'When the library project was awarded to Bogard Construction
of Santa Cruz, the Town Council expressed a desire to enhance
the connection between the library, the civic center and the
park,' Capurso explained.
'The overall goal is to improve an area that's been there since
the early 1900s,' Capurso said.
'When all is said and done, we'll have a much better transition
from the library into Pageant Grounds ... the pathway that gets
you from the library into Pageant Grounds will be wider, easier
to use and ADA-compliant,' Capurso noted.
'It's a really cozy and quiet space,' said Los Gatos Town Manager
'We're going to make the park so much more usable,' Larson said.
'It's a hidden gem. It's our most historic park. It's going
to be a really nice feature.'
The park complements a kids' garden/play area located outside
the Town Library and the new library history room, which overlooks
Use: Once used for
pageants, other than an occasional barbeques, the park is unused
at this time other than for local dog walkers.
Considerations: The Town anticipates that Los Gatos residents
will enjoy using the Pageant Grounds in the days ahead. Imagine
the serenity of being surrounded by a natural hillside like
amphitheater, with the beautiful lawn and hardscape. Eventual
Town Council approval of the possible bridge for which architectural
drawings already exist, will improve the access immensely and
add new life to this gem of a space. The bridge proposal is
expected to go before the Town Council in 2013. However, this
plan is under consideration and is not funded at this time.
As a result, there exists no guarantee that the Plaza landing
and Pageant Park spaces will become linked.
The backdrop of
a hillside also creates an almost amphitheater-like natural
Elevations and tiers
There exist four elevations of spaces provided for consideration:
the lawn around the Flag Poles, the plaza, the rear platform
of the plaza leading to a bridge that connects the plaza to
Pageant Grounds, and the hillside backdrop to Pageant Grounds:
· Tier 1) The Civic Center Lawn is located adjacent to
East Main Street. It has the lowest elevation of these three
spaces with its elevation at ground level.
· Tier 2) Pedestrians walk up 12 steps to the level of
the Civic Center Plaza, which represents a second elevation.
· Tier 3) At the rear of the Plaza, exists a platform
which is two steps higher than the remainder of the Plaza from
where a bridge would emanate to cross over the access street
below to Pageant Grounds.
· Tier 4) Pageant Grounds located across a small access
road and parking area from the Plaza. Some portions of Pageant
Park are lower than the Plaza and some are higher than the Plaza.
Pageant Grounds backs up to a relatively steep hillside; which
spans approximately four stories in height and essentially serves
as a backdrop for the entire area. The natural amphitheater
- like hillside along the back of Pageant Grounds creates the