Morepark on the Move - Page 5

Inside San Jose’s earliest Eichler development—where enthusiastic newcomers turn to the past for inspiration
Morepark on the Move
Morepark on the Move
Morepark on the Move
Three stops in and around the Eichler home of Karina and Todd Marshall. "This is very much an experimental house," Karina says of her model. "[Eichler] was trying different things." Middle above: Karina, Todd, and son Aleksei laugh it up.
Morepark on the Move
All the Morepark newcomers from our story gather for cocktails.

"Many of those neighbors who were being unfriendly, I counseled their kids over the years."

Today, many people in the Eichlers of Rose Glen are focusing on building a community. That's something Susan Price-Jang has been doing for decades. She learned Spanish working as a family advocate at a local school where most of the kids speak Spanish.

Since then she has worked in the greater neighborhood to fight landlords who fail to repair their buildings or rent to criminals, working with a program called Responsible Landlords Engagement Initiative.

Price-Jang has gone out of her way to meet as many people as she could in the Eichler homes, and helped reorganize the Rose Glen Neighborhood Association, which covers between 900 to 1,000 households. She installed a Little Free Library on a post in front of her house—largely stocked with titles in Spanish to attract kids who live in the nearby apartments. She also helped organize a 'Mid Mod Mad Men Party' for the neighborhood.

One of her successes was getting the school district to open a portion of its site for a playground, an amenity that had been lacking. "That was great. That was fantastic," says Adam Dye, whose two children play there.

Neighbors note, though, that there is no real park near their tract, no gathering place. Because of the neighborhood layout—three long, parallel streets—many people know folks on their street but not on the other two.

It's also not a neighborhood where kids can safely play outside, as the streets are wide, and the adjacent Fruitdale Avenue is a busy thoroughfare.

Now that they have fixed up their homes, though, some of the newcomers hope to turn their attention to fixing up a few problems in the tract.

"The common thread is our intention to find a way to build more community," says Mark Winkler, adding, "We want to see the neighborhood become more walkable. People drive fast, and these are wide streets."

Megan, an architect, has even drawn up plans for widening the sidewalks and narrowing the streets.

One problem this neighborhood has yet to face, although it is common just a few miles north in Palo Alto, are threatening two-story additions or teardowns. No one seems worried.

"The people who buy here now are interested in having an actual Eichler home," Apolonia says. "You don't see them taking away their Eichler-ness." She adds: "We feel like we're this rare three blocks, and we want to keep the essence of these Eichler homes."

 

• The homes of Morepark are found on the 700 and 800 blocks of Richmond, Menker, and Goodwin avenues, and on adjacent Kingman and Fruitdale avenues

Photography: James Fanucchi, Dave Weinstein