Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Nordstrom and Macy's. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.
Pleasanton sign on Main Street
The City of Planned Progress
Location of Pleasanton within Alameda County, California.
Location in California
Pleasanton (the United States)
|Coordinates: 37°39′45″N 121°52′29″W|
|Incorporated||June 18, 1894|
|• Mayor||Jerry Thorne|
|• State Senate||Steve Glazer (D)|
|• State Assembly||Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D)|
|• U.S. Congress||Eric Swalwell (D)|
|• Total||24.28 sq mi (62.88 km2)|
|• Land||24.13 sq mi (62.49 km2)|
|• Water||0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2) 0.63%|
|Elevation||351 ft (107 m)|
|• Density||3,409.87/sq mi (1,316.55/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
94566, 94568, 94588
|GNIS feature IDs||277578, 2411441|
Pleasanton was ranked number 4 in USA Today's list of "America's 50 best cities to live in" in 2014, number 63 in Money's list of "The Best Places to Live" in 2010, and was named one of "Americans' Top Hometown Spots" in the United States in 2009 by Forbes. Pleasanton was named the third wealthiest city in terms of earnings in the United States by NerdWallet in 2013 and 2016.
Before the establishment of Pleasanton in the 1850s, an earlier settlement in the location was called Alisal. It was located on the lands of the Rancho Santa Rita near the site of an Indian ranchera, around the Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, called El Alisal (The Sycamores), one of the earliest houses built in the valley in 1844. It is still standing and serves as the centerpiece of the Alviso Adobe Community Park. Alisal, nicknamed "The Most Desperate Town in the West", was one of the settlements located along La Vereda del Monte that was a haunt and refuge of bandits and desperados in the era following the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Main Street shootouts were not uncommon. Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.
Pleasanton is located on the lands of the Rancho Valle de San José and Rancho Santa Rita Mexican land grants. Its name came from John W. Kottinger, an Alameda County justice of the peace, who named it after his friend, Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton. A typographical error by a recording clerk in Washington D.C. apparently led to the current spelling.
In 1917, Pleasanton became the backdrop for the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, starring Mary Pickford. The town was once home to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who lived in a 50-room mansion on a 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) estate, now the site of Castlewood Country Club.
Pleasanton is located at 37°40′21″N 121°52′57″W (37.672530, −121.882517) and is adjacent to Hayward, Livermore, and Dublin. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.3 square miles (63 km2), of which 24.1 square miles (62 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.63%) is water. On the east side of town on Stanley Blvd. near the Livermore border is Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, a lake that permits swimming, fishing, and boating. On the west side is the Pleasanton Ridge with two parks, Pleasanton Ridge and Augustin Bernal Park. Much of Pleasanton is drained by the Arroyo Valle and Arroyo Mocho watercourses. Pleasanton lies along the route of the historic First Transcontinental Railroad.
Pleasanton features a Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters (Köppen climate classification Csa). The highest recorded temperature was 115 °F (46 °C) in 1950. The lowest recorded temperature was 17 °F (−8 °C) in 1990.
|Climate data for Pleasanton, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||75
|Average high °F (°C)||58
|Average low °F (°C)||37
|Record low °F (°C)||17
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.99
|Source: The Weather Channel|
Because of the preservation of Pleasanton's historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-19th century exist. Buildings in Gothic Revival, Pioneer, Italianate, Commercial Italianate, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles can be found within walking distance of each other.
One of the icons of downtown Pleasanton is the Kolln Hardware building, located at 600 Main Street. It is designed in the Commercial Italianate style, but the prominent five-sided corner tower and a few other features are indicative of the Colonial Revival style. The structure mixes in a little bit of Queen Anne design in the tower and gable. This building was built in 1890 and has always housed a hardware store, first by the Lewis Brothers, then Cruikshank and Kolln. The hardware store has been known as Kolln Hardware since 1933. In 2004, the Kolln Hardware business shut its doors. Bud Cornett, a Pleasanton developer, purchased the landmark and has invested in its renovation and earthquake retrofit. After more than 100 years of serving the community as a hardware store, the space is now occupied by Comerica Bank.
La Hacienda del Pozo de Verona (The House of the Wellhead of Verona), located in southwest Pleasanton, was an area landmark until it was destroyed in a fire in 1969. The house was built by architect A.C. Schweinfurth for William Randolph Hearst in 1898. Phoebe Apperson Hearst had the hacienda remodeled and expanded by architect Julia Morgan for use as her primary residence after her husband died. The estate was built upon a 453-acre (1.83 km2) rancheria obtained in 1886 by George Hearst, who intended to use the location for a race horse farm. Its name was inspired by the circular, carved marble wellhead purchased by Phoebe and William in Verona, Italy and installed in the middle of the courtyard. The hacienda was the only female-owned estate to be mentioned in Porter Garnett's Stately Homes of California. The architecture of the hacienda has been called California Mission style by various sources. The original architect used the term "provincial Spanish Renaissance", while Garnett wrote it would be more accurately called "Hispano-Moresque". Moorish influence was found throughout the estate, such as in the guardhouses which stood on either side of the courtyard entrance. The hacienda was topped by imported red Spanish tiles and had undecorated walls of white stucco. After Phoebe's death in 1919, William had the wellhead and other furniture and objects moved to Hearst Castle at San Simeon and sold the estate.
Events and festivals
Pleasanton continues to maintain a small town flavor with regular events for the community. Every Saturday morning a farmers' market sets up on Angela, off Main Street. In 2009, Pleasanton appeared on Newsmax magazine's list of the "Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns", which cited the popular farmers' market among the reasons for the city's charm. There are several parades during the year, commemorating Christmas, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day, as well as kicking off the beginning of the Alameda County Fair and soccer season.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the Pleasanton Downtown Association organized the popular First Wednesday celebrations from May through September of each year. On the first Wednesday of summer months, Main Street was blocked to traffic and adopted a street fair atmosphere. Each First Wednesday celebration was given a theme and planned with related activities. At this local event, businesses and organizations from downtown and around the Tri-Valley set up booths in the center of the street. A local band performed in the Inklings coffee house parking lot, which was closed off for dancing. The parking lot was also set up as a beergarden, with beer and wine available for consumption. In 2017, the Association announced it was discontinuing the events, and was considering other types of events in future years.
Friday Concerts in the Park
Another Pleasanton Downtown Association tradition is the Friday Concerts in the Park series. Every Friday from June until September the PDA schedules different local bands to perform in the evenings at the Lions' Wayside Park off of First Street. The events are free of charge and draw a crowd. Additional seating for 'Concerts in the Park' is available at Delucchi Park, at the intersection of First Street and Neal Street.
The Alameda County Fairgrounds is a 270-acre (110 ha) facility located in Pleasanton. It is home to the annual Alameda County Fair, held since 1912, as well as numerous trade shows and community events. Located on its grounds, the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack was built in 1858, making it the oldest 1-mile (1.6 km) horse racing track in the United States. There is a 3,000 seat amphitheater, as well as a nine-hole golf course located within the track's infield.
The Alameda County Central Railroad Society has maintained a model train exhibit at the fairgrounds since 1959.
Firehouse Arts Center
The Firehouse Arts Center, opened in 2010, is a center of culture and art for Pleasanton. It features a 221-seat theater, the Harrington art gallery, and classrooms for art and drama.
Pleasanton experienced a major economic boom starting in the early 1980s, largely associated with the development of a number of business parks, the largest of which is the Hacienda Business Park. These host a number of campus-like clusters of low-rise and medium-rise office buildings. Pleasanton has been successful in attracting a number of corporate headquarters, such as those of Safeway, Blackhawk Network Holdings, Workday, Simpson Manufacturing, The Cooper Companies, Shaklee, and Patelco Credit Union. Despite an increase in office space vacancy rates in 2000–2004, economic development has remained strong through the middle of the decade.
Pleasanton was also the headquarters of the former PeopleSoft, Inc. (which was acquired by Oracle Corporation), Documentum (which was acquired by EMC Corporation), Thoratec (now part of Abbott), E-Loan (which was acquired by Popular), Spreckels Sugar Company (which was acquired by Imperial Holly), Ross Stores (which moved to nearby Dublin in 2014), and the home loan operation of Providian (which was acquired by Washington Mutual, itself later acquired by JPMorgan Chase). Oracle occupies two buildings of the former PeopleSoft campus, and is the fourth-largest employer in Pleasanton, behind Workday, Safeway and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, Pleasanton is the site of a large AT&T campus.
Other companies with major operations in Pleasanton include Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., Cisco Systems, QASource, Sage Software (Accpac, etc.), CooperVision, Clorox, Fireside Bank (closed in 2012), Roche, BMC Software, Applied Biosystems, EMC Corporation, Portrait Displays, Inc. and Broadcom Inc..
In retail operations, Pleasanton has one major regional mall (Stoneridge Shopping Center) and a number of other shopping centers. Besides the anchor tenants Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney at Stoneridge, notable large stores elsewhere in the city include Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Kohl's.
In addition to the business parks and retail centers, Pleasanton is known for its lively downtown, which is home to a number of fine-dining, casual, and ethnic restaurants, specialty retailers, and service businesses. A redesign of Main Street in the 1990s emphasized pedestrian traffic and outdoor dining.
In 2005, the median household income in Pleasanton was $101,022, the highest income for any city with a population between 65,000 and 249,999 people. Similarly, for 2007, the median household income rose to $113,345, also the highest in the category. According to City-Data.com, the median household income had risen to $121,622 by 2013, compared to a statewide median of $60,190.
According to the Bay East Association of Realtors, the median price of a detached single family home was $935,000 as of September 2015. According to Zillow.com, the median home value in Pleasanton was $1,075,700 as of January 2018.
|4||Pleasanton Unified School District*||1,373|
|6||Stanford Healthcare - ValleyCare||1,054|
|7||Blackhawk Network Holdings*||918|
|8||Roche Molecular Diagnostics*||845|
|10||Clorox Services Company||708|
|12||Thermo Fisher Scientific||579|
|14||City of Pleasanton*||464|
*Headquartered in Pleasanton
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Pleasanton had a population of 70,285. The population density was 2,896.5 people per square mile (1,118.4/km²). The racial makeup of Pleasanton was 47,058 (67.0%) White, 1,190 (1.7%) African American, 226 (0.3%) Native American, 16,322 (23.2%) Asian, 134 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,002 (2.8%) from other races, and 3,353 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,264 persons (10.3%).
The Census reported that 69,829 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 320 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 136 (0.2%) were institutionalized.
There were 25,245 households, out of which 10,785 (42.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,206 (64.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,024 (8.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 948 (3.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 887 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 156 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. Of the households, 4,860 (19.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,853 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77. There were 19,178 families (76.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.20.
The population was spread out with 19,024 people (27.1%) under the age of 18, 4,378 people (6.2%) aged 18 to 24, 17,257 people (24.6%) aged 25 to 44, 21,965 people (31.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,661 people (10.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
There were 26,053 housing units at an average density of 1,073.7 per square mile (414.5/km²), of which 25,245 were occupied, of which 17,891 (70.9%) were owner-occupied, and 7,354 (29.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.1%. 51,839 people (73.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,990 people (25.6%) lived in rental housing units.
Politics and government
Pleasanton operates under a council-manager form of municipal government. The Council consists of four elected at-large representatives and one directly elected mayor. The Councilors are each elected to a four-year term while the Mayor serves a two-year term. Council and mayoral elections are non-partisan. The Vice Mayor is appointed each year by the City Council.
In the state legislature Pleasanton is in the 7th Senate District, represented by Democrat Steve Glazer, and the 16th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan. Federally, Pleasanton is in California's 15th congressional district, represented by Democrat Eric Swalwell.
Pleasanton has 44,099 registered voters with 17,021 (39.2%) registered as Democrats, 11,338 (25.7%) registered as Republicans, and 13,867 (31.4%) Decline to State voters.
Pleasanton is situated at the crossroads of two major Interstate Highways, I-580 and I-680, which mirror the historic cross-routes of Native American tribes who used the precursor paths as major trading routes. This fact was first discovered with the excavations for Hacienda Business Park, revealing significant tribal artifacts and human skeletal remains.
- West Dublin/Pleasanton station, is located just west of the I-680 interchange
- Dublin/Pleasanton (BART station), the eastern terminus.
The WHEELS bus transit system, which has a number of routes in the city, serves Pleasanton including the above three stations.
Pleasanton's two comprehensive high schools, Amador Valley and Foothill, are ranked by Newsweek among the top 400 high schools in the nation. There are also two continuation high schools: Village and Horizon; the latter is for school age mothers and young fathers.
- Public: Alisal, Donlon, Fairlands, Hearst, Lydiksen, Mohr, Valley View, Vintage Hills, Walnut Grove
- Private: Hacienda, Stratford
People from Pleasanton include:
- Scott Adams, cartoonist, creator of Dilbert
- Brandon Crawford, professional baseball player for the San Francisco Giants
- Paula Creamer, professional golfer
- T. J. Friedl, professional baseball player
- David Garibaldi, professional drummer with Tower of Power, 2012 Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame Inductee, author of numerous drum instructional books, CDs and DVDs
- Edwin Hawkins, gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer and arranger
- Joel Kribel, professional golfer
- Phoebe Hearst, philanthropist, feminist and suffragist, mother of William Randolph Hearst
- Walter S. Johnson, businessman and philanthropist
- Randal J. Kirk, businessman
- John Madden, football coach and sportscaster
- Sean Mannion, quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams
- Abby Martin, journalist and host of Breaking the Set
- Keith Millard, former NFL defensive tackle
- Jerry McNerney, US Congressman
- William E. Moerner, 2014 Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry
- Jim Perry, game show host, specifically for game shows Card Sharks and Sale of the Century
- Scott Perry, professional football player
- Stephen Piscotty, professional baseball player for the Oakland Athletics
- Dennis Richmond, former news anchor for KTVU
- Ryan Roxie, Singer/songwriter and guitarist for Alice Cooper, Casablanca and Slash's Snakepit.
- Tamriko Siprashvili, prize-winning international concert pianist, recording artist, instructor
- Ellen Tauscher, former Congresswoman for California's 10th congressional district
- Donna Theodore, singer and actress
- Gabrielle Union, film and television actress
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- Wainwright, p. 124
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- "Pleasanton: 'Dilbert' creator shares advice with middle-schoolers". The Mercury News. 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
- "Even Brandon Crawford's mom isn't sure about the hair". The Mercury News. 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
- "For Paula Creamer, love came out of blue". espnw.com. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "T.J. Friedl's journey to signing as an undrafted free agent". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
- "Tower of Power - David Garibaldi's Bio". Tower of Power. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
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- "Nobel Prize for Stanford chemist W.E. Moerner, who brings very small things into focus". Stanford University. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pleasanton.|
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