Los Altos is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Take a look below for 15 fascinating and fun facts about Los Altos, California, United States.
1. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.
2. Most of the city’s growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent bedroom community on the western edge of Silicon Valley, serving as a major source of commuters to other parts of Silicon Valley.
3. Los Altos strictly limits commercial zones to the downtown area and small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.
4. The area was originally called “Banks and Braes”.
5. Paul Shoup, an executive of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and his colleagues formed the Altos Land Company in 1906 and started the development of Los Altos.
6. The company acquired 140 acres (57 ha) of land from Sarah Winchester. Shoup wanted to link Palo Alto and Los Gatos by making Los Altos a commuter town. It continued a train-a-day operation to and from San Francisco.
7. In 1908, Southern Pacific Railroad began running steam train service through Los Altos (April 19, 1908) with five trains per day. Two freight cars served as a train depot. Also, the first commercial building, Eschenbruecher’s Hardware, was built in downtown.
8. In 1913, the craftsman-style Los Altos train station was built at 288 First Street.
9. By 1949, many residents were dissatisfied with the zoning policy of Santa Clara County, and there was a constant threat of annexation by neighboring Palo Alto and Mountain View, so they decided to incorporate. Los Altos became the eleventh city in Santa Clara County on December 1, 1952.
10. Train service ceased operation in January 1964, and the train track became Foothill Expressway. Los Altos may have a legitimate claim to having the first scientifically designed sound baffle in 1970. Santa Clara County undertook a seminal study to calculate the effects of alternate soundwall designs along Foothill Expressway.
11. The resulting wall brought about the predicted reduction of seven to ten decibels in noise pollution levels experienced by adjacent homes.
12. In 1976, Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built the first 50 Apple I computers in Jobs’s garage in Los Altos.
13. In 2004, landlord Judy Fusco rented her Los Altos home, later known as “Casa Facebook”, to Mark Zuckerberg; there, he and a few other associates scaled Facebook from 200,000 members to 2.5 million.
14. On April 15, 2021, Los Altos became home to the world’s first consumer flying car showroom.
15. Los Altos is near the San Andreas Fault and therefore subject to earthquakes.