MV Council

Step UP NOW For Mountain View’s Downtown!

By | City Planning, Historic Buildings, Livability, MV Council | No Comments

This Tues. June 8 at 5:00 our City Council will decide on issues that will be the turning point for the future of our historic downtown: will we protect and enhance our irreplaceable buildings and ensure the existence of the restaurants and retail that make Castro Street a lively, safe and unique public space for residents and visitors OR will they allow first floor offices that will take over the restaurants and shops and leave us with darkened windows, closed doors such that Castro will become an office park next to the train station? Click thru to see how to show your support to council by sending them a message.

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By | Affordable Housing, City Planning, Design, Historic Buildings, Livability, MV Council, Walk Appeal | No Comments

OUR PROCESS:  Each of the nine candidates responded to our questionnaire on critical issues affecting livability now and in the post-pandemic future such as the future of our historic downtown, office-housing balance, local control over development and the development of Moffett Street adjacent to downtown.

Eight of the nine candidates accepted our offer of an interview to expand on their written responses.

RESULTS: Lisa Matichak and Margaret-Abe Koga were the two candidates whose written responses were 100 percent in support of the advocacy and goals of Livable Mountain View and who we feel would give Mountain View much needed leadership during this critical time.

We wish to thank all the candidates for their efforts.  Please see the questionnaires of candidates who gave us permission to publish (see links below).


Formed in 2018 to advocate for Mountain View City Council candidates and actions that promote the livability of our city, LivMV was a key contributor to the 2018 election of our (former) steering committee member Alison Hicks to the Council. We also endorsed first place council candidate Ellen Kamei. Livable Mountain View was the prime driver behind Weilheimer House (Chez TJ) and the Air Base Laundry building (Tied House) receiving eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to this honor being granted by state and federal commissions we lobbied our Council to preserve these buildings with a 2600 signature petition and appearances before the Council when their destruction seemed imminent. In the last two years, Livable Mountain View has lobbied the Council on a number of other issues, including the inappropriateness of cannabis stores in our downtown, positive characteristics of an affordable housing project proposed for downtown Parking Lot 12, and the need for a competitive process for the design of the new downtown Transit Center to create a world class entry to our city.

Here are the full questionnaires from Candidates:

NOTE: Alex Núñez and Sally Lieber refused permission to share their answers.

Margaret Abe-Koga (pdf)

Lisa Matichak (pdf)

Pat Showalter (pdf)

Lenny Siegel (pdf)

José Gutiérrez (pdf)

Paul Roales (pdf)

John Lashlee (pdf)

History Of Castro Street And Its Buildings

By | Historic Buildings, MV Council | No Comments


•  1852 The first Mountain View was a tiny settlement formed around the first stagecoach stop for the first stagecoach service originated by John W. Whisman near Grant Road and El Camino.  Richard Carr opened the first general merchandise store.

1853 The Weilheimer brothers, Seligman and Samuel, German-Jewish immigrants, arrived from Germany and take a shot at the American Dream. They opened the second general merchandise store. Competition and diversity had an early start in Mountain View.

1854 The settlement is named “Mountain View” by a local store shop keeper and post master, Jacob Shumway. 

1856 The Weilheimer brothers established a general store, livery, and hotel in Mountain View.

1860 The census listed Julius Weilheimer as being 9 months old. He would eventually run the family businesses, serve as town mayor, town trustee, help create and serve as co-founder and vice president of the local Farmers & Merchants bank (now occupied by Red Rock Coffee) which eventually became Bank of America. He also built and resided in the Weilheimer House at 938 Villa in 1894 (whose living room served as the city council meeting chambers and is currently occupied by Chez TJ), led the effort to rebuild a shattered downtown after the 1906 earthquake, and served as postmaster and Wells Fargo representative among other contributions to our city.

1864 The railroad in the form of the Southern Pacific arrived and by locating its rail line in its present location, the Mountain View we know today grew and prospered.

1865 The new Mountain View town grid was laid out and remains today with Castro as the main street.  The area was called Villa Lands.

1867 Henry Rengstorff built his house near Rengstorff Landing where he operated a ferry between Mountain View and San Francisco.

1870-71 The Weilheimer brothers thrived and opened more businesses on and near Castro Street. Their 1874 Farmers Store at 124 Castro Street remains today and is occupied by Oren’s Hummus. It is believed to be the oldest building on Castro Street and perhaps the peninsula.  

1880 The Weilheimer family built its home and opened a stable on what is now Evelyn Street with and another general merchandise store in the first block of Castro Street.

• 1902 Mountain View was incorporated and Mountain View High School opened. We had electric streetlights, telephone service and a municipal water system.

1905 The Ames Building at 171 Castro Street, was built with its Spanish influenced tiled roofline and is one of Castro’s oldest commercial structures.  For decades it was occupied by the Jehning family lock business and Lock Museum.

1906 The Mockbee Building at 191 Castro Street, occupied by Knapps, is an example of the Italianate Style of commercial buildings popular in Mountain View. It was originally a hardware store and meeting place for civic groups.

1906 the San Francisco Earthquake destroyed many downtown businesses including the Ames Building which was quickly rebuilt.

1913 The Jurian Building at 194 Castro Street, most recently a candy and pop shop, was a drug store and general merchandise building that had a hall upstairs for dances, civic gatherings and celebrations.

1920 The Farmers and Merchants State Bank at 201 Castro Street, now occupied by Red Rock Coffee was built with the participation and investment of Julius Weilheimer and remains a distinguished building with Romanesque features and elaborate decoration.

1933 U.S. Naval Air Station, Moffett Field was established with buildings in the Spanish Revival style then popular in California.  The Air Base Laundry, now occupied by Tied House, opened at 954 Villa Street to serve the needs of the Air Base and utilized the same Spanish Revival architecture, as do other buildings in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

New Council Recognizes Livable Mountain and Commits Toward our Goals

By | Livability, MV Council | No Comments

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 was a landmark day for Livable Mountain View and its supporters.  In her inauguration speech, newly elected Mayor Lisa Matichak pointed out the need for the council to address the livability concerns of Mountain View residents.  Here is a quote from her speech:

We, your city council, need to address issues residents have been asking us to address, especially in the area of quality of life.  We know that residents want us to address the public health and safety issues that come with vehicles used as primary living spaces, they want us to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, they want us to preserve the character of our downtown, they want us to address airplane noise, preserve Heritage trees, and more.  I’m hoping we can make significant progress on quality of life issues in 2019.    

Livable Mountain View particularly welcome’s our new mayor’s recognition of the need to preserve our downtown’s character.

We would also like to thank newly elected council member and Livable Mountain View co-founder Alison Hicks, who acknowledged our support of her campaign, who noted:

When we are tackling those huge global and regional problems, in the end, we need to remember that Mountain View is home to a lot of people, and we need to make sure that as we grow, we keep Mountain View a truly great place to live.

It will be an exciting year as we work with the new council to promote all that is best in our city.

New MV City Council Sworn In: Congratulations to Alison Hicks, Ellen Kamei & Lucas Ramirez

By | MV Council | No Comments

Congratulation to the three new council members sworn into the Mountain View City Council last night at a ceremony held in Council Chambers. Alison Hicks, Ellen Kamei and Lucas Ramirez became members of the council last night.

Alison Hicks, Ellen Kamei and Lucas Ramirez (R to L) being sworn into the MV City Council

Additionally, for the 2019 year, Lisa Matichak was voted into the position of mayor and Margaret Abe-Koga was voted into the position of Vice-Major. Congratulations to both!

Many citizens turned out to witness the evening and support democracy in action. In fact it was packed and the room was hot due to all the folks there. But it was fun and exciting to see it all happen.

Livable Mountain View looks forward to working with all the Council, both newly elected and those already in office, to make our city the most livable on the peninsula!