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Pageant Grounds to Become Pageant Park

Small lawn areas above new Los Gatos Library project to be improved with new ADA-compliant pathway, other enhancements.

The tiny, almost hidden historic Pageant Grounds will become Pageant Park as soon as the new is unveiled next year.

And that has town officials excited, because it means the less-than-half-acre area behind 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. 

The well-shaded grounds, which include two lawn areas, have been used in the past for special summer barbecues. Historical records indicate the grounds were the site of town pageants from 1919-47. 

Originally they stretched out to East Main Street, but with the expansion of the Civic Center in the 1960s, the site was dramatically reduced, according to the town's website.

Access to the area, however, on the west side of the library construction site, was somewhat restricted, because the town had its cooling tower and emergency generator there. Now that those have been moved, workers will begin to grade the land to make the connection to the park better, said Todd Capurso, Los Gatos Parks and Public Works director.

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 Greg Larson.

In March 2010, the grounds were closed temporarily.

"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 will complement a kids' garden and the new library history room, which will overlook the park.

C. Lee McKenzie March 05, 2011 at 06:26 PM
I loved the history you've pulled together in this article. Can't wait to explore the Pageant Grounds and enjoy the Children's Garden. This is such an exciting time for Los Gatos!
Dale Hill March 05, 2011 at 07:27 PM
We're particularly pleased to have this area become wheelchair accessible. Dale and Bob Hill
Susan Wiedmann March 05, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Thanks, Sheila, for the article's "Historical records" link to the "Hooked on Los Gatos" project and web site. I didn't know that existed. Kudos to everyone who was involved in creating it.
Georgina Van Horn March 05, 2011 at 10:26 PM
What a wonderful addition to the new library and town. I can't wait to enjoy our newly restored Pageant Park! I didn't know that park existed until recently and I've lived in LG for 24 years!!
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) March 06, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I loved writing about this little treasure behind Town Hall. I discovered it in December and found it odd that it was hidden behind all the buildings. Then, thanks to Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson, my attention was brought to it again when he explained to me that the small plot of land would be refurbished to become Pageant Park. Thanks to Greg Larson and Todd Capurso for answering my questions about this part of the library construction project.
Victoria M. Johnson March 09, 2011 at 08:12 AM
Nice bit of history about Los Gatos and what's in store for the future.

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