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In the decades following World War II, The Santa Clara Valley experienced a remarkable physical transformation.  For well over a century the Valley’s economy had centered on agriculture, lending it the moniker “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.”  By the close of the War, however, the region was in the throes of an industrial expansion and population boom.  The Valley’s flat land and mild climate made it a primary target for developers, both residential and commercial.  The Valley of Heart’s Delight was on its way to becoming “Silicon Valley,” a term that would not be coined until the early 1970s.

Kiddie World, San Jose, 1960.  Demolished in 2001

Vintage Postcard, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight,” 1930s ©Stanley A. Piltz

 

 

 

 

 

SV Modern is a web site devoted to portraying the Santa Clara Valley during its years of transition from the Valley of Heart’s Delight to Silicon Valley, roughly 1945 to 1965.

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Silicon Valley residents are witnessing yet another transformation.  The Valley’s post-war architecture is rapidly disappearing.  Icons from an era of widespread optimism: modern ranch homes, office complexes, motels, and bowling alleys, are being leveled for high density residential and commercial development.  With the eradication of these mid-century landmarks, it is this author’s concern that we are not only losing some noteworthy architecture, we are erasing an important chapter in our Valley’s history.

 

Santa Clara County Ad, 1947. Image appears courtesy of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

SV Modern is a web site devoted to portraying the Santa Clara Valley during its years of transition from the Valley of Heart’s Delight to Silicon Valley, roughly 1945 to 1965.  The site offers a window into what remains of the Valley’s mid-century modern architecture, in the hope that some of it can be preserved for future generations to experience. 

 

Author’s Disclaimer

This web site is the result of years of interest and months of research.  I have done my best to provide the most accurate facts and figures and will gladly provide source information upon request.  I am also happy to stand corrected if any of the information I gathered proves to be false.

The content on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not to be reproduced without prior written consent from the author.  The author has no affiliation with any of the businesses depicted on this web site, nor do any of the businesses sponsor the site.  If you are a business depicted on the SV Modern web site and prefer not to be, please contact me and all related content will be removed immediately. 

- Heather David

 

“Think 1985!”, Santa Clara County Ad, 1963
Image appears courtesy of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce