Downtown Mountain View, also called Old Mountain View, has always been the core of the city. However, it was not always centered on Castro Street. The first stagecoach service stop was located near Grant Road and El Camino Real, so that is where the town initially was centered. After the Castro family, one of the largest land owners in the 1860s, allowed the train tracks to run through their land, they were granted a train depot for their use which was nearby the current Caltrain station. This refocused the city around this station and Castro Street, and after 150 years, the city has continued to be centered on this well-known street.
Downtown Mountain View and Castro Street have been long-known for their numerous restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines, including Michelin Star restaurant, Chez TJ. Not just a dining destination, this area also boasts the landmark City Civic Center and Center of Performing Arts, providing sophisticated entertainment and city services in several beautifully designed buildings, night clubs, pubs, annual music and wine festivals, weekly farmers markets, and boutique stores round out this vibrant Downtown. Residents of this neighborhood enjoy the benefit of being within easy strolling distance of all of these incredible amenities. They live in homes ranging from over 100 years old to brand new, modest Bungalows to towering Craftsman, Colonials, and Cape Cods. Lot sizes also vary quite a bit too, however as is typical with older downtown areas, they tend to be smaller and narrow creating closely neighboring homes but an overall attractive true Americana aesthetic. Most range from 4,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet.
While most homes here are historic or at least older, the continually increasing popularity of being walking distance to a downtown business district has led to developers to purchase any large tracts of land available in Downtown Mountain View to build higher density housing. One of the largest and most popular is The Classics at Station 361, located along Evelyn Avenue, contains 65 luxury detached and attached homes.
Besides dining and shopping on Castro Street, children and adults alike have many opportunities for recreation right within the neighborhood. Eagle Park is perfect for a picnic, sports on the expansive lawn, or some swimming in the pool, while on the other side of the neighborhood are Mercy-Bush Park, a smaller, but charming park, and Landels School Park which has soccer and softball fields, basketball and volleyball courts, playground and picnic area.