Then & Now: Mountain View Union High School

For about 60 years, Castro Street was the place to be for high school students.

On Nov. 7, 1902, the first Mountain View High School was officially inaugurated on the corner of what is now El Camino Real and Calderon Avenue. The maximum occupancy was for 611 children, and the building soon became too small.

Then, in 1923, a new high school was built on the 600 block of Castro Street at High School Way. Mountain View Union High School officially opened in September 1924. The "union" part was because the Los Altos and Whisman communities could attend, too.

As the city of Mountain View became more well-known because of its growing technology sector, great weather, fertile land and shops, singles and families arrived from all over the states. Soon thereafter, Mountain View Union High School exceeded the school's capacity once again. The school closed in June 1981 and was finally demolished in 1987.

Ultimately, the school was relocated to its new home on Truman Avenue and renamed . The part of the building that wasn't destroyed on Castro Street has become an apartment complex and the host of a few businesses, such as Coffee and .

Still, at the main gain of the apartment complex, you can find some of the emblems engraved on the wall at the old high school building that depicted some of the universities the students had attended.

Also, the name of , located right behind the apartment complex and along Shoreline Boulevard, honors the old mascot of the school, an eagle.

urbanic July 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM
"Mountain View Union High School exceeded the school's capacity once again. The school closed in June 1981 and was finally demolished in 1987." To set the record straight: old MVHS on Castro was not closed due to capacity issues, quite the contrary. District-wide enrollment was declining in the late 1970s, and property tax revenues went down due to Prop-13. The district decided the best course of action was to close one of its three high schools. Mtn. View High was chosen after a very emotional and controversial community-wide debate primarily for two reasons: 1. It was the most valuable piece of land to sell to boost the districts coffers in post Prop-13 California. 2. The school's racially diverse student population could be used to integrate Awalt (now Mtn. View) and Los Altos High. At that time old Mountain View High's enrollment area was all of Mountain View north of El Camino Real and was about 50% minority-students. Los Altos and Awalt were over 80% white. The State came very close to declaring the district racially segregated. Closing MVHS and splitting Mountain View's student population in half "solved" that problem. ---------------- Two help ease the pain of losing the "real" MVHS - the district's leaders decided to split the closed school's identity between the two remaining campuses. Awalt got the name. Los Altos got the Eagle mascot and blue and gray colors.
Claudia Cruz July 15, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Interesting analysis. The information the writer received came directly from Mountain View historians. However, it was a cursory overview of the subject because the main objective was really just to inform newer residents of the structural changes versus the sociological changes to the city. Still, I am fascinated that you said the state came close to declaring MV "racially segregated." I will personally check newspaper archives to study up on the matter. Also that the sale of the land was due to Prop 13 is also a worthwhile study. Thanks for the background. If you have source materials I can use, feel free to email directly.
Paula February 04, 2013 at 01:53 AM
I have a copy of the 1925 Blue and Grey Year Book and was wondering is there anyone at the the school or the town that would be interested in it. The book is in very good shape. You may contactme at macravenden@aol.com Thank you
Claudia Cruz February 04, 2013 at 04:48 AM
Hi Paula, Have you ever visited the history center at the Mountain View Public Library? It's open on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. They would probably welcome the yearbook:-)
Paula McArthur April 12, 2013 at 04:44 PM
No I live in Arkansas I would love to give to someone and would be happy to mail to the Library if I new they wanted it. If someone would contact the Library and then give me the address I will mail it to them Thank You. Paula.


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