The Story of Villa Montalvo

The Villa Montalvo is a beautiful 175 acre estate nestled at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located south of the city of Saratoga. To get there from the north, take highway 9 south of Saratoga. It is about 2 miles south of the city and is on the right. Keep a lookout for the signs as it is easy to miss. The entrance looks like an entrance to a private estate but don't be intimidated, it is the right way. If you are coming from the south take highway 9 north out of Los Gatos.

Villa Montalvo is a historical landmark built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan (1861-1930). He was a three term mayor of San Francisco and would become the first popularly elected U.S. Senator from California. When he died in 1930, he left Montalvo to be used as "a public park open under reasonable restrictions" and "as far as possible for the development of art, literature, music and architecture..."

The estate is set 800 feet up amid the splendor of some of the Bay Area's most beautiful country. The Villa was Phelan's favorite home, a center of artistic, political, and social life in Northern California. Among his favorite guests were the artists, whose progress he delighted in encouraging.

Werner Hager at
Last updated January 20, 1997.
Copyright 1996 by Werner W. Hager and Micromoms. All rights reserved.