Looking Back: The Treasure Chest and Other Little Buildings

A Hidden Treasure

Maybe it was the forts and tree houses I built as a kid, but I've always had a fascination with small buildings. Whether shops or houses or even garden sheds, there's something appealing about them.  One day many years ago, I was riding my bike down Cherry Avenue near downtown Willow Glen when I came upon a small, old store along an otherwise residential street. The shop was no longer open for business, though I later discovered that it had once been the neighborhood clock repair shop. The building has been restored since then, and retains a storefront facade (though appears not to house an actual business).

Club Patio

Another interesting building that caught my eye is a small residence along West Alma Avenue. This small home was built in the early 1920s and measures just over 700 square feet. At the time it was built, the street was still known as Almaden Avenue. The street that we now know as Almaden Avenue was originally known as Orchard Street. After it took the name Almaden Avenue, the old Almaden Avenue became Almaden Road and then eventually West Alma Avenue. For a time, the building housed "Club Patio Energy Fitness."

A Pre-war Gas Station

This restored 1920s gas station office on West Julian and Morrison Park Drive recently caught my eye. It was originally located nearby on Stockton Avenue. I was unaware of the building when I wrote a post on pre-war gas stations a couple of years ago, and am glad to include it here.

Flower Shop

Here's a very narrow flower shop that I came across on East Julian Street. There are probably many buildings of this size, though often disguised by having buildings on either side. In the 1920s, the building was a grocery store and by the 1940s it was Berti's Liquors.  Berti's advertised free delivery stating, "We can't serve all the beer in town so - we serve the best."

Switchman's Shack

This final image is the switchman's shack (or shanty) that was located on the Santa Clara Street overpass just north of the train station. I took this photograph in the 1980s when the station was still known as Cahill Depot. The shack is no longer there and the station was renamed Diridon Station after its restoration in 1994.

Further Reading from the California Room: