Pleasanton, California

City of Pleasanton

Pleasanton sign on Main Street

Motto: The City of Planned Progress

Location of Pleasanton within Alameda County, California.
City of Pleasanton

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 37°39′45″N 121°52′29″W / 37.66250°N 121.87472°W / 37.66250; -121.87472Coordinates: 37°39′45″N 121°52′29″W / 37.66250°N 121.87472°W / 37.66250; -121.87472
Country United States
State California
County Alameda
Incorporated June 18, 1894[1]
  Type Council–manager
  Mayor Jerry Thorne[2]
  State Senate Steve Glazer (D)[3]
  State Assembly Catharine Baker (R)[4]
  U.S. Congress Eric Swalwell (D)[5]
  Total 24.266 sq mi (62.847 km2)
  Land 24.113 sq mi (62.452 km2)
  Water 0.153 sq mi (0.395 km2)  0.63%
Elevation[7] 351 ft (107 m)
Population (2010 census)
  Total 70,285
  Estimate (January 1, 2016) 74,982
  Density 2,900/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
  Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94566, 94568, 94588
Area code(s) 925
FIPS code 06-57792
GNIS feature IDs 277578, 2411441

Pleasanton is an affluent city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau.[8][9] Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway, Inc. and Blackhawk Network. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices and a courthouse are located in Pleasanton. Additionally, the main county jail is in the neighboring city of Dublin. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.

Pleasanton is reported being number 4 by USA Today in "America's 50 best cities to live in" in 2014, number 63 in Money's list of "The Best Places to Live" in 2010,[10] and was also named one of "Americans' Top Hometown Spots" in the United States in 2009 by Forbes.[11]

Pleasanton was named the third wealthiest city in terms of earnings in the United States by NerdWallet in 2013.[12]



Before the establishment of Pleasanton, in the 1850s, an earlier settlement, called Alisal was there. It was located on the lands of the Rancho Santa Rita[13] near the site of an Indian ranchera, around the Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, called El Alisal (The Sycamores),[14] one of the earliest houses built in the valley in 1844. It is still standing and serves as the centerpiece of the Alviso Adobe Community Park. Alisal, nicknamed "The Most Desperate Town in the West", was one of the settlements located along La Vereda del Monte that was a haunt and refuge of bandits and desperados in the era following the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Main Street shootouts were not uncommon. Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.


Pleasanton is located on the Rancho Valle de San José Mexican land grant and was founded by John W. Kottinger, an Alameda County justice of the peace, and named after his friend, Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton. A typographical error by a U.S. Postal Service employee apparently led to the current spelling.[15]

The reputation it had gained from its days as Alisal passed and in 1917, Pleasanton became the backdrop for the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, which starred Mary Pickford. The town was once home to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who lived in a 50-room mansion on a 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) estate, now the site of Castlewood Country Club.[16]

Pleasanton, California in 2016


Pleasanton is located at 37°40′21″N 121°52′57″W / 37.67250°N 121.88250°W / 37.67250; -121.88250 (37.672530, -121.882517)[17] and is adjacent to Hayward, Livermore, and Dublin. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.3 square miles (63 km2), of which 24.1 square miles (62 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.63%) is water. On the east side of town on Stanley Blvd. near the Livermore border is Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, a lake that permits swimming, fishing, and boating. On the west side is the Pleasanton Ridge with two parks, Pleasanton Ridge and Augustin Bernal Park. Much of Pleasanton is drained by the Arroyo Valle and Arroyo Mocho watercourses. Pleasanton lies along the route of the historic First Transcontinental Railroad.


The highest recorded temperature was 115 °F (46 °C) in 1950. The lowest recorded temperature was 17 °F (-8 °C) in 1990.[18]

Climate data for Pleasanton, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 75
Average high °F (°C) 58
Average low °F (°C) 37
Record low °F (°C) 17
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.99
Source: The Weather Channel[18]


Distinctive traffic lights of the Hacienda Business Park

Because of the preservation of Pleasanton's historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-19th century exist. Buildings in Gothic Revival, Pioneer, Italianate, Commercial Italianate, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles can be found within walking distance of each other.

One of the icons of downtown Pleasanton is the Kolln Hardware building, located at 600 Main Street. It is designed in the Commercial Italianate style, but the prominent five-sided corner tower and a few other features are indicative of the Colonial Revival style. The structure mixes in a little bit of Queen Anne design in the tower and gable. This building was built in 1890 and has always housed a hardware store, first by the Lewis Brothers, then Cruikshank and Kolln. The hardware store has been known as Kolln Hardware since 1933. In 2004, the Kolln Hardware business shut its doors. Bud Cornett, a Pleasanton developer, purchased the landmark and has invested in its renovation and earthquake retrofit.[19] After more than 100 years of serving the community as a hardware store, the space has now been taken over by Comerica Bank.[20]

La Hacienda del Pozo de Verona (The House of the Wellhead of Verona) was another Pleasanton landmark that was destroyed by a fire in 1969. The house was built by architect A.C. Schweinfurth for William Randolph Hearst in the 1898.[21] Phoebe Apperson Hearst had the hacienda remodeled and expanded by architect Julia Morgan for use as her primary residence after her husband died. The estate was built upon a 453-acre (1.83 km2) rancheria obtained in 1886 by George Hearst, who intended to use the location for a race horse farm.[22] The name was inspired by the circular, carved marble wellhead purchased by Phoebe and William in Verona, Italy and installed in the middle of the courtyard. The hacienda was the only female-owned estate to be mentioned in Porter Garnett's Stately Homes of California. The architecture of the hacienda has been called California Mission style by various sources. The original architect used the term "provincial Spanish Renaissance",[23] while Garnett wrote it would be more accurately called "Hispano-Moresque".[24] Moorish influence was found throughout the estate, such as in the guardhouses which stood on either side of the courtyard entrance.[25] The hacienda was topped by imported red Spanish tiles and had undecorated walls of white stucco. After Phoebe's death in 1919, William had the wellhead and other furniture and objects moved to Hearst Castle at San Simeon and sold the estate.[25]


Events and festivals

Pleasanton continues to maintain a small town flavor with regular events for the community. Every Saturday morning a farmers' market sets up on Angela, off Main Street. In 2009, Pleasanton appeared on Newsmax magazine's list of the "Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns," a piece written by current CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. The article cited the popular farmers' market among the reasons for the city landing on the list.[26] There are several parades during the year, commemorating Christmas, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day, as well as kicking off the beginning of the Alameda County Fair and soccer season.

First Wednesday

The Pleasanton Downtown Association organizes the popular First Wednesday celebrations from May through September. On every first Wednesday of those summery months, Main Street is blocked to traffic and adopts a street fair atmosphere. Each First Wednesday celebration is given a different theme and planned with related activities. Typically the first theme is Cinco de Mayo since May is the first month for these street parties. At this local event, businesses and organizations from downtown and around the Tri-Valley set up booths in the center of the street. A local band performs in the Round Table Pizza parking lot, which is closed off for dancing. The parking lot is also set up as a beergarden, with beer and wine available for consumption.[27]

Friday Concerts in the Park

Another Pleasanton Downtown Association tradition is the Friday Concerts in the Park series. Every Friday from June until September the PDA schedules different local bands to perform in the evenings at the Lions' Wayside Park off of First Street. The events are free of charge and draw a crowd. Locals will start laying out blankets in the park on Friday mornings as a way to reserve a spot.[28]


The Alameda County Fairgrounds is a 270-acre (110 ha) facility located in Pleasanton, California. It is home to the annual Alameda County Fair, held since 1912,[29] as well as numerous trade shows and community events. Located on its grounds, the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack was built in 1858, making it the oldest one-mile (1.6 km) horse racing track in the United States. There is a 3,000 seat amphitheater, as well as a nine-hole golf course located within the track's infield.

The Alameda County Central Railroad Society has maintained a model train exhibit at the fairgrounds since 1959, which has grown to two 15 foot by 100 foot layouts in O scale and HO scale.[30]

Firehouse Arts Center

The Firehouse Arts Center, opened in 2010, is a center of culture and art for Pleasanton. It features a 227-seat theater, the Harrington art gallery, and classrooms for art and drama. It is also home to the critically acclaimed teen improv comedy troupe, Creatures of Impulse.


Headquarters of Safeway in Pleasanton

Pleasanton experienced a major economic boom starting in the early 1980s, largely associated with the development of a number of business parks, the largest of which is the Hacienda Business Park. These host a number of campus-like clusters of low-rise and medium-rise office buildings. Pleasanton has been successful in attracting a number of corporate headquarters, such as those of Safeway, Blackhawk Network, Thoratec, Workday, Simpson Manufacturing, The Cooper Companies, Shaklee, and Patelco Credit Union. Despite an increase in office space vacancy rates in 2000–2004, economic development has remained strong through the middle of the decade.

Pleasanton was also the headquarters of the former PeopleSoft, Inc. (which was acquired by Oracle Corporation), Documentum (which was acquired by EMC Corporation), E-Loan (which was acquired by Popular), Spreckels Sugar Company (which was acquired by Imperial Holly), Ross Stores (which moved north across I-580 to Dublin in 2014), and the home loan operation of Providian (which was acquired by Washington Mutual, itself later acquired by JPMorgan Chase). Oracle maintains the former Peoplesoft campus as a major division and is the fourth-largest employer in Pleasanton, behind Workday, Safeway and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, Pleasanton is the site of a large AT&T campus.

Other companies with major operations in Pleasanton include Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., Cisco Systems, Sage Software (Accpac, etc.), CooperVision, Clorox, Fireside Bank (closed in 2012), Roche, BMC Software, Applied Biosystems, EMC Corporation, Portrait Displays, Inc. and Symantec.

In the retailing field, Pleasanton has one major regional mall (Stoneridge Shopping Center) and a number of other shopping centers. Most national and regional retailers have a Pleasanton location; besides the anchor tenants Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney at Stoneridge, notable large stores elsewhere in the city include Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Kohl's.

In addition to the business parks and retail centers, Pleasanton is known for its lively downtown, which is home to a number of fine-dining, casual, and ethnic restaurants, specialty retailers, and service businesses. A redesign of Main Street in the 1990s emphasized pedestrian traffic and outdoor dining.

According to the latest U.S. Census information, Pleasanton is the wealthiest midsize city in the nation. In 2005, the median household income in Pleasanton was $101,022, the highest income for any city with a population between 65,000 and 249,999 people.[8] Similarly, for 2007, the median household income rose to $113,345, also the highest in the category.[9] According to, the median household income had risen to $121,622 by 2013, compared to a statewide median of $60,190.[31]

According to the Bay East Association of Realtors, the median price of a detached single family home was $935,000 as of September 2015.[32] According to, the median home value in Pleasanton was $927,200 as of September 2015.[33]

Top employers

According to the city, the top fifteen employers in Pleasanton are:[34]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Kaiser Permanente 3,741
2 Safeway* 2,600
3 Workday* 2,250
4 Oracle Corporation 1,612
5 ValleyCare Medical Center 1,300
6 Pleasanton Unified School District* 1,293
7 Ellie Mae* 1,075
8 Clorox 682
9 State Compensation Insurance Fund 650
10 Thermo Fisher Scientific 579
11 Macy's 556
12 Veeva Systems* 538
13 Roche Molecular Systems* 892
14 EMC Corporation 507
15 Thoratec* 481

*Headquartered in Pleasanton


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201579,510[35]13.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[36]


The 2010 United States Census[37] reported that Pleasanton had a population of 70,285. The population density was 2,896.5 people per square mile (1,118.4/km²). The racial makeup of Pleasanton was 47,058 (67.0%) White, 1,190 (1.7%) African American, 226 (0.3%) Native American, 16,322 (23.2%) Asian, 134 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,002 (2.8%) from other races, and 3,353 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,264 persons (10.3%).

The Census reported that 69,829 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 320 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 136 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 25,245 households, out of which 10,785 (42.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,206 (64.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,024 (8.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 948 (3.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 887 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 156 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. Of the households, 4,860 (19.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,853 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77. There were 19,178 families (76.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.20.

The population was spread out with 19,024 people (27.1%) under the age of 18, 4,378 people (6.2%) aged 18 to 24, 17,257 people (24.6%) aged 25 to 44, 21,965 people (31.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,661 people (10.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

There were 26,053 housing units at an average density of 1,073.7 per square mile (414.5/km²), of which 17,891 (70.9%) were owner-occupied, and 7,354 (29.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.1%. 51,839 people (73.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,990 people (25.6%) lived in rental housing units.

Demographic profile[38] 2010
Total Population 70,285 (100.0%)
One Race 66,932 (95.2%)
Not Hispanic or Latino 63,021 (89.7%)
White alone 42,738 (60.8%)
Black or African American alone 1,116 (1.6%)
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 143 (0.2%)
Asian alone 16,209 (23.1%)
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 125 (0.2%)
Some other race alone 153 (0.2%)
Two or more races alone 2,537 (3.6%)
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 7,264 (10.3%)

Politics and government

Pleasanton operates under a council-manager form of municipal government. The Council consists of four elected at-large representatives and one directly elected mayor. The Councilors are each elected to a four-year term while the Mayor serves a two-year term. Council and mayoral elections are non-partisan. The Vice Mayor is appointed each year by the City Council.

The City Council consists of: Jerry Thorne (Mayor), Kathy Narum (Vice Mayor), Karla Brown, Arne Olson, and Jerry Pentin.[2] The City Manager is Nelson Fialho.

In the state legislature Pleasanton is in the 7th Senate District, represented by Democrat Steve Glazer,[3] and the 16th Assembly District, represented by Republican Catharine Baker.[4] Federally, Pleasanton is in California's 15th congressional district, represented by Democrat Eric Swalwell.[5]


Pleasanton has the second highest percentage of registered Republicans of any of the incorporated cities in Alameda County (just behind Livermore), yet it still maintains a Democratic plurality. 32.1% of its 42,485 registered voters are Republicans, while 38.4% are Democrats, and 20.7% are Decline to State voters.[39]


The Altamont Commuter Express train leaving Pleasanton station in the afternoon


Pleasanton is situated at the crossroads of two major Interstate Highways, I-580 and I-680, which mirror the prehistoric crossroutes of Native American tribes who used the precursor paths as major trading routes. This fact was first discovered with the excavations for Hacienda Business Park, revealing significant tribal artifacts and human skeletal remains.[40]

Public transit

The eastern terminus of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) commuter train system's Dublin/Pleasanton - Daly City Line is located in Pleasanton. Another station, the West Dublin/Pleasanton station, is located just west of the I-680 interchange.

The WHEELS bus transit system, which has a number of routes in the city, serves Pleasanton. The Altamont Commuter Express rail service stops near Pleasanton's downtown at Pleasanton Station.


Amador Valley is the oldest high school in the Amador-Livermore Valley Region.[41]

Pleasanton's two comprehensive high schools, Amador Valley and Foothill, are ranked by Newsweek among the top 400 high schools in the nation.[42] There are also two continuation high schools: Village and Horizon; the latter is for school age mothers and young fathers. There are a number of private schools in Pleasanton, including Stratford School and Hacienda School.

Elementary schools

Middle schools

High schools

Notable people

Sister cities

See also: sister cities

See also


  1. "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Mayor and City Council". City of Pleasanton. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  5. 1 2 "California's 15th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  6. U.S. Census
  7. "Pleasanton". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  8. 1 2 Kazmi, Sophia (August 29, 2006). "A Pleasanton surprise: richest midsize city". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  9. 1 2 O'Brien, Matt (August 26, 2008). "East Bay incomes higher, but poverty rates not going down". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
  10. "Best Places to Live: #63". Money. August 2010.
  11. Bruner, Jon (March 25, 2009). "Americans' Top Hometown Spots". Forbes.
  12. Raghavan, Divya (April 29, 2013). "The 100K Club: America's Highest-Earning Cities". Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  13. Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration (5 April 2011). San Francisco in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the City by the Bay. University of California Press. pp. 429–. ISBN 978-0-520-94887-7.
  14. Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, California State Historic Marker Number 510, The Historical Marker Database, accessed January 6, 2012
  15. "History of Pleasanton". Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
  16. "Hacienda del Pozo de Verona". Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California. The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. Retrieved July 12, 2007.
  17. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  18. 1 2 "Monthly Averages for Pleasanton, California (94566)" (Table). The Weather Channel Interactive. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
  19. Bing, Jeb (July 21, 2006). "Restoration Kolln Hardware". The Pleasanton Weekly. Pleasanton, CA. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
  20. Bing, Jeb (February 8, 2008). "Business is booming in city's downtown". Pleasanton Weekly. Pleasanton, CA. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
  21. California, Berkeley Daily Planet, Berkeley. "East Bay Then and Now: A Viennese Epicure in the Athens of the West. Category: Home & Garden Columns from The Berkeley Daily Planet". Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  22. Wainwright,p. 69
  23. Cockburn, Alexander. "Ranch, my foot; it's a castle". The Drawbridge. Retrieved April 26, 2008.
  24. Garnett, Porter (1915). "Chapter III- Hacienda Del Pozo De Verona, Residence of Mrs. Phoebe A. Hearst". Stately Homes of California (PDF). Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company.
  25. 1 2 Wainwright, p. 72
  26. Greenberg, Peter. "Newsmax Magazine Rates the Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities And Towns". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  27. Guyon, Rebecca (April 28, 2006). "First Wednesday street parties are back". Pleasanton Weekly. Pleasanton, Ca. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  28. Guyon, Rebecca (June 2, 2006). "Friday Concerts in the Park start tonight". Pleasanton Weekly. Pleasanton, CA. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
  29. Paul Burgarino (24 June 2003). "Fair's model train show pulls in crowds". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  30. "City-Data page for Pleasanton, California". Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  31. "Housing Statistics". Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  32. "Pleasanton Home Prices & Values". Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  33. "City of Pleasanton Large Employers". May 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  34. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  35. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  36. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Pleasanton city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  37. "Demographic Profile Bay Area Census".
  38. "Report of Registration as of May 4, 2009 Registration by Political Subdivision by County" (PDF). State of California. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  39. Gary Deghi, C. Michael Hogan, George W. Ball, Miley Holman et al., Environmental Assessment for Hacienda Business Park/ General Plan amendment, prepared for the City of Pleasanton by Earth Metrics Inc. (1984)
  40. Wainwright, p. 124
  41. "America's Top Public High Schools, 2007 list". Newsweek. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  42. "For Paula Creamer, love came out of blue". Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  43. Bing, Jeb (April 24, 2009). "John Madden retires, coming home to Pleasanton". Pleasanton Weekly. Pleasanton, CA. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  44. "Keith Millard". Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  45. "Scott Endecott Perry". Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  46. "Tower of Power - David Garibaldi's Bio". Tower of Power. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  47. "Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, David Garibaldi". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  48. "Instructional works by David Garibaldi". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  49. "Steinway Artists, Mark Anderson". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  50. "Mark Anderson (piano)...". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  51. "Classical Net Review". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  52. "Mark Anderson, pianist". 2009 archive from geocities. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  53. "Artist Biography". website. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  54. "Steinway Artists, Tamriko Siprashvili". Retrieved April 11, 2015.
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  58. 1 2 "Pleasanton - Blairgowrie - Fergus Sister City Organization". Retrieved February 4, 2007.
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