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Naglee Park History

Naglee Park is a residential subdivision that was developed in 1902 on the grounds of the estate of Civil War Brig. General Henry Morris Naglee. General Naglee was a California pioneer who is noted for his contributions to the California banking and viticulture industries. He lived in several locations in California; a San Francisco apartment, a large Rancho near Stockton and his country estate in San Jose. He also maintained a home in Philadelphia, his birthplace.

The Naglee estate in San Jose was bounded by 11th, Santa Clara, and William Streets and Coyote Creek to the east. In its time, the Naglee estate was famous for its gardens and vineyards. General Naglee's San Jose house and carriage house are located on what is now the corner of 14th and San Fernando Streets. The house and carriage house, build around 1865, are the oldest buildings in Naglee Park.

General Naglee's will prevented the estate from being sold until his youngest daughter reached the age of 30 years old. Nearly 20 years after Naglee's death his two daughters formed a development company, the Naglee Park Improvement Company, to develop the San Jose estate as a residential subdivision.

Naglee Park development started in 1902. The first subdivision map was filed in the spring of 1902 by the Naglee Park Improvement Company. This type of residential subdivision was an unique concept for its time on the West Coast, although it borrowed development ideas that were already popular in eastern America. It was developed as a complete neighborhood with paved streets, utility easements and restrictive covenants limiting the size of the houses that could be built. Businesses were forbidden and stables were limited to the rear of the properties. Since Naglee Park was developed just as the automobile was being introduced, this subdivision shows the transition from the horse-and-buggy to the automobile.

San Jose was booming around the turn of the century and the Naglee Park development was a tremendous success. By about 1910 the last of the Naglee Park home sites had been sold and the Naglee Park Improvement Corporation was disbanded. Similar developments soon opened in other parts of Santa Clara County; Hanchett Park and later, Palm Haven.

In the years following Naglee's death, San Jose grew around the Naglee estate. When Naglee Park was finally opened for development, it was the largest tract of land adjacent to Downtown. Convenient public transportation along Santa Clara Street made the area attractive to downtown merchants and businessmen who wanted homes near their businesses. Early Naglee Park residents include a substantial number of the Valley's doctors and dentists, bankers, attorneys, insurance men, merchants and fruit company managers.