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Alum Rock
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At Home in Alum Rock

Alum Rock, nestled in the heart of San Jose, California, is a neighborhood adorned with rich history, diverse culture, and an abundance of outdoor activities. This district, known for its radiant chicano/Mexican-American culture, offers a unique blend of urban and suburban lifestyle.

Location and Geography

Located in East San Jose, Alum Rock is flanked by the Diablo Range on the east, Coyote Creek on the west, Mabury Road to the north, and Ocala Avenue to the south. The region is composed of numerous smaller neighborhoods, including Little Portugal, Little Saigon, Mayfair, King & Story, East Foothills, Alum Rock Village, and Mount Pleasant, among others.

History of Alum Rock

Alum Rock was once an independent town in the 19th and early 20th century, primarily known for its fruit orchards. However, it was absorbed into San Jose in the 1950s. The district was originally named after a nearby rock in Alum Rock Park, which was believed to be composed of alum.

In the mid-20th century, the area underwent significant development, transforming into a bustling residential community. However, the neighborhood’s aging population and rising Latino immigrant presence marked a shift in the demographic landscape in the 1980s and 1990s.

Demographics and Diversity

As per the 2020 census, Alum Rock is home to a population of about 12,042 people. The community has witnessed a steady rise in the number of families and young professionals choosing to settle here. The residents appreciate the dense suburban feel the neighborhood offers, coupled with the availability of numerous parks.

Based on ethnic and economic diversity, Alum Rock scores an ‘A’ grade. The neighborhood is marked by a rich blend of cultures, with a strong presence of Hispanic or Latino of any race, accounting for about 70.7% of the population.

Outdoor Activities and Parks

Alum Rock is famous for its bounty of outdoor activities. The district is home to the oldest municipal park in California – Alum Rock Park. Other parks in the area include CimarrĂłn Park, Delano Manongs Park, Emma Prusch Farm Park, Overfelt Gardens, Mayfair Park, Plata Arroyo Park, and Zolezzi Park.

The Alum Rock district also houses California’s largest skate park, Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, offering thrilling action for skate enthusiasts. Moreover, the location provides breathtaking views of the Santa Clara Valley, adding to the aesthetic charm of the East Foothills neighborhoods.

Education System

The Alum Rock region is served by the Alum Rock Union School District for elementary and middle school education. The high schools in the area fall under the jurisdiction of the East Side Union High School District.

The district is home to several esteemed educational institutions, including James Lick High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, William C. Overfelt High School, Joseph George Middle School, and Escuela Popular, a Spanish/English dual immersion school.

Food and Restaurants

Alum Rock is a culinary hotspot, featuring a myriad of restaurants offering diverse cuisines. The area is particularly renowned for its Mexican and Asian fare, with delicious options found around each corner.

The upward stretch of Alum Rock on highway 130 towards Mount Hamilton houses the GrandView Restaurant, known for its farm-to-fork dining experience and spectacular views of Silicon Valley.

Notable Landmarks

The neighborhood boasts several notable landmarks. The Mexican Heritage Plaza in Alum Rock’s Mayfair neighborhood is a hub for Mexican culture and art. The Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch of the San JosĂ© Public Library is another notable establishment in the area.

The Mt. St. Joseph Monastery is a Carmelite novitiate that adds to the historical charm of the neighborhood. The Lick Observatory, located at the Bay Area’s highest point, offers limited telescope viewings, allowing visitors to marvel at the universe through one of the world’s most powerful telescopes.


The Alum Rock Transit Center, operated by the Valley Transportation Authority, serves as a key transit hub for East San Jose. The center is serviced by bus and light rail. The Eastridge Expansion of the VTA light rail plans to build another light rail station at Story Road and Capitol Expressway, further enhancing the area’s connectivity.

Both the Bayshore Freeway (US-101) and the Sinclair Freeway (I-680) pass through Alum Rock, making it conveniently accessible.

Real Estate

The real estate landscape of Alum Rock is characterized by a mix of owner-occupied and rental properties, with 56% of residents owning their homes. The neighborhood offers an affordable cost of living, attracting a steady influx of new residents.


Alum Rock, with its rich cultural tapestry, thriving outdoor scene, and robust education system, presents a unique lifestyle that seamlessly blends city life’s convenience with the appeal of suburban living. Its diverse food scene, extensive parks, and convenient transportation options further solidify its standing as a preferred residential destination in San Jose, California.

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