What makes Saratoga, Saratoga?

Reporting from the beginning of our incorporation in 1956 to current issues defining the city identity. 

Though only 13 square miles in size, Saratoga boasts 120 historical residencies, eight of which are members of the National Register of Historic Places, the federal government’s official list of historical districts and properties worthy of preservation.

Characterized by rolling hills, serene weather and orchards that covered nearly every inch of the county in the late 1860s, Santa Clara County alone produced 30% of California’s total wheat crop in 1854.  The city is now known for its rich cultural diversity, comfortable neighborhoods and the architectural excellence of the homes that have presided here since the mid-19th century.

​Saratoga High is not typically known for its beautiful architecture; some may find irony in the fact that the school was purportedly designed by an architect who also designed prisons. Even so, the placement of structures in and around the school makes it particularly auspicious and well-designed according to the theory of feng shui.

Feng shui, which literally translates to “wind water” in Chinese, links the destiny of the inhabitants of a place with their surrounding environment. It is a Chinese geomantic practice that uses the flow of energies, or qi, in the home to create harmony and good health, combining Chinese astrology with the shape, direction and age of structures.

Along the trails and roads leading to the historic Montalvo Villa, groups of adults from around the country, all decked in various wrapped garments and vivid, traditional South Asian clothing, flocked this past fall to hear from some of the world’s leading South Asian scholars and highly acclaimed artists. The South Asian Literature and Arts Festival (SALA), held on Oct. 29 and 30, welcomed writers and artists alike to examine how the world has categorized them into boxes of different colors, classes and castes on the theme of “shared humanity.”