Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a major suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about east of Oakland. According to the city's website, the city has a total population of 67,724. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway Inc. Oracle and Kaiser Permanente have offices in Hacienda Business Park. 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, and the annual County Fair is held there during the last week of June and the first week of July. Shadow Cliffs Regional Park is located on the east side of town.
Because of the preservation of Pleasanton's historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-1800s 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. Only recently, in 2004, Kolln Hardware shut its doors. Bud Cornett, a Pleasanton developer, purchased the landmark and has invested in its renovation and earthquake retrofitting. After more than 100 years serving the community as a hardware store, Comerica Bank is set to take over the space.
La Hacienda del Pozo de Verona (The house of the wellhead of Verona) was another Pleasanton landmark that unfortunately was destroyed by a fire in 1969. Construction was originally started by architect A.C. Schweinfurth for William Randolph Hearst in the 1890s. 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 rancheria obtained in 1886 by George Hearst, who intended to use the location for a race horse farm. 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", while Garnett wrote it would be more accurately called "Hispano-Moresque". Moorish influence was found throughout the estate, such as in the guardhouses which stood on either side of the courtyard entrance. 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.
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, Inc., Thoratec Corporation, Polycom, Shaklee Corporation, and Ross Stores. 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), E-Loan (which was acquired by Popular, Inc.), Spreckels Sugar Company (which was acquired by Imperial Holly), and the home loan operation of Providian (which was acquired by Washington Mutual). Oracle maintains the former Peoplesoft campus as a major division and is the second-largest employer in Pleasanton, behind Safeway. 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., Sage Software (Accpac, etc.), CooperVision, Clorox, Fireside Bank, 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, Kohl's, and Borders Books.
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. Similarly, for 2007, the median household income rose to $113,345, also the highest in the category.
According to the East Bay Association of Realtors, the median price of a detached single family home is $832,000 as of November '07.
There were 23,311 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.7% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.
According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $105,956, and the median income for a family was $117,898. Males had a median income of $77,072 versus $44,493 for females. The per capita income for the city was $41,623. About 3.6% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
There are a number of private schools in Pleasanton, such as Carden West School and Hacienda School.