DRAWING OF OLD CORTE MADERA SQUARE AREA IN 1945
Originally called Railroad Square, the area around the train station took on the name Village Square after the trains stopped running in 1941. Forty years later, after developer Ernest Hahn chose to name his new shopping center The Village, local officials decided to change the name of the historic area to Old Corte Madera Square. Below are photos of the Square in years past....
PHOTO TAKEN IN 1966
This 1966 aerial photo, taken above part of the old Village Square area that was later renamed Old Corte Madera Square after the Hahn Shopping Center took the name 'The Village', shows how many changes occurred during the next 50 years when compared to the photos below that were taken in 2016. The most striking change has been to the area seen at the top of the photo where Town Park and Neil Cummins School are located. The land designated for a Town Park was outlined in black on the photo. It had been only partially filled at the time, and a remnant of the old main slough where small boats had long been launched at the end of Redwood Avenue can still be seen. Condominiums and townhouses would soon be built on the empty lots at the north end of Redwood Avenue. What is now Town Hall was still the fire station, and the small house just north of it on Tamalpais Drive held the Town offices. The building at the corner of Tamalpais Drive and Pixley Avenue was the old Mahood home, which would be demolished so a new fire station could be built there later in 1966. There were gas stations across from each other at the intersection of Tamalpais Drive and Willow Avenue. The old stable at the corner of Tamalpais Drive and Serra Street had been converted from Buckley's Store, where local residents had bought groceries for decades, to Corte Madera Hardware, and the building next to it housed a pharmacy. The railroad tracks seen at lower right were still used by the once-a-day freight train that came through the Alto Tunnel. A wooden 'crossing arm' would drop and stop traffic while the train passed across Redwood Avenue just above the triangle of land where Christmas trees were allowed to be burned in a big bonfire on Twelfth Night each January. Menke Park, known in the early years as Railroad Park, is seen at the lower right corner of the photo. It was transformed in 1994 with extensive landscaping, Craftsman-style bus-stop shelters, and, several years later, addition of a Victorian bandstand known as Piccolo Pavilion.