by guest blogger Katherine
Why the arch? In simple terms: it is totally iconic! The Pleasanton arch cost more than $500 to make, it is about 20 feet long with letters that are 18 inches high and takes on the shape of a rolling hill. Though it is not a building, this sign has hung over the main street of Pleasanton for a little over 75 years now, serving as a reminder of civic pride and history to the citizens who live here. The idea to create this sign was thought up by the Pleasanton Women’s Improvement club in 1930, just two years later, in 1932, their dream became a reality.
The Pleasanton sign has served many purposes in its time, some of which include being an alert system for the police at a time when they did not have mobile receivers (it was one of the tallest standing objects in the town so it would flash bright lights and sound an alarm), and now being one of only five or six remaining gateway arches in the state of California! The Pleasanton sign stands out as antique and historic amongst many of the newer, more modern buildings that surround it. Many of those who live in Pleasanton claim it has a ‘homey feeling’.
It is a fabulous place to take an instagram picture, not only because of the fullness of its history and what it stands for, but also for a practical reason: it’s neon green! This means you can take your picture in the day when you’re shopping at Pleasanton’s cute downtown boutiques (ex. Prim, Therapy, etc.) or buying ice cream at one of the many adorable ice cream locations (Almare Gelato Italiano, the Meadowlark Dairy, etc.), OR once it is dark at night, say at the Wednesday night street party or after concert in the park, AND IT WILL STILL BE SEEN! This practicality makes it a very desirable Instagram photo location.
When posting your instagram picture next to the Pleasanton arch, you may want to incorporate the word ‘p-town’ into your caption. Why? Contrary to common belief, this is not just some slang way to say Pleasanton that has risen in the last couple years from the local teens. This description of the town actually dates back to World War II. During the war, as to not attract Japanese aircraft with many lights, Pleasanton only lit the ‘P’ on the arch, this, as you may have guessed, sparked many of the soldiers to nickname it ‘p-town’. With a photo by this priceless arch and a clever caption, the Pleasanton Arch has to be the MOST instagrammable location in the tri-valley.
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.