The history of Sycamore Village homes and what they have turned into today
Most Mill Valley residents and local realtors refer to the neighborhood around Sycamore Park as just that, Sycamore Park, but really it is called Sycamore Village. The area took form when an enterprising developer named George Goheen purchased portions of land and, at the urging of Bank of America and the War Production Board, built defense-worker housing during World War II.
Goheen eventually bought more land (today the area is jokingly called Goheen Gulch) — including the hill where Ryan Street currently is and the marsh lying between his own tract near East Blithedale and Mill Valley’s Corte Madera Creek — then straightened the creek and scraped down the hill to fill in the marsh. All told, Goheen successfully and proudly built about 350 low-cost, compact homes, each costing roughly $4,000. Most were two-bedroom one-bath, and though fireplaces were standard, heating and showerheads were excluded because of the need for metal in the war effort.
The result was Sycamore Village, where home prices today average $1.4 million — village vibe included.