Mat Lindstedt was a typical 12-year-old growing up in San Jose during the 1970s. He spent his summers braving the runaway mine ride, paddling the Indian war canoes, and riding the lazy burros at Frontier Village amusement park.
But Lindstedt’s summers changed in 1980, when the owners of Frontier Village decided the park’s 33 acres would fetch them far more dollars in the San Jose real-estate market than it ever would as a kiddie kingdom. The park never stood a chance, and closed its gates for good.
“It was heart-wrenching,” Lindstedt says today. “The park sat there all closed up. They auctioned off some of the stuff, but … the things that were left were just rotting away. It was kind of sad to see this place all decrepit and failing.”
Today, a good portion of Frontier Village is a city park — not a bad use of the land, in Lindstedt’s opinion. But you can hear the cringe in Lindstedt’s voice as he reports that the other half is home to a large condo complex. Worst of all? The developers had the ne... Read more