The Hanson Permanente Cement Operation and
Destruction of Ridge-Top Views

The ridges behind Los Altos, Cupertino, and Los Altos Hills provide a scenic back-drop for the inhabitants of Silicon Valley. Nestling behind one of these ridges is a huge cement quarry which has been worked for decades, but which had until recently been all but invisible from the valley in terms of scarring the earth. (For many years, this site was generaly known as "Kaiser Permanente Cement", however the original company was acquired by a British conglomerate called Hanson Lpc, and in 1999 Kaiser Cement Corporation changed its name to Hanson Permanente Cement.)

Recently however, the ridge appears to have fallen prey to the earthmovers, and a huge wound now scars the hillsides as seen by the thousands of residents of Los Altos and its environs. To appreciate the rest of the pictures and discussion on these pages, it is useful to first get a clear idea of the location and size of the the quarry.


This is a high-altitude view of the whole quarry in the context of the cities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. (This picture shows the situation as of August 2002)

The Hanson Permanente Quarry is the large denuded area stretching across the bottom of this picture.

Coming from the top left-hand corner of the picture and going down to the middle of the right edge is Highway 280 passing through Los Altos Hills towards Cupertino which would be off the bottom-right of your screen. The bright green links of the Los Altos Golf Club are clearly visible just above (north) of Highway 280. Just to the left of this is the Magdalena interchange with 280, and the body of water a little bit further to the left of that (on the other side of the highway) is the former Neary Quarry. The course of the creek leading from the cement quarry to the bay is also clearly visible as the darker strip of green leading from the right-most tip of the quarry and going north under 280 towards the bay.

Please click on the buttons at the top of this page to find out more about the quarry and destruction of the ridge-top views.