St. James Park

St. James Park (HMZHW)

Location: San Jose, CA 95112 Santa Clara County
Buy California State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 37° 20.331', W 121° 53.476'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
St. James Park and its environs were the heart of nineteenth century San Jose. While the Plaza has been the center of the older Hispanic settlement, St. James Park and its surrounding buildings reflect the aspirations of an emerging American city. Platted by Chester Lyman in his 1848 survey, the park evolved over the next half century as the focus of many of San Jose's most important civic and religious buildings. It remains even today the city's most significant urban open space.

While the site had been considered as a possible future plaza by Spanish and Mexican authorities, it was not formally developed until after the U.S. takeover. In the years following the official survey, the park served a variety of purposed but remained unlandscaped until 1868. With the building of what is now the Santa Clara County Courthouse, the park came of age. This elegant structure was designed to attract the State Capital back to San Jose and the park which it fronted, was envisioned as a grand public open space. A major landscaping plan initiated and the square became known as St. James Park.

Throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, the park took on increasing importance. Major public and private buildings - the Post Office, several churches, club and lodge headquarters - were built along its perimeter, and it became a site for public gatherings and demonstrations. Major labor rallies took place in the park in 1931 and 1933, California's last lynching occurred here in 1933: John Holmes and Thomas Thurmond, accused of kidnapping and killing the son of Hart Department Store president, were taken from the county jail by a mob and hanged. Monuments commemorate speeches make here by President McKinley and Senator Robert Kennedy, both assassinated coincidentally, shortly after their visits to San Jose.

In 1955, the character of the park was significantly altered when it was bisected by North Second Street. The gracious scale of the surrounding buildings remains intact. And the park is a welcome counterpoint to San Jose's busy downtown.
Marker Number23
Placed BySan Jose History Walk
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 12:00am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 598212 N 4133039
Decimal Degrees37.33885000, -121.89126667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 20.331', W 121° 53.476'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 20' 19.86" N, 121° 53' 28.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408, 209, 415, 650, 916
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 141-199 N 2nd St, San Jose CA 95112, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?