San Jose, California

2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Cities; North America

City of San Jose
Flag of City of San Jose
Nickname: Capital of Silicon Valley
Location of San Jose within Santa Clara County, California
Location of San Jose within Santa Clara County, California
Location of San Jose with the state of California
Location of San Jose with the state of California
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
Pueblo founded November 29, 1777
Incorporated March 27, 1850
 - Type charter city, mayor-council
 -  Mayor Chuck Reed
 -  Vice Mayor Dave Cortese
 -  City Manager Debra Figone
 -  Senate
 -  Assembly
 - City 178.2  sq mi (461.5  km²)
 - Land 174.9 sq mi (452.9 km²)
 - Water 3.3 sq mi (8.6 km²)
 - Urban 260.11 sq mi (673.68 km²)
 - Metro 2,694.7 sq mi (6,979.4 km²)
Elevation 85  ft (26  m)
Population (2008)
 - City 989,496 ( 10th)
 -  Density 5,216.3/sq mi (2,014.4/km²)
 - Urban 1,611,000
 - Metro 7,264,887
 - Demonym San Josean
Time zone PST ( UTC-8)
 - Summer ( DST) PDT ( UTC-7)
ZIP code 95101-95103, 95106, 95108-95139, 95141, 95142, 95148, 95150-95161, 95164, 95170-95173, 95190-95194, 95196
Area code(s) 408
FIPS code 06-68000
GNIS feature ID 1654952
Aerial view of San Jose. The intersection of I-280 and Guadalupe Parkway is shown at bottom. View is to the south.
Aerial view of San Jose. The intersection of I-280 and Guadalupe Parkway is shown at bottom. View is to the south.

San Jose (IPA: /ˌsænhoʊˈzeɪ/) (meaning St. Joseph in Spanish) or San José is the third-largest city in California, and the tenth-largest in the United States. It is the county seat of Santa Clara County. San Jose is located in the Santa Clara Valley, which has been dubbed the " Silicon Valley," at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area. Once a small farming city, San Jose became a magnet for suburban newcomers in new housing developments between the 1960s and the 1990s, and is now the largest city in Northern California. The official United States Census Bureau population estimate for July 1, 2006 is 929,936. The California Department of Finance estimates, San Jose's population on January 1, 2008 was 989,496.

Originally known as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777 as the first town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California, which later became Alta California. The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital. After more than 150 years as an agricultural centre, increased demand for housing from soldiers and other veterans returning from World War II, as well as aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s, led San Jose to become what would later be known as the Capital of Silicon Valley. Growth in the 1970s attracted more businesses to the city. In the late 1980s, after four decades of heavy development and population growth, San Jose surpassed San Francisco in population to become the third most populous city in California. By the 1990s, San Jose's location within the booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname Capital of Silicon Valley.


On April 3, 1979, the San José City Council adopted San José as the spelling of the city name on the city seal, official stationery, office titles and department names. Also, by city council convention, the spelling of San José is used when the name is stated in both uppercase and lowercase letters, but not when the name is stated only in uppercase letters. The name is still more commonly spelled without the diacritical mark as San Jose. The official name of the city remains The City of San Jose with no diacritical mark, according to the City Charter.


Prior to western settlement, the area was inhabited by several groups of Ohlone Native Americans Though visited briefly by the English two centuries prior, the first lasting European presence began with a series of Franciscan missions established from 1769 by Father Junípero Serra. On orders from Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, Spanish Viceroy of New Spain, San Jose was founded by Lieutenant José Joaquín Moraga as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe (in honour of Saint Joseph) on November 29, 1777, to establish a farming community. The town was the first civil settlement in Alta California.

In 1797, the pueblo was moved from its original location, near the present-day intersection of Guadalupe Parkway and Taylor Street, to a location in what is now Downtown San Jose. San Jose came under Mexican rule in 1825 after Mexico broke with the Spanish crown. It then became part of the United States, after it capitulated without bloodshed in 1846 and California was annexed. Soon afterwards, on March 27, 1850, San Jose became the first incorporated city in the state, with Josiah Belden its first mayor. The town was the state's first capital, as well as host of the first and second sessions (1850-1851) of the California Legislature.

Though not impacted as severely as San Francisco, San Jose suffered damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Over 100 people died at the Agnews Asylum (later Agnews State Hospital) after its walls and roof collapsed, and the San Jose High School's three-story stone was also destroyed. During World War II many Japanese were sent to internment camps and, following the Los Angeles zoot suit riots, anti-Mexican violence took place in the summer of 1943.

As World War II started, the city's economy shifted from agriculture (the Del Monte cannery was the largest employer) to industrial manufacturing with the contracting of the Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) by the United States War Department to build 1000 Landing Vehicle Tracked. After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systems) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams. IBM established its West Coast headquarters in San Jose in 1943 and opened a downtown research and development facility in 1952. Both would prove to be harbingers for the economy of San Jose, as Reynold Johnson and his team would later invent RAMAC, as well as the disc drive, and the technological side of San Jose's economy grew.

Downtown San Jose looking over the Tech Museum towards Mount Hamilton; hills in the background show their winter green color.
Downtown San Jose looking over the Tech Museum towards Mount Hamilton; hills in the background show their winter green colour.

During the 1950s and 1960s, city manager Dutch Hamann led the city in a major growth campaign. The city annexed adjacent areas, such as Alviso and Cambrian Park, providing large areas for suburbs. An anti-growth reaction to the effects of rapid development emerged in the 1970s championed by mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes. Despite establishing an urban growth boundary, development fees, and incorporations of Campbell and Cupertino, development was not slowed, but rather directed into already incorporated areas. San Jose's position in Silicon Valley triggered more economic and population growth, which led to the highest housing costs increase in the nation, 936% between 1976 and 2001. Efforts to increase density continued into 1990s when an update of the 1974 urban plan kept the urban growth boundaries intact and voters rejected a ballot measure to ease development restrictions in the foothills. Sixty percent of the housing built in San Jose since 1980 and over three-quarters of the housing built since 2000 have been multifamily structures, reflecting a political propensity toward Smart Growth planning principles.

Law and government

The San Jose City Hall opened in 2005.
The San Jose City Hall opened in 2005.


San Jose is a charter city under California law, giving it the power to enact local ordinances that may conflict with state law, within the limits provided by the charter. The city has a council-manager government with a city manager nominated by the mayor and elected by the city council.

The San José City Council is made up of ten council members elected by districts, and a mayor elected in an at-large election. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996. Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member has the right to act as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not have the right of succession to the mayor's office upon a vacancy.

The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, and must present an annual budget for approval by the city council. When the office is vacant, the Mayor proposes a candidate for City Manager, subject to council approval. The council appoints the Manager for an indefinite term, and may at any time remove the manager, or the electorate may remove the manager through a recall election. Other city officers appointed by the council are the City Attorney, City Auditor, City Clerk, and Independent Police Auditor.

Like all California cities except San Francisco, both the levels and the boundaries of what the city government controls is determined by the local county Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The goal of a LAFCO is to try to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl. The Santa Clara County LAFCO has set boundaries of San Jose's "Sphere of Influence" (indicated by the blue line in the map near the top of the page) as a superset of the actual city limits (the yellow area in the map), plus parts of the surrounding unincorporated county land, where San Jose can, for example, prevent development of fringe areas to concentrate city growth closer to the city's core. The LAFCO also defines a subset of the Sphere as an 'Urban Service Area' (indicated by the red line in the map), effectively limiting development to areas where urban infrastructure (sewers, electrical service, etc.) already exists.

San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County. Accordingly, many county government facilities are located in the city, including the office of the County Executive, the Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney's Office, eight courthouses of the Superior Court, the Sheriff's Office, and the County Clerk.

State and federal

In the state legislature San Jose is located in the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 15th Senate Districts, represented by Democrats Ellen Corbett, Joe Simitian, and Elaine Alquist, and Republican Abel Maldonado respectively, and in the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 27th, and 28th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Alberto Torrico, Ira Ruskin, Sally Lieber, Joe Coto, Jim Beall, John Laird, and Anna M. Caballero respectively. Federally, San Jose is located in California's 14th, 15th, and 16th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +18, D +14, and D +16 respectively and are represented by Democrats Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda, and Zoe Lofgren respectively.

Several state and federal agencies maintain offices in San Jose. The city is the location of the Sixth District of the California Courts of Appeal. It is also home to one of the courthouses of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


During the 1990s and 2000s, the crime rate fell, but it did not fall as fast as crime rates in most American cities during the same time period but recently its crime rates have risen. The designation is based on crime statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. Current mayor Chuck Reed is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Sister cities

The Office of Economic Development coordinates the San Jose Sister City Program which is part of Sister Cities International. As of 2006, there are seven sister cities:


Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley. See an up-to-the-minute view of San Jose from the Mount Hamilton web camera.
Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley. See an up-to-the-minute view of San Jose from the Mount Hamilton web camera.

San Jose is located at (37.304051, −121.872734).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 178.2 square miles (461.5 km²), of which 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²; 1.86%) is water.

San Jose lies near the San Andreas Fault; a major source of earthquake activity in California. The most serious earthquake, in 1906, damaged many buildings in San Jose as described earlier. Earlier significant quakes rocked the city in 1839, 1851, 1858, 1864, 1865, 1868, and 1891. The Daly City Earthquake of 1957 caused some damage. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 also did some damage to parts of the city. The other faults near San Jose are the Monte Vista Fault, South Hayward Fault, Northern Calaveras Fault, and Central Calaveras Fault.

The Guadalupe River runs from the Santa Cruz Mountains (which separate the South Bay from the Pacific Coast) flowing north through San Jose, ending in the San Francisco Bay at Alviso. Along the southern part of the river is the neighbourhood of Almaden Valley, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury needed for gold extraction from quartz during the California Gold Rush as well as mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945.

The lowest point in San Jose is 13 feet (4 m) below sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso; the highest is 4,372 feet (1,333 m) at Copernicus Peak, Mount Hamilton, which is technically outside the city limit. Due to the proximity to Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, San Jose has taken several steps to reduce light pollution, including replacing all street lamps and outdoor lighting in private developments with low pressure sodium lamps. To recognize the city's efforts, the asteroid 6216 San Jose was named after the city.


Mount Hamilton, in the Diablo Range, showing summer's golden mantle. Dark green areas in hills are primarily scrub oak and other low-growing shrubs. The white domes on top are UCSC's Lick Observatory
Mount Hamilton, in the Diablo Range, showing summer's golden mantle. Dark green areas in hills are primarily scrub oak and other low-growing shrubs. The white domes on top are UCSC's Lick Observatory
Mount Hamilton in January, with morning fog clearing away.
Mount Hamilton in January, with morning fog clearing away.

San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a Mediterranean climate. Unlike San Francisco, which is exposed to the ocean or Bay on three sides and whose temperature therefore varies relatively little year-round and overnight, San Jose lies further inland, protected on three sides by mountains. This shelters the city from rain and makes it more of a semiarid, near-desert area, with a mean annual rainfall of only 14.4 inches (366 mm), compared to some other parts of the Bay Area, which can get up to four times that amount. It also avoids San Francisco's omnipresent fog most of the year.

However, temperatures are generally moderate. January's average high is 59 °F (15 °C) and average low is 42 °F (6 °C), with overnight freezes several nights each year; July's average high is 84 °F (29 °C) and average low is 58 °F (14 °C), with heat exceeding 100 °F (38 °C) several days each year. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 109 °F (42.8 °C) on June 14, 2000; the lowest was 17 °F (-8.3 °C) on January 9, 1920 and January 10, 1920. Temperatures between night and day can vary by 30 or 40 °F (17 to 22 °C). Temperatures exceed 90°F (32°C) on an average of 18.3 days annually, and drop to 32°F (0°C) or lower on an average of 5.6 days annually.

With the light rainfall, San Jose experiences over 300 days a year of full or significant sunshine. Rain occurs primarily in the months from October through April or May, with hardly any rainfall from June through September. During the winter, hillsides and fields turn green with grasses and vegetation, although deciduous trees are bare; with the coming of the annual summer dry period, the vegetation dies and dries, giving the hills a golden cover, which some find beautiful but which also provides fuel for frequent grass fires.

Measurable precipitation falls in downtown San Jose on an average of 58 days a year. Annual precipitation has ranged from 6.12 inches in 1953 to 32.57 inches in 1983. The most precipitation in one month was 10.23 inches in February 1998. The maximum 24-hour rainfall was 3.60 inches on January 30, 1968. Although the summer is normally quite dry in San Jose, a very heavy thunderstorm on August 21, 1968, brought 1.92 inch of rain, causing some localized flooding.

The snow level drops as low as 2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level, or lower, occasionally each winter, coating nearby Mount Hamilton, and less frequently the Santa Cruz Mountains, with snow that normally lasts a few days. This sometimes snarls traffic traveling on State Route 17 towards Santa Cruz. Snow occasionally falls in San Jose, but until recently, the most recent snow to remain on the ground was on February 5, 1976, when many residents around the city saw as much as 3 inches (7.6 cm) on car and roof tops. The official observation station measured only 0.5 inch of snow. However, in March of 2006, a smaller amount, up to one inch (2.5 cm) of snow fell in downtown San Jose as well as other areas around the city at elevations of only 90 feet (27 m) to 200 feet (61 m) above sea level.

Like most of the Bay Area, San Jose is made up of dozens of microclimates. Downtown San Jose experiences the lightest rainfall in the city, while South San Jose, only 10 miles (16 km) distant, experiences more rainfall and slightly more extreme temperatures.


Adobe Systems headquarters
Adobe Systems headquarters

The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. As the largest city in the valley, San Jose has billed itself "the capital of Silicon Valley." Area schools such as University of California, Berkeley, San José State University, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.

High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion diminished somewhat. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any city with over 225,000 people.

San Jose lists 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco, and eBay, as well as major facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Hitachi and Lockheed Martin. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County, and San José State University.

The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation. Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by ACCRA are above the national average. Despite the high cost of living in San Jose, households in city limits have the highest disposable income of any city in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents.

San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city. Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.


This thematic map shows the large Asian American population in Cupertino, and the North Valley.
This thematic map shows the large Asian American population in Cupertino, and the North Valley.
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 21,500
1910 28,946 34.6%
1920 39,642 37%
1930 57,651 45.4%
1940 68,457 18.7%
1950 95,280 39.2%
1960 204,196 114.3%
1970 459,913 125.2%
1980 629,442 36.9%
1990 782,248 24.3%
2000 894,943 14.4%
Est. 2007 973,672 8.8%
historical data source:

As of the census of 2000, there were 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,117.9 people per square mile (1,976.1/km²). There were 281,841 housing units at an average density of 1,611.8 per square mile (622.3/km²). The Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey estimated the racial or ethnic makeup of the city as 46.96% White (31.34% White Non-Hispanic), 30.49% Asian, 0.45% Pacific Islander, 2.92% African American, 0.54% Native American, 15.11% from other races, and 3.52% from two or more races. 32.16% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 38.63% of the population was foreign born.

There were 276,598 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.62.

Age distribution
Age distribution

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was the highest in the US for any city with more than a quarter million residents with $73,804 annually. The median income for a family was $83,089. Males had a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,697. About 6.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

According to California Department of Finance estimates, San Jose's population on January 1, 2007 was 973,672, third in the state behind Los Angeles and San Diego. The estimate indicated a growth of 1.6 percent from the previous year. According to United States Census Bureau estimates, as of July 1, 2005, San Jose had a population of 912,332, making it the tenth most populous city in the United States.

San Jose has a very diverse religious life with thousands of churches, mosques, temples, and religious centers. San Jose and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many Christian congregations (including large, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses) alongside centers of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, and Sikh faiths among numerous other religious communities.

When it comes to dealing with such a diverse demographic, San Jose has a relatively easy situation with race relations. A high percentage of foreign-born live in the city, including many high-tech workers from East and South Asia. The people from these countries have settled in the city and across the Santa Clara Valley during the last three decades. Many Central American, Southeast Asian and Eastern European immigrants have lived in San Jose since the late 1970s and early 1980s. A large, multi-generational Hispanic barrio is in the Alum Rock district. Many Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans thrive downtown on the streets of Guadalupe and Almaden.

San Jose has the distinction of being the U.S. city with the largest Vietnamese American population. Municipal signs and brochures are sometimes displayed in Vietnamese language in addition to English and Spanish. In an effort to cater to this demographic, the San Jose Mercury News published a Vietnamese-language newspaper from 1999–2005 called Viet Mercury.

Arts and architecture

Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta San Jose International Airport, there is a permanent height limit for all buildings.The height limit is dictated by Federal Aviation Administration guidelines known as advisory circulars. The height limit is driven by the distance from the runway and a slope defined by the FAA in the previously mentioned guidelines. Core downtown buildings are limited to approximately 300 feet but can get taller the further from the airport. . There has been broad criticism over the past few decades of the city's architecture. Citizens have complained that San Jose is lacking in aesthetically pleasing architectural styles. Blame for this lack of architectural "beauty" can be assigned to the re-development of the downtown area from the 1950s onward, in which whole blocks of historic commercial and residential structures were demolished. Exceptions to this include the Downtown Historic District, the De Anza Hotel, and the Hotel Sainte Claire, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places for their architectural significance.

Municipal building projects have experimented more with architectural styles than have most private enterprises. The Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Repertory Theatre building have experimented with bold colors and unusual exteriors. The new City Hall, designed by Richard Meier & Partners opened in 2005 and is a notable addition to the growing collection of municipal building projects.

Public art is an evolving attraction in the city. The City was one of the first to adopt a public art ordinance at 2% of capital improvement building project budgets, and the results of this commitment are beginning to have an impact on the visual landscape of the city. There are a considerable number of public art projects throughout the downtown area, and a growing collection in the newer civic locations in neighborhoods including libraries, parks, and fire stations. Of particular note, the Mineta Airport expansion is incorporating a program of Art & Technology into its development.

Within the early efforts at public art, there are notable controversies. Two examples, include the statue of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent) in downtown which was controversial in its planning because some religious groups felt that it was pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham did not closely resemble a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics. This has resulted in a common inside joke among locals, who insist it closely resembles a pile of feces.

The statue of Thomas Fallon also met strong resistance from those who felt that people like him were largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations and Chicano/ Latino activists protested he captured San Jose by violent force in the Mexican-American war (1846) as well "repressed" historic documents of Fallon ordered the expulsion of most of the city's Californio (early Spanish or Mexican) residents. In October 1991 after protests in part of Columbus Day and Dia de la Raza celebrations, the Fallon statue plan was scrapped and the statue was stored in a warehouse in Oakland for more than a decade. The statue was returned to public display in 2002, albeit in a less conspicuous location: Pellier Park, a small triangular patched formed by the merge of West Julian and West St. James streets.

In 2001, the city sponsored SharkByte, an exhibit of decorated sharks, based on the mascot of the hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and modeled after Chicago's display of decorated cows. Large models of sharks were decorated in a variety of clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists and were then displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. Many displays were removed early because of vandalism. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. The sharks can still be found in their new owners' homes and businesses.

In 2006, Adobe Systems in commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore by Ben Rubin, which is located at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is comprised of four LED discs which "rotate" to transmit a message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore’s message remained a mystery until it was deciphered in August 2007. The visual art installation is supplemented with an audio track, transmitted from the building on a low-power AM station. The audio track provides clues to decode the message being transmitted.

The city is home to many performance arts, including Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, Children's Musical Theatre of San Jose (recognized as the largest and most talented youth theatre company in the nation), the San Jose Repertory Theatre, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose. San Jose also is home to the San Jose Museum of Art, one of the nation's premiere Modern Art museums. In addition, the annual Cinequest Film Festival in downtown has grown to over 60,000 attendees per year, becoming an important festival for independent films.

The HP Pavilion at San José is one of the most active venues for events in the world. According to Billboard Magazine and Pollstar, the arena sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the United States, and third in the world after the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England, and the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the period from January 1 – September 30, 2004. Including sporting events, the HP Pavilion averages 184 events a year, or roughly one event for every two days, which is significantly higher than the average for NHL arenas.


Club Sport Founded League Venue
San Jose Sharks Hockey 1991 National Hockey League: Western Conference HP Pavilion at San José
San Jose Earthquakes Soccer 1995 Major League Soccer: Western Conference Buck Shaw Stadium
Real San Jose Soccer 2006 National Premier Soccer League Yerba Buena High School
San Jose Frogs Soccer 2006 USL Premier Development League PAL Stadium
San Francisco Dragons Lacrosse 2006 Major League Lacrosse (field/outdoor) Spartan Stadium
San Jose Giants Baseball 1988 California League San Jose Municipal Stadium
San Jose SaberCats Arena Football 1995 Arena Football League HP Pavilion at San José
San Jose Stealth Lacrosse 2003 National Lacrosse League (box/arena/indoor) HP Pavilion at San José

The only " Big Four" team to play in San Jose is the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. The Sharks began play as an expansion team in 1991. As of the 2007-08 NHL Season, the Sharks have become extremely popular in San Jose and are one of the top draws in the NHL selling out nearly all of their home games. The team is still yet to win the Stanley Cup, but if they do it would be the first major professional sports team from San Jose to win a championship. The closest the team ever came to a Stanley Cup championship was in 2004 when they lost in the Western Conference Final to the Calgary Flames. The Sharks play home games at the HP Pavilion in San Jose and is a member of the NHL's Pacific Division in the Western Conference. They have intense rivialries with the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings as well as geographic rivalries with the Los Angeles Kings and the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.

San Jose has had previous attempts to draw teams from Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA by offering stadium deals or attracting relocating sports teams. In 1991 the San Francisco Giants baseball team nearly closed the deal to play in San Jose. In November 2007, MLB's Oakland Athletics (A's) submitted plans to the neighboring city of Fremont in Alameda County for a 32,000 seat stadium with a planned opening for the 2011 season. Since the mid-1990s, numerous attempts to move the team to San Jose or Santa Clara never materialized due to territorial restrictions that places San Jose into neighboring National League's San Francisco Giants territory. Nevertheless, the proposed Cisco Field (naming rights were purchased in 2006 by San Jose-based networking company Cisco Systems) will be five to eight miles (8 to 13 kilometers) north of San Jose's city limits via Interstate 880. This is possible because the A's own territorial rights for Alameda County, which borders much of San Jose to the north. Since the team will be located closer to San Jose than its current home in Oakland if the plan goes through, speculation on a name change to more closely identify with San Jose and its more affluent population and businesses is rife according to the San Jose Mercury-News.

The players of the San Jose Earthquakes moved to Houston, Texas after the 2005 season to become the Houston Dynamo. San Jose has been home to the Earthquakes in the North American Soccer League (1974–1984), Western Soccer Alliance (1985–1988), and Major League Soccer (1996–2005). In July 2007 it was announced that San Jose Earthquakes will be rejoining the MLS for the 2008 season in the Western Conference. The team will officially be a continuation of the one that went on hiatus in 2005 and will thus keep its 1996-2005 records and accomplishments, including its MLS Cup wins in 2001 and 2003 and its MLS Supporters' Shield win in 2005.

In 1997, due to the renovation of the Oakland Arena, the Golden State Warriors basketball team played their entire season home games at the San Jose Arena. Neighboring Santa Clara recently announced (2006) a new stadium deal will break ground and be completed by 2009, as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers football team. San Jose may also soon house the practice facilities for the Oakland Raiders.

HP Pavilion at San José
HP Pavilion at San José

Previously, San Jose was home to the San Jose Bees (1962-1976; 1983-1987) of the minor league baseball California League, the San Jose Missions (1977-1981) of the minor league baseball Pacific Coast League (from 1977-1978) and the California League (from 1979-1981), the San Jose Rhinos of Roller Hockey International (1994–1997;1999), the San Jose Grizzlies (1993–1995) of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the San Jose Golddiggers (1987–1989) of Major League Volleyball (women's), the San Jose Jammers (1989–1991) of the Continental Basketball Association, the San Jose Lasers of the American Basketball League, the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (while Oakland Arena was being renovated, 1996–1997), the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2002), and the San Jose Ballers of the International Basketball League, now the Tri City Ballers.

In addition to professional teams, San Jose hosts several sporting events. The SAP Open (formerly the Sybase Open) is an annual men's tennis tournament held at the HP Pavilion. San Jose was the host of ArenaBowl XVI on August 18, 2002 in which the San Jose SaberCats defeated the Arizona Rattlers, 52-14. The San Jose Grand Prix, first held in July 2005, brings Champ Car racing on a temporary road course on Downtown streets. Downtown San Jose hosted the finish for daily stages of the Amgen Tour of California in February of 2006 and 2007, and hosted the individual time trial in 2006. The city is also one of five host cities for the Dew Action Sports Tour season; the San Jose event is held in September.

In college sports, the San José State Spartans are the local college team, however, many residents support the Cal Golden Bears or the Stanford Cardinal; local sports news coverage tends to focus more on these two schools. The Pac-10 Women's Basketball Championship is held at the HP Pavilion at San José as well as either the men's or women's West Regional tournament during the NCAA's March Madness.

In 2004, the San Jose Sports Authority hosted the U.S. Olympic team trials for judo, taekwondo, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics at the San Jose State Event Centre. In August 2004, the Authority hosted the USA All-Star 7-Aside Rugby Championships at Watson Bowl, east of Downtown. San Jose is also home to the St Joseph's Hurling Club.


Mineta San Jose International Airport - International Arrivals
Mineta San Jose International Airport - International Arrivals
Sunset silhouettes a FedEx plane and the Bank of America Building's tower in downtown San Jose, CA, as the plane approaches Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Sunset silhouettes a FedEx plane and the Bank of America Building's tower in downtown San Jose, CA, as the plane approaches Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The San Jose area has a freeway system, including three Interstate highways— I-280, I-880, and I-680—in addition to several state and one US Highway, US 101, SR 85, SR 87, SR 17, and SR 237. It is, however, the largest city in the country not served by a primary, "two-digit" interstate. Additionally, San Jose contains many expressways of the Santa Clara County Expressway System, including the Almaden Expressway, Capitol Expressway, San Tomas Expressway, and Lawrence Expressway.

Rail service to and within San Jose is provided by Amtrak (the Sacramento-San Jose Capitol Corridor and the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight), Caltrain (commuter rail service between San Francisco and Gilroy), ACE (commuter rail service to Pleasanton and Stockton), and a local light-rail system connecting downtown to Mountain View, Milpitas, Campbell, and Almaden Valley, operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Historic streetcars from the San Jose History Museum operate on the light rail lines in downtown during holidays. Long-term plans call for BART to be expanded into the San Jose area via the East Bay. Diridon Station (formerly Cahill Depot, 65 Cahill Street) is the meeting point of all regional commuter rail service in the area. It was built in 1935 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and was refurbished in 1994.

VTA also operates many bus routes in San Jose and the surrounding communities, as well as offering paratransit services to local residents. Additionally, the Highway 17 Express bus line connects central San Jose with Santa Cruz.

San Jose is served by Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, two miles (3 km) northwest of downtown, and by Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County. San Jose residents also use San Francisco International Airport, a major international hub located 35 miles (56 km) to the northwest, and Oakland International Airport, another medium-sized airport located 35 miles (56 km) to the north.


Potable water is provided primarily by the private-sector San Jose Water Company, with some by the Great Oaks Water Company, and ten percent by the public-sector San Jose Municipal Water System. Great Oaks provides exclusively well water, while the other two provide water from multiple sources, including well water, and surface water from the Los Gatos Creek watershed, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Garbage, wastewater treatment, and recycling services are overseen by the city of San Jose's Environmental Services Department. San Jose recycles 64% of its waste, an exceptionally high percentage that is attributed to the recycling program's accepting an unusually long list of recyclable items without requiring that materials be sorted. Among the items accepted are all types of plastic, aerosol cans and paint cans, foam packing materials, aluminium furniture, small metal appliances, pots and pans, and clean fabrics.

Wastewater treatment happens at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, which treats and cleans the wastewater of the more than 1,500,000 people that live and work in the 300 square mile (780 km²) area encompassing San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Monte Sereno.

About ten percent of the treated wastewater is sold for irrigation ("water recycling") in San Jose, Santa Clara, and Milpitas, through local water providers San Jose Municipal Water System, City of Milpitas Municipal Services, City of Santa Clara Water & Sewer Utility, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company, and Great Oaks Water Company.

Natural gas and electricity are provided by PG&E. Telephone service is provided primarily by AT&T. Cable television is provided by Comcast.


Tower Hall, San Jose State
Tower Hall, San Jose State

Colleges and universities

San Jose is home to several colleges and universities. The largest and most well known is San José State University, which was founded by the California Legislature in 1862 as the California State Normal School and is the original campus of the California State University system. Located in downtown San Jose since 1870, the university's 30,000 students in bachelor's and master's degree programs are primarily commuters from many areas in the South Bay. National Hispanic University, with an enrollment of 600, offers associate and bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials to its students, focusing on Hispanic students. Lincoln Law School of San Jose offers law degrees, catering to working professionals. The San Jose campus of Golden Gate University offers business bachelor and MBA degrees. San Jose's community colleges, San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College, offer associate degrees, general education units to transfer to CSU and UC schools, and adult and continuing education programs. The West campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic is also located in San Jose.

The University of California, Santa Cruz operates Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton. In addition, San Jose residents attend several other area universities, including Santa Clara University, De Anza College in Cupertino, Stanford University in Palo Alto, Carnegie Mellon West in Mountain View and the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, San Jose and South Bay residents also comprise large sections of the student population at both the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of California, Davis.

Primary and secondary education

Most San Jose students go to schools in the San Jose Unified School District. Prior to 1954, California law required cities and school districts to have the same boundaries. When San Jose began expanding, rural school districts became one of the major opponents, as their territory and tax base was taken by the city. The city's legislators pushed a bill through the California Legislature, removing that requirement, and ending much of the opposition. The result is a patchwork of local school districts in the areas annexed after 1954. Public education in the city is provided by four high school districts, fourteen elementary districts, and four unified school districts (which provide both elementary and high schools).

In addition to the main San Jose Unified School District, the unified school districts are Milpitas Unified School District, Morgan Hill Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District.

The following districts use the "feeder" system:

  • Campbell Union High School District receives students from:
    • Cambrian
    • Campbell Union
    • Luther Burbank
    • Moreland
    • Union School District.
  • East Side Union High School District receives students from:
    • Alum Rock Union
    • Berryessa Union
    • Evergreen Elementary
    • Franklin-McKinley
    • Mount Pleasant Elementary
    • Oak Grove
    • Orchard Elementary
  • Fremont Union High School District receives students from:
    • Cupertino Union School District.
  • Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District receives students from
    • Los Gatos Union School District.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

Private schools in San Jose are primarily run by religious groups. The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has the second largest student population in the Santa Clara County, behind only SJUSD; the diocese and its parishes operate several schools in the city, including four high schools: Archbishop Mitty High School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, Notre Dame High School, and Presentation High School. There are two Baptist high schools, Liberty Baptist School and White Road Baptist Academy. Valley Christian High School is a Protestant high school in the North Valley neighbourhood. There is also the nonsectarian K-12 Harker School.

San Jose library system

The San Jose City Library system is unique in that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library combines the collections of the city's system with the San Jose State University main library. The building of the library in 2003 was the largest single library construction project west of the Mississippi. It has more than 1.5 million items. The building has eight floors that result in more than 475,000 square feet of space with a capacity for 2 million volumes.

The city has 18 neighbourhood branches including the Biblioteca Latinoamericana which specializes in Spanish language works. The East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library, a Carnegie library opened in 1908, is the last Carnegie library in Santa Clara County still operating as a public library and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The San Jose system (along with the University system) were jointly named as "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal in 2004.


Guadalupe River Trail
Guadalupe River Trail
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum at Rosicrucian Park.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum at Rosicrucian Park.
Front of the San Jose Museum of Art, the remaining facade of San Jose's first post office.
Front of the San Jose Museum of Art, the remaining facade of San Jose's first post office.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Parks, gardens, and other outdoor recreational sites

  • Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 4,147 acres (17 km²) of former mercury mines in South San Jose (operated and maintained by the County of Santa Clara, Parks and Recreation Department).
  • Alum Rock Park, 718 acres (2.9 km²) in East San Jose, the oldest municipal park in California
  • Emma Prusch Farm Park, 43.5 acres (176,000 m²) in East San Jose. Donated by Emma Prusch to demonstrate the valley's agricultural past, it includes a 4-H barn (the largest in San Jose), community gardens, a rare-fruit orchard, demonstration gardens, picnic areas, and expanses of lawn.
  • California's Great America
  • Circle of Palms Plaza, a ring of palm trees surrounding a California state seal and historical landmark at the site of the first state capitol
  • Kelley Park, including diverse facilities such as Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (a child-centric amusement park), the Japanese Friendship Garden (Kelley Park), History Park at Kelley Park, and the Portuguese Historical Museum within the history park
  • Kirk Park, home to the San Jose Young People's Theatre
  • Overfelt Gardens, including the Chinese Cultural Garden
  • Plaza de César Chávez, a small park in Downtown, hosts outdoor concerts and the Christmas in the Park display
  • Raging Waters, water park with water slides and other water attractions. This sits within Lake Cunningham Park
  • Rosicrucian Park, nearly an entire city block in the Rose Garden neighbourhood; the Park offers a setting of Egyptian and Moorish architecture set among lawns, rose gardens, statuary, and fountains, and includes the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Planetarium, Research Library, Peace Garden and Visitors Centre
  • San Jose Flea Market
  • San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, 5½ acre (22,000 m²) park in the Rose Garden neighbourhood, featuring over 4,000 rose bushes


San Jose's trail network offers nearly 50 miles (80 km) of recreational and commute trails throughout the City. The major trails in the network include:

  • Coyote Creek Trail
  • Guadalupe River Trail
  • Los Gatos Creek Trail
  • Los Alamitos Creek Trail
  • Penitencia Creek Trail
  • Silver Creek Valley Trail

Additional information is available at the City of San Jose trail network website.

Museums, libraries, and other cultural collections

  • Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
  • History Park at Kelley Park
  • Ira F. Brilliant Centre for Beethoven Studies, home of the largest Beethoven collection outside Europe
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the largest U.S. public library west of Mississippi River
  • Mexican Heritage Plaza, a museum and cultural centre for Mexican Americans in the area
  • Portuguese Historical Museum
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on display in the western United States, located at Rosicrucian Park
  • San Jose Museum of Art
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation

Sports and event venues

  • HP Pavilion at San José - home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, the AFL's San Jose SaberCats and the NLL's San Jose Stealth.
  • San Jose Convention Centre-home of the CBA's San Jose Sky Rockets until the team's departure in 2006 to North Dakota.
  • San Jose Jazz Festival, held annually in downtown San Jose
  • San Jose Municipal Stadium, home of the minor league San Jose Giants.
  • Spartan Stadium, home of San José State University football and the previous home of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes.

Other structures

  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, the oldest parish in California
  • Lick Observatory, home of what was once the largest telescope in the world
  • Sikh Gurdwara - San Jose, the largest Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) in the United States
  • Peralta Adobe, a restored adobe home showing the lifestyle of Spanish and Mexican California
  • Winchester Mystery House, a sprawling, 160-room Victorian mansion built by Sarah Winchester
  • Raging Waters, the largest water park in Northern California with 23 acres and millions of gallons of water

Retrieved from ""
This Wikipedia Selection is sponsored by SOS Children , and is a hand-chosen selection of article versions from the English Wikipedia edited only by deletion (see for details of authors and sources). The articles are available under the GNU Free Documentation License. See also our Disclaimer.