Ver Planck Historic Preservation Consulting


Former San Jose City Hall
Historic Resource Evaluation

LOCATION: San José, Santa Clara County, California
CLIENT: County of Santa Clara Planning Office

This Historic Resource Evaluation evaluated three buildings within the Santa Clara County Civic Center complex: Former San José City Hall (1958), San José Health Services Building (1958 and 1964), and City Hall Annex (1976). The site comprises what was once the City of San José's portion of the joint City/County Civic Center. The Civic Center was developed incrementally from the early 1950s until the 1970s. In 2005, the City of San José opened its new City Hall at 200 East Santa Clara Street, marking the return of City administration to downtown San José for the first time in nearly half a century. Former San José City Hall and its Annex have remained vacant since then. In June 2011, the City conveyed the subject property to Santa Clara County.

In 2011, the County of Santa Clara Planning Office requested Chris VerPlanck and Alex Bevk to survey and research three buildings and associated landscaping in what had been the City's section of the Civic Center and to prepare a Historic Resource Evaluation that assessed their potential eligibility for listing in the National Register, the California Register, and the Santa Clara County Historic Resource Inventory. Our report found Former City Hall alone eligible for listing in all three registers under Criterion A (Events) for its association with the rapid expansion of San Jose during the post-World War II era, under Criterion B (Persons) for its association with former San Jose City Manager A.P. "Dutch" Hamann — the primary mastermind behind the transformation of San Jose from a sleepy horticultural outpost into a major high technology center, as well as Criterion C (Design/Construction) as an early example of a glass curtain wall office building in the Bay Area, as well as for its innovative modernist design.

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