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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez

 
 
Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2010
1. Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez Marker
Inscription. The Plaza de César E. E. Chávez is part of the original plaza of the 1797 Pueblo de San José and is the oldest continuously used public open space in the city. The plaza was the hub of the old Spanish settlement: the site of Juzgado and the church, it was a focus for the public life of the pueblo. After the U.S. takeover, surveyor Chester Lyman laid out the present elliptical park at the southern edge of the plaza. This became the primary civic open space of the new American city and, in 1849, the first State Capitol was situated on its eastern edge.

The Plaza de César E. Chávez continued to serve the functions of the original Hispanic plaza―parade ground, cock-pit, racetrack―but a peculiarly American use for it was a site for public hangings. The park declined in favor during the 1870s, when San Jose's large Chinese population established itself along the eastern side of Market Street. City leaders contemplated closing the park and running Market Street through it. Public protest quashed this theme and, when a fire destroyed the adjacent Chinatown in 1887, the park was selected as a site for the new City Hall. Until its demolition in 1958, the elaborate brick and stone building dominated the park.

In 1993, the park was renamed in honor of César E. Chávez (1927 – 1993) ― resident of
Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2010
2. Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez Marker
San José, community organizer and founder of the United Farm Workers Union. The vision of the UFW was born in San José.
 
Erected by City of San Jose.
 
Location. 37° 19.961′ N, 121° 53.421′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on South Market Street north of Park Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located on the western edge of the park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 194 South Market Street, San Jose CA 95113, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Freedom Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); First State Capitol Building (within shouting distance of this marker); United States Post Office (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First State Capital (about 300 feet away); Chinatown (about 300 feet away); The Burning of San Jose Chinatown (about 300 feet away); St. Joseph’s Cathedral (about 400 feet away); Site of Worlds First Broadcasting Station / World’s First Broadcasting Station (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Jose.
 
Also see . . .
1. Downtown San Jose History Walk. The park and this marker are Site #1 - the starting point of the Downtown
View of the Park and the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2010
3. View of the Park and the Marker
The United States Post Office, the first Federal Building in San Jose, is visible in the background. See "Nearby Marker" for additional information.
San Jose History Walk. (Submitted on April 28, 2010.) 

2. Cesar Chavez - A True American Hero. Biographical information by the Cesar Chavez Foundation. (Submitted on April 28, 2010.) 

3. 1912 Postcard Image. San Jose City Hall and view of the plaza. The Post Office (now the San Jose Museum of Art) is also seen in the photo. (Submitted on May 24, 2010.) 
 
Categories. HeroesNotable PersonsNotable Places
 
City Hall Cornerstone Located South of the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2010
4. City Hall Cornerstone Located South of the Marker
Northside view of the only remaining part of the City Hall.
West Side of the City Hall Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 25, 2010
5. West Side of the City Hall Cornerstone
Erected
1887
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,045 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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