This is the central park of downtown San Jose, like the town square of its history. Today it hosts big events that bring us together. Well wishers and protestors have greeted presidents from here. Our annual Christmas in the Park takes place here as does a main stage for our huge annual Jazz Festival. Kids play here in the fountains on hot days. In this one place, through a year, we eat, we drink hot chocolate, we enjoy music, children singing, ride carnival rides, watch life, and so much more.
Across the street from the park, where the Fairmont hotel stands today, once stood our China Town. Also, the first Capital of California. Yes, there have been several capital cities of California. Before we were a state, Monterrey was the seat of government for California when this area was Spain, then when it was Mexico, and then when it was an independent territory. Once a state, the Capital moved to San Jose from 1849 to 1851. It had been intended that San Jose would remain the capital but due to a series of issues with land (interesting info here: https://library.ca.gov/california-history/previous-ca-capitals/#), the capital moved to a series of cities from San Jose 1949, to Vallejo 1852, to Sacramento 1852, then Benicia 1853, back to Vallejo, and then back to Sacramento. Due to flood damage in Sacramento, San Francisco was made our temporary capital for the year of 1862 before returning to Sacramento. Lots of moving around. Eventually, the capital settled in Sacramento where it resides today.
From this spot pictured above which is across the street from Cesar Chavez Park, you can spin around and see a lot of historical places. The iconic sculpture, The San Jose Museum of Art which was once our main post office, the KQED building where once stood the first radio station in the world are all pictured above. If you were to look to the right from there, beyond this photo, you would be able to see the historical locations of the first State Capital of California, one of the historic locations of San Jose City Hall, the location where once stood China Town, and so much more.