San Jose Downtown, Japantown
Downtown San Jose is the central business district of San Jose, California, United States. The area is generally located north of Interstate 280 and east of Guadalupe Parkway, which roughly parallels the Guadalupe River. The region is bound to the north by U.S. Route 101 and to the east by Coyote Creek
The town was first settled in 1777. The area that now makes up downtown was first settled twenty years later, when the town of San Jose moved somewhat inland from its original location on the banks of the Guadalupe River. In 1850, San Jose incorporated to become California's first city and the location of California's first state capitol. The downtown area was typical of a small, agriculture-based city of under 100,000 residents until city manager A. P. Hamann spearheaded aggressive expansion during the 1950s and '60s. As the city rapidly expanded into outlying areas, the downtown area entered a period of decline. In the 1980s, mayor Tom McEnery, whose family owned several buildings in downtown, initiated significant gentrification in the area. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency, the largest such group in the state, would eventually become a key player in revitalizing the downtown area and, to a lesser extent, surrounding neighborhoods. In some cases, historic downtown buildings were bulldozed in order to make room for new hotels, office space, condominiums, museums, theaters and parks; to widen or re-align streets, and to build parking lots and garages.
Downtown San Jose buildings are not allowed to exceed 27 stories in height due to their close proximity to the Mineta San Jose International Airport flight path. The area is home to many of the city's landmarks, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Stage Company, the historic De Anza Hotel, the Fairmont Hotel, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, the campus of San Jose State University and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The SAP Center, or the Shark Tank, host many popular entertainers and sporting events.]
Many of the public areas of downtown San Jose are covered by a public, free, Wi-Fi network, including the areas surrounding Plaza de César Chávez and San Pedro Square. Downtown is also the hub of the VTA's light rail system, and the home of the main campus of San Jose State University. SJSU is the founding campus of the California State University system and the oldest public university on the west coast of the United States. SJSU enrolls approximately 31,000 students. Many of the 19th century buildings in central downtown appear on the National Register of Historic Places, in particular the area surrounding St. James Park.
The downtown residential area primarily consisted of Caucasian residents through the mid-twentieth century. A notable exception was the Northside Neighborhood, where ethnic minority groups were invited to establish their homes and live their lives freely. With a vibrant African-American community and a Chinatown that grew into today's Japantown, San Jose's Northside welcomed everyone and helped to form the inclusive, diverse and vibrant downtown San Jose community of today
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