Downtown Districts

Discover DTSJ

Five Distinctive Districts

Historic District

San Pedro Square

South First Area (SoFA)

St. James

Little Italy

Historic District

Downtown San Jose’s Historic District gets its name because of the cluster of historic buildings built in the 1800s.

Somehow, they made it through major earthquakes in 1906 and 1989, and now all are retrofitted to support future quakes and present an elegance and grace to San Jose’s center city.
The landmark Bank of Italy building – once the tallest building on the West Coast — is undergoing a renovation in the Historic District.
Quaint Post Street not only sports historic facades, it now has an LGBTQ+ designation. It is a warm and welcoming place for everyone.
Another centerpiece is the majestic Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Several blocks of buildings encompass the Historic District.  Inside the buildings, find offices, restaurants, night clubs, and more.  It’s a great place to explore, wander and get lost in time.

8-14 S. First, Bank of Italy

St. Joseph’s Church, 55 San Fernando, c1876, Italian Baroque

Old Post Office, 110 S. Market, 1892-1895, Romanesque

Knights of Columbus Building, 34 N. First, 1926, Richardsonian Romanesque

Realty Building, 19 N Second, 1925, Beaux Arts

Commercial Building, 20 N First, 1926, Renaissance Revival

First National Bank Building, 20 W Santa Clara, 1910, Tall Building

James Clayton Building, 34 W Santa Clara, c1867,

Bank of Italy, 64 W Santa Clara, c1885

St. Francis  Block, 17 E Santa Clara, 1870, Art Deco

32 E Santa Clara, c1880s

35 E Santa Clara, c1889

Fountain Alley Building, 36 E Santa Clara, x1899, Italianate Commercial

Moderne Drug, 42 E Santa Clara, Moderne

New Century Block, 52 E Santa Clara, c1886, Renaissance Revival

Odd Fellows Building, 82 E Santa Clara, c1883, Italianate

Opera House Block, 91 E Santa Clara, 1881, Vernacular commercial

YMCA Building, 100 E Santa Clara, c1913, Modern Renaissance

Alliance Building, 101 E Santa Clara, 1908, Renaissance Revival

Fox Building, 114 E Santa Clara, c1910, Edwardian

124 E Santa Clara, c1910, Brick Commercial

State Meat Market, 148 E Santa Clara, c1913, Edwardian

Sperry Flour Co., 30 N Third , 1917, Mission Style

15 S First, c1870, Mediterranean

A.Hirsh and Sons Building, 19 S. First, c1857, Modern

Woolworth, 27 S First, 1926-1953, Modern

O’Brien’s Candy Store, 30 S. First, 1912, Modern

  1. Stock/Fischer Pellerano Drugs, 33 S First, c1857, Modern

Knox / Goodrich Building, 34, S First, c1889, Richardsonian Romanesque

El Paseo Court, 40 S. First, c1930s, Spanish Colonial Revival

Holman Building, 41 S. First, 1925, Modern

  1. Roberto’s Jewelers, 48 S First, c1890s, Brick Commercial

Waterman Building, 52 S. First, c1900, Richardsonian Romanesque

Rea Block, 56 S. First, c1868

Letitia Building, 66 S. First, c1890s, Romanesque Revival

Security Building / Ryland Block, 74 S. First, c1892, Victorian Romanesque

27 Post, pre-1860s, Sullivanesque Commercial

39 Post, c1886, Brick Commercial

43 Post, c1860, Brick Commercial

45 Post, c1884, Brick Commercial

Glein/Fenerin Building, 59 Post, 1873-75

Voo Doo Lounge, 14 S Second, Eclectic Commercial

Allen’s Furniture, 40 S Second, c1920, Victorian

Jose Theater, 62 S Second, c1904, California Mediterranean

Dougherty Building, 83 S. Second, c1910, Spanish Revival

Triton Building, 87 S Second, c1908, Sullivanesque

90 S Second, c1920

Moyer Music, 98 S Second, c1907, Moderne

Lawrence Hotel, 67 E San Fernando, c1895 (fire)

Sunset Telephone & Telegraph, 90 S Market, c1904, Eclectic Victorian

Twohy Building, 200 S. First, 1917 Renaissance Revival

Montgomery Hotel, 211 S. First, c1911, Neoclassical / Renaissance Revival

Source, City of San Jose Historic Resource Inventory. LINK:

San Pedro Square

San Pedro Square is one of downtown San Jose’s best destinations.
It is a place of destiny. A meeting place for Sharks’ games. A place for friends to enjoy a meal, some drink, make history, enjoy live theater, sit on shaded patios in perfect weather and get some shopping done.
Food dishes from all parts of our planet are shared, always in good company. Take a romantic stroll on decorative streets.  Or bring the family — yes, all ages welcome.
San Pedro Square is the place for a casual night out or for that special occasion.

Peralta Adobe, San Pedro Square Market, 1797

Fallon Residence, 175 St. John, 1854, Italianate

Hotel De Anza, 233 W. Santa Clara, 1931, Art Deco

Lyndon Building, 177 W. Santa Clara, c1884

Masson Building, 161 W. Santa Clara St., 1883/1930, Art Deco

Farmer’s Union Building, 151 W Santa Clara, 1877/1930, Spanish Eclectic

Lamolle Residence, 143 W Santa Clara, c1870s, Modern

San Jose National Bank, 101 W Santa Clara, 1942, Art Deco

San Jose Building and Loan Association, 81 W Santa Clara, c1926, Beaux Arts

Ravenna Pasta Co. Building, 51 N. San Pedro, pre-2901, Mission Revival

Coronado Livery Stables, 55 N San Pedro, pre-1901, Neoclassical Revival

Slavich Building, 73 N. San Pedro, c1902, Vernacular storefront

Garden City Modern Bakery, 87 N San Pedro, 1904, Spanish Eclectic

Levi Strauss Factory, 115 Terraine , 1949, Modern

IBM Building, 99 Notre Dame, 1949, Modern

Hotel Metropole, 127 Post St., C1890s, Romanesque

Hatman/Mormandin Block, 14 S Almaden Ave., 1891, Modern

Berger Building, 44 S Almaden Ave., c1936, Art Deco

Source, City of San Jose Historic Resource Inventory.

South First Area

Food, coffee, drinks, theater, music, art and some of downtown San Jose’s newest residences.

Does it get any better than this?  It does in South First Area with the cozy acronym, SoFA.
How about gaming? Guildhouse and Lvl Up are gamers’ paradises. 
Live it up at SoFA Pocket Park, with a demonstration garden by Veggielution and park spaces for big and little dogs.
Visit the Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays between May and December. Find more enjoyable activities at Studio Climbing GymHeroes Martial Arts, Downtown Yoga Shala, and Higher Fire pottery studio.
The arts district, located on three blocks of South First Street around the corner from the San Jose Convention Center is also home of City Lights and San Jose Stage companies; Anno Domini, KALEID GalleryMACLA and San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art galleries; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles; and the historic California Theatre, home to San Jose’s symphony and ballet companies.
On the First Fridays of the month, the entire neighborhood gets together with the creative community — which is just about everyone — for South First Fridays Art Walk SJ; a celebration of art, performances, food, drink, socializing and outdoor festivals in the summer. On other days and nights, SoFA is a good place to party, relax and enjoy life. 

Civic Auditorium, 145 W. San Carlos St., 1934, Spanish Colonial Revival

St. Claire Hotel, 302 S. Market St., c1926, Spanish-Italian Renaissance Revival

Hales Department Store, 300 S. First, 1931, Art Deco/Modern

Dohrman Building, 325 S. First, c1926

Fox (California) Theatre, 345 S. First, c1927, Spanish Baroque

  1. Prussia Building, 371 S. First, 1925, Renaissance Revival

Wesnitzer Apartments, 395 S. First, c1910

Boschken Garage, 400 S. First, 1913, Modern

Sambo’s Restaurants, 409 S. Second, 1967, Coffee Shop, Modern

Prindeville Building, 418 S. Market, c1927, Mission Revival

Conrotto Garage, 431 S. First, 1923, Modern

Bonner Stables, 434 S. First, c1895

Wright/Curtner Building, 439 S, First, 1920, Modern

L’amour Shoppe, 445 First, c1899

Garden City Glass, 451 S. First, c1815

Red Front Surplus, 455 S. First, c1918

Herrold College, 465 S. First, 1918

Sloan Building, 500 S. First, 1921, Modern

Costa Miller Building, 520 S. First, 1923, Mission Revival

Bents Engine Service, 27 E William, c1916

501 S. Second, c1915, Prairie Style

Jones Residence, 505 S. Second, Shingle Style Victorian

Valpey Apartments, 569 S. Second, 1927, Mission Revival


  • – 15 homes built between 1884 and 1915 can be found on South Second and South Fourth between San Salvador and Reed streets.
  • – 10 homes on the block bounded by San Carlos, Third, San Salvador and Second built between 1889 and 1949

Source, City of San Jose Historic Resource Inventory.

St. James

St. James boasts one of downtown’s nicest settings.

The park itself dates back to the 188s and some of the structures around it, such as the Trinity Cathedral are older.
The park’s rich history includes speeches by presidents and multiple layouts. A new plan is envisioned for St. James Park.
It has always been a place to stroll and enjoy.  These days, St. James Park hosts events such as Starlight Cinemas, Make Music Day, concerts, and Viva Parks activities.  Yoga practitioners enjoy stretching on the park’s lush grasses.
The park and area are included on the national Register of Historic Places. 

St. James Park, 1869

County Courthouse, 161 N First, 1868, Renaissance Revival

Post Office, 105 N First, c1933, Spanish Colonial Revival

Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 N. Second, Carpenter Gothic

Parker Building, 82 N Second St., c1940, International Style

Eagles Hall, 152 N Third, c1909, Greek Revival

First Unitarian Church, 160 N Third, 1891-1892, Romanesque Revival

San Jose Dance Studio, 157 N Fourth, 1954, Modern

Scottish Rite Temple, 196 N Third, c1924, Neo-Classical

Sainte Claire Club, 65 E St. James, c1893, Mission Revival / Mediterranean

First Church of Christ Scientist, 39 E St. James, 1908, Neo-Classical

Source, City of San Jose Historic Resource Inventory. LINK:

Little Italy

Little Italy is the little district that could.  
Little Italy’s resurgence the past 15 years has been remarkable.  Located in the northwest portion of downtown on the original settlement for Italian immigrants dating back to the 1880s, Little Italy today has added an archway, Piazza Piccola Italia with engraved bricks, and a number of anchor businesses all with an Italian flavor. 
It also hosts a festival and spaghetti sauce cookoff each year.
Next for Little Italy — work has begun renovating a couple of original “River Street” homes into a cultural center and museum, with below-the-ground speakeasy.  And Poor House Bistro is moving — structure and all — into Little Italy.
Rome wasn’t built in a day; the same is true of San Jose’s Little Italy.  The non-profit organization putting the pieces together takes its time, gets it right, and has a legion of volunteers willing to put time and effort into literally rebuilding their community.
Can’t wait to see what they do next!

Cafe One Catering & Cafe


1 Almaden Blvd., Ste A San Jose CA 95113-2211

Phone Number

(408) 947-9008

Henry’s World Famous Hi Life


301 W St John St San Jose CA 95110-2345

Phone Number

(408) 295-5414

Little Italy San Jose Foundation


323 W. St. John St San Jose CA 95110

Phone Number


Little Wine House


350 W. Julian Street 4 San Jose CA 95110

Phone Number

(408) 471-8039

Littlest Little Italy


320 W. St. John Street San Jose CA 95110

Phone Number

Paesano Ristorante Italiano


350 W Julian St, Bldg 1 San Jose CA 95110-2305

Phone Number

(408) 217-9327

Platinum Premiere Construction


175 W St James St 801 San Jose CA 95113

Phone Number

(510) 377-9286




350 W Julian St #7 San Jose CA 95110

Phone Number

(800) 961-8770

The Sabatino Memorial Family Resource Center


350 W Julian St BLDG 8 San Jose CA 95110-2305

Phone Number

(408) 298-4278

Y.A. Tittle & Associates Insurance Servics


200 N Almaden Blvd, 1st Floor San Jose CA 95113-2091

Phone Number

(408) 298-4321