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What San Jose, California looked like in the 1960s

During the 1960s, City Manager A. P. “Dutch” Hamann led San Jose in an effective growth campaign. For suburban development, the city annexed adjoining areas, such as Alviso and Cambrian Park. A reaction against rapid development emerged in the 1970s, led by Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes. Although the city established an urban growth boundary, imposed development fees, and incorporated Campbell and Cupertino, development did not slow but was instead directed into already-incorporated areas.

Uncontrolled growth resulted in a high municipal debt load, degraded public services (including double sessions at public schools and overburdened fire and police departments), and environmental degradation, resulting in a populist revolt against Hamann’s growth machine. Several anti-growth candidates were also elected to the City Council in the late 1960s.

Here are some fascinating photos that will take you back to the 1960s in San Jose, California.

#1 Beech-Nut Lifesavers Plant, San Jose, 1962

Beech-Nut Lifesavers Plant, San Jose, 1962

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#2 Trucks parked in the yard of the San Jose Water Company, 1962

Trucks parked in the yard of the San Jose Water Company, 1962

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#3 San Jose Hospital, 1964

San Jose Hospital, 1964

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#4 House at 112 Alma Avenue, San Jose Residence of Mrs. Emma Rios 1955 Found in 1955 San Jose City, 1960

House at 112 Alma Avenue, San Jose Residence of Mrs. Emma Rios 1955 Found in 1955 San Jose City, 1960

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#5 Front of postcard shows San Jose City Hall on a beautiful day in 1963.

Front of postcard shows San Jose City Hall on a beautiful day in 1963.

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#6 Town and Country Theatre, located in the Town and Country complex, now Santana Row, San Jose, 1966

Town and Country Theatre, located in the Town and Country complex, now Santana Row, San Jose, 1966

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#7 East San Jose Carnegie Library, 1960

East San Jose Carnegie Library, 1960

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#8 San Jose Hospital neighbourhood, 15th and Santa Clara Street, 1965

San Jose Hospital neighbourhood, 15th and Santa Clara Street, 1965

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#9 Frontier Auto Movie, San Jose, 1966

Frontier Auto Movie, San Jose, 1966

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#10 The Fox Bayshore Drive-In was located at First and Brokaw Streets, San Jose, California, 1966

The Fox Bayshore Drive-In was located at First and Brokaw Streets, San Jose, California, 1966

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#11 Fox California Theatre, San Jose, 1967

Fox California Theatre, San Jose, 1967

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#12 Speech & Drama Building, San Jose State College, 1962

Speech & Drama Building, San Jose State College, 1962

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#13 Redevelopment Agency Photos San Jose Chamber of Commerce Convention / Visitors Bureau on Market St, 1960s

Redevelopment Agency Photos San Jose Chamber of Commerce Convention / Visitors Bureau on Market St, 1960s

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#14 The intersection of Hobson Street and Coleman Avenue, 1967

The intersection of Hobson Street and Coleman Avenue, 1967

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#15 San Jose Civic Center, City Hall, 1960

San Jose Civic Center, City Hall, 1960

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#16 Winchester Mystery House. Santa Clara-Los Gatos Road near San Jose, 1960

Winchester Mystery House. Santa Clara-Los Gatos Road near San Jose, 1960

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#17 South First Street looking north, San Jose, 1961

South First Street looking north, San Jose, 1961

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#18 Looking north on South First Street near the Fox Theatre, San Jose, 1960

Looking north on South First Street near the Fox Theatre, San Jose, 1960

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#19 Murphy building, Market and Post Street, 1962

Murphy building, Market and Post Street, 1962

The Murphy building on the corner of Market and Post Streets in San Jose. For a time it housed the 1862 Santa Clara Courthouse upstairs.

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#20 Town & Country Theatre, San Jose, located in the Town & Country shopping center on Stevens Creek Boulevard, 1960

Town & Country Theatre, San Jose, located in the Town & Country shopping center on Stevens Creek Boulevard, 1960

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#21 Beech-Nut Lifesavers factory, 1962

Beech-Nut Lifesavers factory, 1962

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#22 Newhall railroad yard, San Jose, 1960

Newhall railroad yard, San Jose, 1960

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#23 The Alameda Building at 1625 The Alameda, San Jose, 1968

The Alameda Building at 1625 The Alameda, San Jose, 1968

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#24 YMCA building corner of 3rd and Santa Clara Streets, San Jose, 1965

YMCA building corner of 3rd and Santa Clara Streets, San Jose, 1965

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#25 Garden Theatre, Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen district of San Jose, 1966

Garden Theatre, Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen district of San Jose, 1966

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#26 Park Center Redevelopment, 1967

Park Center Redevelopment, 1967

Taken from opposite side of street. There is a billboard with two lines of black text and an image of a bottle.

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#27 Park Center Redevelopment, 1967

Park Center Redevelopment, 1967

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#28 Corner of East San Carlos Street, 1960

Corner of East San Carlos Street, 1960

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#29 Dicks 150 Club Tavern, 1960

Dicks 150 Club Tavern, 1960

Dicks 150 Club Tavern, San Pedro, Jefferson Hotel Above, Jose Bowling Alley on Right West Santa Clara and San Pedro Streets

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#30 Imperial Hotel, 1965

Imperial Hotel, 1965

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#31 San Jose Museum of Art building, 1965

San Jose Museum of Art building, 1965

The 19th century former library building currently housing the San Jose Museum of Art. The art museum opened in 1969.

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#32 Reconstruction of First National Bank Building, 1963

Reconstruction of First National Bank Building, 1963

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#33 Stagecoach ride, Frontier Village, 1961

Stagecoach ride, Frontier Village, 1961

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#34 Canoe ride at Frontier Village, 1961

Canoe ride at Frontier Village, 1961

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#35 T & M Club, Last Bus Trip from Franklin Street, 1967

T & M Club, Last Bus Trip from Franklin Street, 1967

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#36 Parking lot on South Market Street, 1960

Parking lot on South Market Street, 1960

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#37 Children playing in Ryland Pool at Ryland Park. 421 North First Street, San Jose, 1960s

Children playing in Ryland Pool at Ryland Park. 421 North First Street, San Jose, 1960s

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#38 Mountain swimming pool activities, 1965

Mountain swimming pool activities, 1965

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#39 Cambrian Branch Library interior, 1960s

Cambrian Branch Library interior, 1960s

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#40 Old Italian Hotel and Manny’s Cellar located at 175 West Saint John, San Jose, 1967

Old Italian Hotel and Manny's Cellar located at 175 West Saint John, San Jose, 1967

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#41 Wild Bill Kelsey, Frontier Village, San Jose, 1961

Wild Bill Kelsey, Frontier Village, San Jose, 1961

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#42 The first two Century theaters, San Jose, 1966

The first two Century theaters, San Jose, 1966

The first two Century movie theatres were built in 1966 on the Winchester House grounds. Century 21 and 22 ushered in a new era of movie theatres away from the central core of downtown.

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#43 San Jose, looking southwest, 1960

San Jose, looking southwest, 1960

Aerial view of San Jose, looking southwest from First Street and Post Street. St. Joseph Church, left, towards the top. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Building (95 Alamden Avenue) towards the top right.

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#44 Lobitos 256 Acres – West, 1966

Lobitos 256 Acres – West, 1966

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#45 Al Alquist Family Group, 1960

Al Alquist Family Group, 1960

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#46 Embassy Room Opening Day Bus Eureka Group May, 1962

Embassy Room Opening Day Bus Eureka Group May, 1962

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#47 Parde Theater, First National Bank, Herold’s, Zukors, National Dollar Store, 1961

Parde Theater, First National Bank, Herold's, Zukors, National Dollar Store, 1961

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#48 Frequency Standard, 1965

Frequency Standard, 1965

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#49 Moonlite Drive in Theater sign, 1966

Moonlite Drive in Theater sign, 1966

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#50 Embassy Room, July 1964

Embassy Room, July 1964

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#51 Bicyclists at opening of Guadalupe Freeway, 1960

Bicyclists at opening of Guadalupe Freeway, 1960

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#52 Bicyclists at opening of Guadalupe Freeway, 1960s

Bicyclists at opening of Guadalupe Freeway, 1960s

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#53 Fireman’s Rodeo Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 1961

Fireman's Rodeo Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 1961

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#54 Orchard Supply Hardware store exterior, 1969

Orchard Supply Hardware store exterior, 1969

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#55 Downtown San Jose, 1965

Downtown San Jose, 1965

The view east on Santa Clara Street toward the intersection of First and Santa Clara Streets. Two major stores sit at the northern corner of First and Santa Clara: J.C. Penney and Roos Atkins Clothing Store. Both stores would eventually abandon downtown San Jose for the suburban malls.

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#56 Old Italian Hotel, 1967

Old Italian Hotel, 1967

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#57 San Jose Municipal Airport, 1968

San Jose Municipal Airport, 1968

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#58 South First Street at Fountain Alley, 1962

South First Street at Fountain Alley, 1962

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#59 Flying A Service station at corner of 7th and Taylor, 1964

Flying A Service station at corner of 7th and Taylor, 1964

Frank's Service station at the corner of East Taylor Street and North Seventh Street, San Jose.

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#60 First Street, 1960

First Street, 1960

Looking towards the Bank of America building, with automobiles in foreground. Businesses in view: Herolds, Kirby's shoes, Fredericks of Hollywood, Alan's Cut-rate Jewelers.

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#61 Aerial view of San Jose downtown, 1967

Aerial view of San Jose downtown, 1967

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#62 Heald Business College, 1968

Heald Business College, 1968

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#63 Campbell Bros. Sunland service station, 1961

Campbell Bros. Sunland service station, 1961

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#64 Mesa Drive and Galllup Drive. Kooser Road and Gallup Drive, 1967

Mesa Drive and Galllup Drive. Kooser Road and Gallup Drive, 1967

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#65 Aircraft and Fleet Vehicles for Radio Station KXRX, 1967

Aircraft and Fleet Vehicles for Radio Station KXRX, 1967

KXRX was the first local news-talk radio stations, and one of the first to utilize aircraft for reporting highway conditions. The plane is a Mooney, and is shown with five of the station's staff cars.

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#66 Wendt’s Meat Market, 1960

Wendt's Meat Market, 1960

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#67 South First Street, 1961

South First Street, 1961

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#68 North First Street, 1960, Victory Building, Hoefflers Coffee Shop, 1960

North First Street, 1960, Victory Building, Hoefflers Coffee Shop, 1960

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#69 Ground-breaking of Community Bank Building at San Pedro and San Augustine Streets, 1963

Ground-breaking of Community Bank Building at San Pedro and San Augustine Streets, 1963

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#70 Federal Building S.F. Mar., 1963

Federal Building S.F. Mar., 1963

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#71 Second Street at Santa Clara at night, 1962

Second Street at Santa Clara at night, 1962

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#72 Highway 17, Los Gatos, 1960

Highway 17, Los Gatos, 1960

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#73 Hall of justice demolition, 1962

Hall of justice demolition, 1962

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#74 Richard Nixon campaigning in San Jose, 1960

Richard Nixon campaigning in San Jose, 1960

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#75 Three men on top of the Mercury and News tower looking down on First Street, San Jose, 1965

Three men on top of the Mercury and News tower looking down on First Street, San Jose, 1965

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#76 Aircraft and Fleet Vehicles for Radio Station KXRX, 1967

Aircraft and Fleet Vehicles for Radio Station KXRX, 1967

KXRX was the first local news-talk radio stations, and one of the first to utilize aircraft for reporting highway conditions. The plane is a Mooney, and is shown with five of the station's staff cars. The aircraft is now displayed at the San Jose Airport, Terminal C.

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#77 Century 21 and 22 theaters, San Jose, 1966

Century 21 and 22 theaters, San Jose, 1966

The first two Century movie theatres were built in 1966 on the Winchester House grounds. Century 21 and 22 ushered in a new era of movie theatres away from the central core of downtown.

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#78 Roberto Adobe and Lauraville House, Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, 1960

Roberto Adobe and Lauraville House, Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, 1960

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#79 San Jose, looking Southeast, 1960

San Jose, looking Southeast, 1960

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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