Plaza de César Chávez

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The fountain in Plaza de César Chávez
Children playing in the fountain, during the San Jose Jazz Festival
A view looking east of Plaza de César Chávez

Plaza de César Chávez is a 2.2-acre (9,000 m²) park in Downtown San Jose, California, USA, named after César Chávez in 1993 (originally it was called "The Plaza", then "Pueblo Plaza"). It is surrounded by South Market Street, across which is The Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Circle of Palms Plaza and the Fairmont San Jose Hotel. At the south end is the statue "Plumed Serpent" by Robert Graham.

At different times of the year it hosts live music, cultural festivals, arts and crafts fairs, food shows, the official city Christmas tree, water fountains, and open-air theater. There are free concerts in the park every Thursday during summer, the San Jose Jazz Festival has its main stage in the park, and every winter from Thanksgiving until New Year's it hosts the Christmas in the Park.

The Plaza was established when San José moved from its original location on the bank of the Guadalupe River to the current downtown location in 1797 and has been in use ever since, making it the oldest public open space in California.

The present-day park was the site of California's capitol from 1849 to 1851, a period during which the California Republic gained American statehood; hence, the site contained California's first state capitol. From 1889 to 1958, San Jose's city hall occupied the center of the park [1] before the local government moved it northward to North First and Mission Streets. The city hall was eventually moved once again to its present location at 200 East Santa Clara Street.

The interactive fountain has been the source of many outbreaks of flu-like symptoms. In 2006 an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis and salmonellosis made many bathers sick.[1] The illnesses were attributed to fecal matter that had leaked from toddlers diapers. The fountain was subsequently outfitted with additional devices to sanitize the water. However, monitoring of the water quality is performed by City Public Works employees on an infrequent basis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Institute of Health, Multi-jurisdictional investigation of interactive fountain - associated cryptosporidiosis and salmonellosis outbreaks - M. L. KIRIAN,G. MEREGILLANO,D. GENNETTE and J. M. WEINTRAUB http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870747/National Institute of Health, Journal List Epidemiol Infect v.136(11); Nov 2008 PMC2870747 Plaza Cesar Chavez Fountain identified as Fountain "Y"". 

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