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 2.3-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.

Plaza de César Chávez is one of over 200 parks in the City of San Jose, run by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services. The official webpage for the park is


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