San Jose History
The Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ), founded in 1990, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, dedicated to preserving and promoting the continued use of historically significant resources in San Jose,
and to encouraging quality new design. We believe that preserving San Jose's past encourages community
pride, enhances local quality of life, benefits the environment by supporting reuse and recycling, helps increase property values, and promotes tourism and trade.
We strive to build consensus among residents, city government, and developers to support historic preservation land use and development decisions in the City of San Jose. We work with these constituencies when planning development projects to advocate historic sensitivity that also makes economic sense.
What is Historic Preservation?
Historic preservation is a development strategy that secures a community’s unique architectural and cultural heritage. It means reusing buildings of significant architectural quality or historic importance. Not every old
building is historic, but if an old building is architecturally, culturally or historically important, new development should preserve the fabric of that building. It is a way of ensuring that our cities grow more beautiful, and
that the past achievements of architects and developers are respected. The greenest buildings are ones
that are reused!
We support the City’s policy that buildings built more than fifty years ago are potentially historic, and must be evaluated before demolition can be approved. PAC*SJ especially supports preserving and reusing city
landmarks, candidate city landmarks, California Register-eligible and National Register-eligible properties.
What We Do
PAC*SJ works closely with city staff and elected officials to draft guidelines and publications relating
to San Jose’s historic structures.
We act as citizen advocates for San Jose’s neighborhoods,
working with developers and tracking
new development proposals and their effects on historic resources. We also promote historic surveys and
the development of conservation districts.
PAC*SJ offers educational outreach such as lectures, walking tours, workshops and
film programs on smart growth and the architectural heritage of San Jose, to show both what we
have lost and how to save what is left.
We partner with other organizations, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the California Peservation Foundation, California Pioneers, Argonauts, History San Jose, Victorian Preservation Association
of Santa Clara Valley, and neighborhood associations, to present social and educational events as well as publishing books on San Jose’s history.
• Provide educational lectures, walking tours and movie nights about the architectural heritage
of San José, to show both what we have lost and how to save what is left.
• Provide Technical assistance from our experts in home restoration, tax credits, landmark
designation and construction financing.
• Publish Continuity, our quarterly newsletter, offers features and updates on preservation and development in San José.
• Our Resource Center helps residents research the history of their homes and obtain copies of
local codes, ordinances, guidelines and environmental reports.