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Historic Structures Classifications

Designated Structures and Sites

NR  =  A structure or site listed on the National Register of Historic Places administered by the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

NRD  =  A district listed on the National Register of Historic Places administered by the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

SL  =  State Landmark (a structure or site designated by the State of California through the State Historic Preservation Office, Sacramento)

CR  =  On the California Register

CLS  City Landmark structure or site (designated by the San Jose City Council in accordance with Chapter 13, Section 13.48.110)
CLD  City Landmark District (a structure that contributes significantly to the historic fabric of an area within the City and has been designated as a part of a district by the San Jose City Council in accordance with Chapter 13, Section 13.48.120)
CNS  City Conservation Area

Significant Structures and Sites

ENR  Eligible for National Register Listing (appears to meet the NR criteria, but further historic research is necessary)

ECR  Eligible for California Register Listing (appears to meet the CR criteria, but further historic research is necessary)

CS  Contributing Structure/Site (a structure that contributes significantly to the historic fabric of the community and, in some cases, to a certain neighborhood)

NCS  Non-Contributing Structure/Site

CCL  Candidate for City Landmark

SM  Structure of Merit (a structure determined to be a resource through evaluation by the Historic Landmarks Commission's Historic Evaluation Criteria and which preservation should be high priority)
IS  Identified Structure (further evaluation of the historic or architectural significance of the structure should be undertaken)

Form Used   

FM-S  =  Inventory Form (State) Historic Information Reference from the State of California Historic Resources Inventory Form

FM-N  =  Inventory Form (National) Historic Information Reference from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form

Criteria For Evaluation

Criteria for evaluating eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places are as follows:

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

  • 1. that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  • 2. that area associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
  • 3. that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
  • 4. that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historic figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

  • 1. a religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance;
  • 2. a building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with an historic event;
  • 3. a birthplace or grave of an historic figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his productive life;
  • 4. a cemetery that derived its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events;
  • 5. a reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association have survived,
  • 6. a property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance;
  • 7. a property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.

A property nominated for City Historic Landmark status must be 30 years old and must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • 1. can be identified or associated with persons, eras, or events that have contributed to local, regional, State, or nation history, heritage, or culture in a distinctive, significant, or important way;
  • 2. can be identified or associated with a distinctive, significant or important work or vestige of architectural style, design, or method of construction;
  • 3. can by identified or associated with an important work or vestige of a master architect, builder, artist, or craftsperson;
  • 4. has high artistic merit;
  • 5. comprises as a totality, a distinctive, significant, or important work or vestige whose component parts may lack the same attributes;
  • 6. is likely or substantially likely to yield information of value about history, architecture, culture, or aesthetics;
  • 7. provides for existing and future generations an example of the physical surroundings in which past generations lived or worked.

Those resources that were not judged to qualify for either National Register or City Historic Landmark designation were then evaluated using similar standards recommended by the State Office of Historic Preservation Survey Field Guidebook. Considerations include architectural quality and integrity, age, rarity of building type or scale, and the relationship to the surrounding environment. Special emphasis was placed on a building's contribution to a streetscape.

Groups of buildings, linked by scale, materials, building type or other features, provide important aesthetic or historical statements about neighborhoods in the past. These buildings often provide the setting for more important structures as well. Such groupings of building which constituted neighborhoods were placed within a "conservation area" category.

Individual structures add visual richness and character to the City's streets and constitute the major contributions to the "conservation areas". Such structures themselves may be eligible for listing on the National Register.

Entire conservation areas within the Central Planning area were identified, and those buildings that were the major contributors to the areas were given another designation as potential National Register candidates. The buildings in both categories contribute to the historic and architectural fabric of San Jose.